Review: Muswell Hill Golf Club

We took a trip to North London and were surprised to find a course in outstanding condition just 30 minutes from the centre of the Capital

Charlie Lemay's picture
Thu, 3 Jul 2014

WITH a host of courses claiming to reside in London, Muswell Hill Golf Club is one of the few layouts which can actually boast a London postcode. Nestled in North London, the club is just five miles from the centre of the city and can be easily reached by public transport.  

The 18-hole parkland course was founded in 1893 by a group of Scottish enthusiasts and ever since it has been north London’s golf enthusiasts who have reaped the rewards.

The club offer a variety of memberships and have tiered them dependant on age to encourage younger golfers to play. There is a well-stocked pro shop with helpful staff and a pleasant bar and restaurant serving delicious food at a reasonable price. An outside patio sits beside the amiable clubhouse and it allows golfers to enjoy a post-round pint while watching players tee off close by on the 1st and 17th tee.

A large practice green allows players to get the speed of the greens before play and a new short game area allows golfers to perfect their wedge play. Both are fitting as putting and chipping is vital in scoring low at Muswell Hill. 

After just five minutes I knew it was a club where I would enjoy spending time. There is a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and a youthful exuberance which seems to have rubbed off on all the members. Golfing tradition is still very much intact but the club has clearly been set up to maximise players’ enjoyment, which is the way it should be.

The greatest asset of Muswell Hill is its greens. Thanks to a greenkeeping team who clearly know their stuff, the dance floors are in immaculate condition and run fast and true - they wouldn’t look out of place on the European Tour, such is their calibre.  The head greenkeeper showed me his tools of the trade and it is no accident the greens are of so exceptional as everything is meticulously planned and executed with precision. 

The course is narrow, particularly from a number of tee boxes, so if players want to prosper they will need to be able to hit it straight.

The track is a decent length although the longer hitters will be able to make the most of a couple of shorter holes, if they can keep it in the fairway of course. Easier said than done. 

Approach play is pivotal to a low score as the greens are often well guarded and if you attack the wrong side of the green you will be left to watch your ball slip agonisingly off the dance floor.

The course bends left and right and the fairways, which are also in great condition, are undulating. You will therefore need to be able to hit a variety of shots and if you are able to shape your ball and/or manipulate your ball flight, you will be at a great advantage to those who cannot.

The main hazards on the course are an abundance of strategically placed bunkers and trees which line most fairways. There is an odd ditch here and there which will swallow your ball if you get your yardages wrong but on the whole they shouldn’t give you sleepness nights. 

Considering the proximity to central London, it's incredible how secluded the club feels. You'd never guess the location as you navigate your way around and it will serve as a piece of escapism for golfers from the capital who want a bit of open space. 

Verdict

Muswell Hill is an excellent course and considering it's situated just 30 minutes from the centre of London, it can't be beaten for location. A great atmosphere and friendly members are backed-up by a fun golf course which is in superb nick. The championship-quality greens alone are worth the trip.

Length: 6,416 (whites) 5,765 (reds) 
Par: 71 (whites) 73 (reds) 
Designers: Willie Park and James Braid - Ken Moodie redesign 
Green Fees: Starting at £20 (contact the club for more)

Head to the Muswell Hill Golf Club website for more information 

 

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