Golf that's as cheap as chips!

Check these out for around

Bob Warters's picture
Fri, 7 Mar 2003

Golf that's as cheap as chips!
Golf that's as cheap as chips!
Spectacular Traigh.

The first golf I played was over 30 years ago on a pitch and putt course behind the main street in West Runton, Norfolk. It’s probably a car park or a supermarket now – but to me it was Turnberry, St Andrews and Royal St Georges rolled into one.

The tees were little more than doormats, the greens undulating carpets of hard-packed meadow grass, but with a hickory wedge and an alloy centre-shafted putter in my hand, I felt I was the equal of Palmer, Nicklaus and Trevino, when I completed nine holes in 31 shots.

On later visits, I even took my own clubs but couldn’t improve on my best-ever score.

As I recall it cost about ‘five shillings’ for two circuits (equivalent to 25p) and it strikes me that rounds of golf today are still extremely good value.

Indeed for less than £15 a round you can play terrific courses in the UK with none more breathtaking thatTraigh (pronounced ‘try’) in the Western highlands of Scotland. This nine-hole links runs beside a Gaelic beach, from which its name is derived, with stunning views to the Hebridean Islands of Eigg and Rum and the Cuillins of Skye on the B8008 coastal road 40 miles west of Fort William and just north of Arisaig.

The club’s website reveals that visitors who make the effort to reach this golfing outpost are welcome seven days a week, and golf clubs can be hired at the clubhouse. It also sells golf balls, clothing with green fees at £14 a day or if you want to hang around to admire the scenery, £50 for a weekly ticket.

Here’s some more courses we’ve selected that are as cheap as chips… If you know some more – especially hidden gems of outstanding value-tell us on the Forum.

SOUTH MIDLANDS

Mowsbury, Ravensden, Beds

01234 771041

Municipal Parkland course in rural surroundings, long and testing par 72 with 14 bay range.

Colmsworth and North Beds, Colmworth, Beds

01234 378181

Easy walking with well-bunkered greens with water on three holes. Exposed to the elements and plays longer than its 6,400 yards.

Wyboston Lakes, St Neots

01480 407330

Easy access from the A1, a parkland course with narrow fairways, small greens and water hazards.

Hemingford Abbots, Huntingdon, Cambs

01480 495000

Island green at the final hole (9th) is the feature of this interesting course just off the A14 South of Huntingdon. Dog leg, par-5 fourth is also challenging.

EAST ANGLIA

Ramsey Old Nene, Ramsey, Cambs

014887 813519

Exposed Fenland course but flat and well-drained. Challenging nine-holer with fast greens and bordering dykes.

Thorpe Wood, Peterborough

01733 267701

One of the first courses designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas in the 1975 and still one of the longest in the region. Undulating parkland with huge greens which runs beside the Nene river. Stiff test from the back tees, excellent greens.

Orton Meadows, Peterborough

01733 237478

Pretty course of dissimilar halves. The first half is as long as you’ll get anywhere including a 600 yards, 3rd round a lake. The back nine gives a chance to recover with some short, easy par-4s.

NORTH WEST

Malkins Bank, Sandbach, Cheshire

01270 765931

Parkland courses designed by Hawtrees with a stream running through the tight 13th hole.

Walton Hall, High Walton, Warrington, Cheshire

01925 263061

Municipal course on the Walton Hall Estate in quiet, wooded area. Testing over 6,600 yards.

Alston Manor, Alston, Cumbria

01434 381675

Recently upgraded parkland and fell course with stunning views over the Pennines.

Dunnerholme, Askham-in-Furness, Cumbria

01229 462675

Links course with views over the Cumbrian mountains and Morecombe Bay. Signature hole 6th plays up to Dunnerholme Rock outcrop in the estuary.

Cockermouth, Embleton, Cumbria

017687 76223

James Braid-design built into fenced fells. Demands tough climbs to the third and 11th holes.

Silecroft, Cumbria

01229 774342

Seaside links which runs along the coast of the Irish Sea. Windy but easy walking; great views.

MIDLANDS

Bakewell, Derbyshire

01629 812307

Hill parkland with plenty of natural hazards. Magnificent views across the Wye Valley

Grassmore Golf Centre, North Wingfield, Chesterfield

01246 856044

An 18-hole heathland course over 5,700 yards with challenging holes and water features.

Stanedge, Chesterfield

01246 566156

Hilly, moorland, 9-hole course exposed to the winds with tricky short holes and narrow fairways. Views over four counties.

Sinfin, Derby

01332 766462

Municipal tree-line course. Flat and suitable for golfers of all ages.

Cocks Moors Woods, Birmingham

0121 464 3584

Short tree-lined course in well maintained parkland with good greens.

Hilltop, Handsworth, West Midlands

0121 554 4463

Undulating fairways with big greens in Sandwell Valley conservation area. Good test, interesting layout, designed by Hawtrees.

Warley Woods, Birmingham

0121 429 2440

Muni parkland course, recently tightened with bunkers and tree-planting.

SOUTH EAST

Epping, Essex

01992 572282

Rolling tree-lined parkland with ponds and panoramic views – a course with a driveable fourth hole that’s rarely birdied and a closing hole that’s tough to par.

Southern Valley, Shorne, Gravesend, Kent

01474 568568

All-year course landscaped with bracken and thorn with views across Thames Estuary. Undulating fairways, large greens rolling fairways.

Cobtree Manor Park, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent

01622 753276

Undulating, 18-hole parkland course with water hazards.

SOUTH

Worldham Park, Alton, Hants

01420 543151

Picturesque woodland setting with challenging dogleg holes and water hazards.

Andover GC, Hants

01264 358040

Undulating downland course combining breathtaking views of Hampshire countryside. Par-3 ninth features a tee perched 100 feet above the green.

Gosport and Stokes Bay, Haslar, Hants

023 925 7941

Testing links course overlooking Solent with gorse and rough. Wind-affected.

Petersfield Old, Petersfield, Hants

01730 267732

Nine-hole parkland layout in Sussex Road. Easy walking, with numerous trees and water features.

SOUTH WEST

Merlin, Mawgan Porth, Cornwall

01841 540222

Heathland course recently lengthened over 6,000 yards to par 72. The 12th hole is the most challenging of par-5s.

Porthpean, St Austell, Cornwall

01736 71643

Picturesque 18 holes with outward nine in parkland and the back nine with outstanding views over St Austell Bay.

Tregenna Castle Hotel, St Ives, Cornwall

01736 797381

Parkland course weaves its way around the castle walls overlooking St Ives Bay.

NORTH EAST

Hall Garth Hotel, Darlington, Co.Durham

01325 320246

Mature trees and Victorian deer folly set in this challenging parkland course with River Swale running through it.

Stressholme, Darlington, Co. Durham

01325 461002

Picturesque municipal parkland course – long and wide and suitable for all golfers. Nearly 100 bunkers and a par-3 played over a river.

Alnmouth Village, Northumberland

01665 830370

Nine-hole seaside course with coastal views.

HOME COUNTIES

Iver, Buckingham

01753 655615

Flat pay-and-play course with challenging par-5 holes in parkland setting. Strong crosswinds, water hazards and ditches.

Thorney Park, Iver, Bucks

01895 422095

Testing par-4 ninth hole demanding a good drive to the waters edge, is the signature of this 9-hole parkland course to suit all abilities.

Farnham Park, Stoke Poges, Bucks

01753 643332

Nice setting for a 6,000 yard 18-hole parkland course, designed by Hawtree.

Wavenden Golf Centre, Wavenden, Bucks

01908 281811

Set in parkland with mature oak and lime trees. Easy walking with small lakes and water hazards.