Teeing up with a cricket legend

Andy Roberts's picture
Andy Roberts
Fri, 13 Jul 2012

Despite having to walk five minutes to the tenth, it was more than worth the wait as we took in the sights of an 18th Century country house before picking up a steak sandwich on the tee box. A glance at the giant leaderboard also saw my team in a tie for the lead on 41 points. Game on.

The par-4 tenth, running adjacent to a giant football training pitch, plays downhill off the tee and allows you to really open up the shoulders. Once you get your drive away, you’re faced with a slightly uphill second playing into a green with water just five yards off the back edge.

The next two holes aren’t much of a pushover, either. The par-4 11th ranks the hardest hole on the course mainly because it plays 450 yards uphill and features a giant green that slopes heavily from right to left, while the signature par-3 12th requires a laser-like long iron just to carry the water and front greenside bunkers.

Unfortunately, no one was asking for my signature when I found the drink after getting my 5-iron caught in my skirt on the downswing. Despite being out the hole, it gave me ample opportunity to take in the stunning surroundings.

Of the closing stretch, it was the par-5s that I will remember the most. The 600-yard 14th proved a real test with water running down the length of the left-hand side, requiring three precise shots to find the dancefloor, while the 530-yard 18th asks you to carry a ditch some 240 yards out.

The second is then played uphill to a green surrounded by three treacherous greenside bunkers and an appreciative gallery up on the clubhouse balcony.

As my team walked off the back of 18, we glanced at the scoreboard to see we had won the Freddie Flintoff Invitational by two points with a grand total of 95 points. On a personal note, I was delighted with my 3-over 75, which included two doubles, two birdies and a bogey.

Wokefield Park might not be the longest track in the world at just under 7,000 yards, but it has been beautifully designed by Jonathan Gaunt, who helped integrate the course in 1996 into an historic 18th century landscape setting following consultation with English Heritage.

On the walk, you will pave your way through a host of elevated tees, mature oaks, wellingtonias, immaculate putting surfaces and smooth carpet fairways. And it certainly tests your course management skills with nine separate lakes on hand to gobble up errant tee shots.

Package deals at Wokefield Park start from just £30 or you can play anytime you like by joining De Vere Club’s pioneering membership scheme for an incredible £295. Click here to learn more about Freddie Flintoff’s role as De Vere Club ambassador.

De Vere Wokefield Park

Address: Wokefield Park, Goodboys Lane, Mortimer, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 3AH
0844 980 2322 or email wokefield@deverevenues.co.uk
Green Fees:
From £30 (weekdays and weekend) with coffee and bacon rolls
Length: Par-72; 6996-yards (blue); 6579-yards (yellow); 5783-yards (red - Par 73)
Jonathan Gaunt
Driving range, practice chipping/bunker area and large putting green
Official website: www.deverevenues.co.uk/locations/wokefield-park
Public transport:
Trains from Paddington take around 25 minutes to Reading, then it's about a 15 minute taxi journey to the club

So where else have we tried out in our quest to find you the best courses to play during the Olympic Games? Click here for our handy index.

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