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ferry

This club is famous for… the ferry ride on the 18th

This is an unusual way to finish off a round
 

I quite enjoy a little sojourn along the river. I’ve never taken a set of clubs with me, though.

But carry bag or trolley are definitely required if you are to get round the Melbourne course at Brocket Hall.

While most clubs have one thing for which they are famous, this Hertfordshire complex can boast several.

Two courses are set among the stunning stately home, Brocket Hall, which was home to two 19th century British Prime Ministers – Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston.

Lord Melbourne and Lord Palmerston

The former led the country in 1834 and then for six years between 1835 and 1841 – a period historians have concluded was largely forgettable.

Palmerston, meanwhile, was a bit more controversial and wasn’t averse to a good war – or the threat of it, at least – if he felt it furthered the national interest.

“Die, my dear doctor? That is the last thing I shall do” are said to be the apocryphal final words of a man who expired at 80 only a few months after increasing his majority at the General Election in 1865.

Both the Brocket Hall courses are named after their illustrious ancestors and the Palmerston has its own quirk.

ferry

Sitting 100 yards from the green on the par 4 12th is a 25 foot chalk pit with a fairly steep face. It provides an interesting approach.

You can easily get round that, though. Negotiating the 18th on the Melbourne without a pair of swimming trunks and scuba equipment is somewhat more difficult.

You cross the River Lea at several points on the course but it’s a decent walk if you are looking to find a bridge on the finishing hole.

So instead, with all the glory of the Hall in the near distance, you leave yourself a short iron, smack it over the water and then board an electric ferry to get to the other side.

Don’t think you can cheat, either.

Second shots that find the deck of the ferry are classed as being out of bounds.

Happy fishing.

Click here for the full ‘This Club Is Famous For’ archive

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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