C & L Country Club – Middlesex

We were told that the course had just undergone some major changes last year so maybe it has not recovered just yet. The fairways are more like the sort of ground you would expect to play football on at the local park and the greens were just a shorter grass version of the fairways, the tees however were at least raised slightly so some effort had been put in there. We found the middle of the fairway on a few holes and had to actually hunt for the ball!

With it’s tiny greens this course does give you a good practice at approach shots, on finding the green it is up to you if you bother to try and putt out. So if you fancy a quick practice on your tee shots and approaches then this course will provide that but not much else.

Temple Golf Club – Maidenhead, Berkshire

Temple has some nice touches to start with, a bag of grass seed and dirt at the 1st tee for you to carry round with you to repair your own divots and coloured flags on the greens to indicate where the pin is cut. The greens here are very good and produce smooth fast rolling putts but the fairways let the course down slightly as they have a lot of moss and clovers on them instead of just grass.

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Bearwood Lakes – Sindlesham, Berkshire

Set in mature Berkshire countryside this course certainly serves up some great views together with the care & attention that has gone in to making the tees, greens & fairways absolutely superb. The tees were being sanded & aerated when we played here but that did not impose on our round one bit. The variety in tee positions is always nice to see especially as most clubs these days tend to just have one large rectangle for a tee area with the various tees spaced out along it.

With an elevated tee area overlooking the course the 1st gets you off to a nice start, miss the bunkers and find the slope on the fairway to leave yourself just a short pitch into the green. The 2nd is a little more challenging and very hard to reach in two, so play it as it should be played & you should have a putt for a birdie. The first par 3 on the course needs a good shot to hit the green, the bunkers in front of the hole look daunting but they are quite a way short of the putting surface so try to ignore them.

The 4th has another elevated tee with great views, a shot down the right is the best line as you should be able to clear the bunkers. Two cracking shots may get you on the 5th green with a putt for an eagle but again it’s wise to play it to regulation as the water behind the green can easily come into play. With it’s semi-blind tee shot the 6th fairway seems a little tight but there is room on the right, we promise you.

The 7th is a great looking par 4, tee off straight at the bunkers through the gap in the tree line to leave yourself an uphill approach to quite a tight green. Then it’s on to the 8th a short Par 4 with plenty of dangers, out of bounds on the right & water on the left, it would be wise to take two irons to reach this green. The final hole of the first nine again requires a solid shot to reach the green but there is room to run it on if you are struggling for length.

After a brief visit to the half-way house it’s on to the 10th, keep out of the trees and judge the distance of the downhill approach correctly and you should be alright providing you hit the correct tier on the green. The 11th is another Par 5 that looks reachable in two but the clever positioning of the bunkers and the uphill approach to the green make that task a tough one, if you are laying up with your second make sure you know the yardage to the end of the fairway. The Par 3 12th is another hole that just looks great, all downhill but make a note of the pin position or a long putt could put you in danger of making a four. The 13th has a tough carry from the tee but you do not want to reach the ditch that runs across the fairway and the Par 3 that follows requires yet another solid shot over the edge of the lake. These two holes can become even more tricky if the wind gets up coming off the lake.

The 15th & 16th holes are pretty straight forward as long as you steer clear of the out of bounds on the right and get your distances correct on the approach to the 16th. The 17th fairway is quite tight with the bunker on the left and slight kink to the right, the bunkers guarding the green make the approach quite tough too. The last hole can be quite a monster to play if you do not get a good tee shot away, anything down the left is going to fall away from the fairway and could leave a blind second shot. The approach is quite hard to judge too as the dip before the green can cause distances to be deceiving.

The staff we met were very friendly & the members were very welcoming, the speed of play was worth a mention too. We caught a couple of 4 balls up after nine holes but still easily managed to get round in 4 hours. If you get an invite to play here as a guest then we suggest you take up the offer it is a wonderful golfing experience.

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Bowood Golf Club – Wiltshire

Bowood Golf Club – Wiltshire

From the moment you drive through the gates at the entrance you just know you are going to enjoy the experience of playing here. The staff were very helpful & the hospitality of the whole place makes you feel like a member. The clubhouse is superb with nice changing rooms plus a number of rooms for societies to rejoice after their rounds. The facilities too are great especially the 3 hole Academy course where you can warm up before taking on the real challenge.

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Denham Golf Club – Middlesex

Denham was a joy to play, the staff were very helpful & the course condition was superb. Fairways, tees & greens were all brilliant and the setting was great, you would never have guessed you were playing just a few miles from Heathrow with two major motorways right next door.

The course starts fairly easily where a good drive could see your ball rolling down the slope to leave just a chip on to the green. The 2nd is a different story, there is a gorge in the middle of the hole that could well be reached by a good drive, if you end up in this gorge then it is a blind shot to the green.

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Stoke Park Club – Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire

I must admit that Stoke Park is not your average pay and play course but if you do want to treat yourself once a year to a great golf experience then this course is just right for that treat. Everything about the course says quality, from the magnificent clubhouse to the wonderful manicured greens.

The designer of this course, Mr Colt, knew what he was doing, bunkers are placed around the course on nearly every hole to catch the hit it as far as I can golfer, it really is a thinking mans golf course.

The only downside of this course is that there are no indicators on the flags as to where the pin position is, also the tee areas are just rectangular mounds and not the nice sculpted ones they should have been to match the rest of the course.

Sherfield Oaks Golf Club – Hampshire

I have yet to play the Wellington but some of it’s holes are ones from the original course, that I have played before they added the additional 18.

You get a great chance to start with a par or birdie as the only danger on the 1st is the rough on the left, keep clear of that and you could reach the green in two.

The next few holes are quite open with bail out areas for the wayward golfer. The 5th will test your nerve as there is water left & front of the green, depending where the pin is it could be a scary tee shot.

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