The three-time Open champion Henry Cotton, winner in 1934, 37 and 48 at Sandwich, Carnoustie and Muirfield respectively, was the club professional at Ashridge for several years. In fact, at Carnoustie, the club could boast not only the champion but two other top-20 placings with his assistants Bill Laidlaw and Fred Robertson finishing 7th and 18th respectively. In the 1960s and 70s the much-missed BBC commentator Alex Hay spent 12 years in the pro shop here.
As for the course itself, you can expect a fine parkland layout that drains exceptionally well. In fact, it is known for being in outstanding condition throughout the year with the greens a particular strength. It measures almost 6,700 yards from the back tees.
Once part of the Brownlow family’s estate, Ashridge was originally laid out by Cecil Hutchinson, Guy Campbell and Major Hotchkin (of Woodhall Spa fame). It has since been altered by Tom Simpson. Ashridge’s distinctive clubhouse is curiously its third – the first burned down before the Second World War and this one was opened in 1993.
Ashridge is to the north of Watford close to Berkhamsted and enjoys a timeless, quintessentially English setting. Despite that, the M1 is within five miles or so.
Ashridge is laid out in an unusual clover-leaf shape around the centrally located clubhouse, from where you can see the 9th, 12th and 18th greens as well as the 1st, 10th and 13th tees. Always interesting and often undulating, many fairways are lined by mature trees.