Top 18: Courses in the East MidlandsOctober, 2015
Our favourite courses in Cambridgeshire, Northants, Notts, Lincs and Derbyshire
Spanning six counties, the East Midlands region certainly has its fair share of fantastic courses to try out.
Lincolnshire, Northants, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Cambridgeshire boast some real beauties between them as our list of the Top-18 (below) shows.
While Woodhall Spa’s Hotchkin course in Lincs heads the list, Nottinghamshire takes silver and bronze positions thanks to Notts (Hollinwell) and Sherwood Forest.
Head west and some of Derbyshire’s finest include the superb Kedleston Park and Cavendish layouts, while Luffenham Heath and Longcliffe are well worth a visit as you progress southwards into Leicestershire.
1. WOODHALL SPA (HOTCHKIN)
The home of England Golf. Playing here is not only great value, but also much easier to arrange than at many other courses of a comparable stature.
Certainly within the top handful of inland courses in Britain, the star attraction at Woodhall is the Hotchkin, named after the man who did most to shape it.
This fast-running and severely bunkered layout has also been influenced by Harry Vardon and Harry Colt. The more you play here the more you realise what a superlative and fair test it is.
Stretching to almost 7,100 yards from the championship tees, this is the real deal, with additional protection coming from heather, gorse and, most of all, Woodhall Spa’s special brand of bunkering.
Generally speaking, if you are in a greenside bunker you will be unable to see the bottom of the flag. The collective weight of 18 strong holes make this a real cracker not to be missed.
2. NOTTS (HOLLINWELL)
There are few sterner tests in England playing from the championship tees.
Set in rolling hills in the heart of Robin Hood County, Notts offers one of the finest examples of traditional heathland golf in Great Britain, rivalling many of the more famous Surrey courses of this style.
The club has hosted many top amateur events, including the English Amateur on four occasions and the Brabazon Trophy on three.
3. SHERWOOD FOREST
Just seven miles north or Notts is the Harry Colt-designed Sherwood Forest, which was improved and extended by James Braid in 1925.
Here, most of the holes are set in glorious seclusion, with flanks of firs and banks of gorse divorcing the current challenge from the rest of the course.
The tight, springy turf is indicative of an inland course of the very highest quality.
Situated on the east coast – a traditional links course with views over the Wash.
5. LUFFENHAM HEATH
6. NORTHANTS COUNTY
The excellent Northants County provides a fine traditional inland challenge with undulating woodland, gorse, heather and fine pine woods.
8. KEDLESTON PARK
11. GOG MAGOG (OLD)
Cambridgeshire’s Gog Magog has the length and tricky greens to keep golfers of all abilities interested.
Great championship golf course set in 160 acres of fine rolling parkland.
13. FOREST PINES
This superb 18-hole parkland course has a reputation for the quality of its fairways, tees and greens. Because of the sandy subsoil, the course is renowned for being a 12 month a year course.
17. STAPLEFORD PARK
With changing views of the house, its lakes and 500-acre park, this is golf at its best.
18. MARKET RASEN