Set within 300 acres of private parkland, lakes and historic gardens, Stoke Park is conveniently located just a 35-minute drive from London. Created by Harry Colt in 1908, Stoke Park’s parkland course covers 300 acres. It was host to one of the most epic golf matches in cinematic history when James Bond (Sean Connery) and Auric Goldfinger (Gert Frobe) locked horns on the fairways in the classic Bond film Goldfinger.
Work finished on the Lane Jackson course in 2018, completing the renovation of its 27 holes over three successive winters. The work on this nine is as impressive as that on the Colt (1st to 9th, 2016) and Alison (10th to 18th, 2017).
The Lane Jackson’s bunkers were also rebuilt in keeping with Harry Colt’s original concept and to ensure they are suitable for play in the 21st century; the result is an easy-to-enjoy course that has improved both visually and strategically.
Named after the creator of Stoke Park, Nick ‘Pa’ Lane Jackson, it was built in 1927 but was given over to farmland in the war and not fully restored until 1998. It is traditionally deemed the ‘third’ loop at the world-class resort in Buckinghamshire, but has plenty of appeal of its own.
It begins with a hole that epitomises the Lane Jackson; a short-but-tight par 4 defended by drive bunkers that mean only the brave try to fly them. For the rest of us it is a mid-iron approach to a small green with water right and sand left. The next is also deceptively tough. With water all the way up the left and everything sloping that way, a six is always a threat.
Then there’s an achingly beautiful par 3 over water next to the iconic bridge. By now you’re already captivated by the so-called third nine. The 5th is another clever short four to an angled green, while the last is dominated by oaks either side of the fairway and an approach to a target in a natural site.
The hotel here is one of Britain’s finest, offering elegance and charm that few can match. The food is unfailingly exquisite and the spa – including a peerless gym and brilliant outdoor area with Jacuzzi – is superb. Only Gleneagles and Turnberry are on a par with Stoke Park among British golf resorts.
The rooms in the grand mansion are beautifully designed and furnished with antiques and four-poster beds. You can also indulge yourself and relax at the hotel’s many restaurants, bars and lounges, including Humphry’s Fine Dining Restaurant.
The tranquil spa is an oasis of pure calm and pampering. With 11 treatment rooms, marble steam rooms, a private atrium and a dramatic, five-metre tropical aquarium, this is a spa experience you’ll never forget.