Aldwickbury Park Golf Club, Park Course: review

Come rain or shine, Hertfordshire layout will entertain and test golfers

Charlie Lemay's picture
Mon, 7 Dec 2015

Aldwickbury Park Golf Club, Park Course: review

Even for golf, a £750,000 investment is a serious undertaking. Aldwickbury Park pumped the gargantuan figure into its establishment, and the risk has reciprocated stunning rewards.

Located in Hertfordshire’s opulent Harpenden, Aldwickbury Park opened its gates in 1995, and proved a popular layout with locals and guests alike.

However, not one to rest on its laurels and with competition fierce in the area, the club decided the time was right to add a new 200-capacity “Fenwick-Ames Suite” function room, while also adding a players’ lounge and expanding the bar.

The new function room, the headliner in the upgrade, is apt for parties, private dinners, conferences and weddings, thanks to its grandeur and facilities. It boasts its own entrance and private toilets, and has superb views of the course, both from inside and out on the patio. 

In the weeks leading up to our visit, the sun shone, the sky was pale blue, and the ball was running out on the fairways. Suffice to say we endured the opposite on game day. They call it “Sod's Law”, and we were truly sodden from the first shot to the last.

To hold a golfer’s attention for 18 holes when the heavens open, a course must be intriguing, able to deal with the conditions, and of high quality. That, or the golfer could be playing the round of his life. It definitely wasn't a highlight-reel round in regards to my play, but I was entertained the whole way round the Park Course.

On the whole, the fairways are generous throughout. Golfers will also find they are often able to advance their ball a considerable distance from the rough, which is rarely overly punishing.

However, it is a winding layout boasting a variety of elevation changes, requiring players to plot their way with guile and imagination in order to hit greens in regulation.

While squelchy, the fairways were in excellent condition, thanks to “state-of-the art” drainage systems, as it stated on the club’s website.

The greens, while playing soft because of the driving rain, rolled true and at a moderate speed – remarkable, considering the amount of water they had to take in. The club is renowned for boasting some of the best green’s in the county, and I expected nothing less given the layout was designed by putting guru and former Ryder Cup player Ken Brown, in conjunction with Martin Gillett.

The greens are often undulating and have a number of run-off areas, requiring players to be accurate, and astute in their club selection.

The club does not employ temporary greens or temporary tees, which is a welcome relief.

At the highest points of the course, players are afforded stunning views across Lea Valley – even under leaden skies it was a site to behold.

The Park Course saves the best till last. Its 18th, the signature hole, is a short-par four with water lacing the right side. The green is driveable for many, but one must thread their ball through a minute slither of fairway if they want to make it onto the short stuff in one blow. Our group all took it on, resulting in us all taking a trip to the drink. 

Verdict

A beautiful, entertaining track that held up superbly to woeful weather conditions. A winding and undulating layout, kept in tantalising condition, and boasting dramatic views

Par

Whites 71 (sss 71)
Yellows 71 (sss 69)
Reds 72 (sss 72)

Length

Whites 6368 yards
Yellows 6030 yards
Reds 5432 yards

Designer

Ken Brown and Martin Gillett

Green Fees

Monday to Friday: £10-£36
Weekends and bank holidays: £10-42

Website: Aldwickbury Park Golf Club