JCB Golf Course

Every so often in the County Golfer office, the opportunity to play a course will pop up that brings real excitement and anticipation. They tend to be the big named courses. For example; the 2010 course at Celtic Manor, The Centenary Course at Glen Eagles, St Andrews Old Course and a few others. They all have a prestige and history attached to them, and are incredibly well known. You’ve seen them on television, you’ve watched the big names play there, you know a lot of the holes, they are the ‘world famous courses’. But never before have we felt the excitement of playing a course, that in reality, we’d never seen and knew so little about.

The mystery around the course at JCB is what made the opportunity to play such an intriguing one. The website gives little away, a handful of pictures, all of which are stunning. The rumours from the very few that have played are that it’s incredible. But the fact that it’s never publicised, never been used for a big tournament and practically impossible to arrange to play means that really you’re not sure exactly what to expect.

It’s such a new course too, that if you try and sneak a look at the layout on google maps you’ll just see what looks like a building site.

So we arrived in great anticipation of what to expect, other than the stunning course we’d been led to believe it would be. But nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing really prepares you for what JCB have created!

You arrive at a large stone gate house, where they check that you’re expected before letting you pull down the drive. Then they radio ahead to the club house to let them know you’re on your way. As we drove into the car park, 3 concierges greeted us and directed us where to park, they proceeded to open the car boot and remove our clubs. We never lifted our bags all day. We were then escorted to the changing rooms, and then to the bar/restaurant. When we sat here we noticed that our clubs stood on the driving range with a tray of balls waiting for us….but first we’d had breakfast of course!

After warming up on the driving range, chipping area and putting green we decided to head off to play, but not before being told off for taking our chipping balls back to the range (apparently that was someone else’s job!) We walked to the buggies where our bags had been taken and strapped on for us. From here we were taken by one of the guides to the first hole, where we were given a good 10 minutes of tips and advice on how to play the course, what to look out for, but most importantly we were advised “don’t go chasing a good score, just enjoy the experience”. Some of the best advice I’ve ever had.

We’ve added a few pictures to try and give you an idea of the quality of this course, but the reality is that the pictures don’t even come close to doing it justice. Every hole is spectacular in its own way. The fairways are near perfect, the greens roll beautifully, the bunkers are outstanding. The course would be amazing if it was 50 years old, but 3???!!! That’s just remarkable. It’s amazing what you can do when you have a limitless supply of diggers and earth movers!

It’s hard to pick out a few top holes, but the 1st stands out as it really introduces you to what’s to come. A big drive over water to start, with a choice of how brave you want to be. The second is then again over water, so you need to know exactly what yardage you’re capable of. The approach is uphill onto an elevated green, surrounded by white sand bunkers.

The 17th is the picture hole. It’s a par 3 downhill over water onto an island green only accessible by a bridge, with a bunker just before it that runs into the water. From the back tees it’s a 3 wood or a driver. A spectacular hole.

My favourite hole though was the par 5 that initially is a drive uphill onto a fairly open fairway, too far though and you land in a lake. The rest of the fairway then gently sweeps right round the water, with bunkers dotted along its edge to catch you if you’re too greedy. The bigger you can hit your fairway wood or irons, the more of the bend you can take on. The finish is a beautifully big green, again surrounded by bunkers.

This course has been created simply to be the best in every department and it doesn’t disappoint. The service is a step up from anything I’ve experienced in a long time, and on a par with the 2010 course at Celtic Manor back when they were building up to the Ryder Cup. Be warned, it’s incredibly hard to get a round at the JCB course, so if the opportunity comes – grab it! You never know when you’ll get the chance again.

What they’ve created in such a short period of time is nothing short of remarkable, with such huge investments still going on and much more planned for the future. The thought of what the JCB Golf Course will be like in years to come boggles the mind!!

South Chesterfield – The difference 25 years makes…

Chatting at the bar in my local over a pint of San Miguel to some fellow golfers, and explaining County Golfer magazine would be playing South Chesterfield Golf Club the following day  to produce a course report,  someone said that they’d heard there was a golf course in Chesterfield that was pretty basic, not fantastic to look at, needed some due care and attention, with grass and trees that need to mature in order to be even a reasonable golf course to play.  I asked them, “When was the last time you played at South Chesterfield Golf  Club?” The reply was “at least 8 years ago”.

Well I say to my fellow golfers, it may be time to take another look at Grassmoor, South Chesterfield Golf Club!

Just 5 minutes from the M1 at Junction 29, and a short drive down the A617, you’ll soon be in the grounds of South Chesterfield G.C. itself, with a nice gated entrance, drive and reasonably sized car park for even the busiest of days at the course.  Boy, was it a hot one!  Remember the week in June where temperatures reached into the late-20s? (or 80s for those who like the more British Imperial measure!), the same night England under-performed against Belgium!  Well that was the day we played – it was like being in Spain!  So for an 11am tee-time, we knew we needed to pack our trolleys with plenty of water.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the Assistant Pro, Adam Bedford in the Pro Shop which offers a good range of top quality products at competitive prices which deliver brilliant value for the beginner to the more advanced golfer.  Further offering the chance of a price-match (or even better), on any genuine quote on all golfing equipment.  They also stock major brands from Ping, Titleist, Footjoy and Mizuno (Mizuno selecting South Chesterfield G.C. as their major fitting centre), whilst providing all the professional advice you could ask for from a qualified PGA Golf Pro to help you improve your game further!

Adam who was extremely knowledgeable about the course – as you’d expect, gave us plenty of sound advice before commencing play, advising that the course is running relatively quick due to the hot weather we have been having (excellent news for us who tend to be too short on most holes from the tee – and gives the ball the further bounce!)  In fairness, I don’t think it played too quickly – I think the groundskeepers have done excellent work to keep the course playing very well, and that showed going round the course and seeing them watering the greens throughout the warmest times of the day.

We started with half an hour of putting practice on the lovely set practice green that showed us how even the tiniest of putts will be challenging throughout the day…though, I’m not sure if it helped when we got onto the course.  We blame the hot weather!

A steady walk to the first tee, we decided to play from the yellow tees, and immediately I could see that this course was not what I’d got set in my mind from our discussions the night before!  The course has clearly settled now, with grass that is well matured, and rough that I did get the chance to play through after my first shot off the tee.  The first hole is a 327 yard, par 4, that dog-legs to the right after roughly 200 yards, so you’re truly straight into the action, no easy starts here, so I’d tend to agree with the score index of 8.  We both finished 2 over par on this hole due to a “cheeky bunker” to the front-right of the green.  I’d offer the advice of driving straight down the fairway on this hole, as far to the end of the corner as possible for a straight chip to the green.

The course is nicely laid out without having to walk too far to each tee.  The second hole is almost a reverse of the first, so switch the right dog-leg to the left and the bunker from the right to the left on the green and you’ve got the hole.  This is a down-hill hole which I feel is quite challenging.  Be really careful not to over-shoot the green, or let the ball roll, as the drop-off into the rough at the back of the green caught me out!  (I’d actually say it’s better to be short on this hole than long!)

A short walk from the 2nd hole to the 3rd tee and we were greeted with a beautifully crafted hole, that is incredibly challenging.  Although this hole is a short par 3 at only 157-yards, it has a S.I. of 6, and I think this will be to do with the gullies that have formed which I’m sure in slightly cooler conditions have a stream running through as a water-hazard!  Fine for the seasoned golfer who can strike a nice shot directly onto the green, but more challenging for those who are not, especially if you were to play from the white tee which makes this hole a 185 yards.  It would be advisable on this hole to reach the right hand side of the green and let the green do some work for you.

Reaching the 5th tee, I see a clear water hazard in the distance in the form of a large-middle-fairway pond with well maintained water conditions and reeds to tempt the magnetism of my ball!  Does any one else have golf-balls like that?  Personally we knew we wouldn’t manage to drive clear over the pond, so we both left it short for a nice long iron shot needed to help reach the green in 3 for this challenging par 5, and it was rather amusing to watch a crow chasing a cat off the course, clearly belonging to a nearby neighbours home.

Looking back over the last course report in Summer 2014, I’d tend to agree that the 10th hole is one of my favourites on the course too.  A dog-leg right with a hill and a beautifully maintained pond to chip over to reach the green.  I took my shot, and fell incredibly short, meaning 3 shots to reach the green instead of the needed 2 to help with par.

Interestingly, Derek (or Dad, as I’ve known him for years), who I was playing with decided to go long from the tee, taking a 7 iron to reach the green, flew over the green, shouting “fore” to the players who were sitting waiting at the next tee, stopping literally 3 feet from them, “Sorry Gents!”  This made the remaining part of the hole extremely difficult for him, chipping back onto the green where it angles back towards the pond , meant it gained more momentum, and rolled all the way back onto the edge of the green, making a difficult putting shot!

The course is 5982 yards, which has clearly been improved from the shorter 5379 yards it was in 2014, making it more challenging for the beginner than it was previously; however, the fairways are quite forgiving and kind to beginners to compensate, being nice and open on the majority of holes.  The tree-lines have also improved dramatically from 2014, and certainly from 2008, meaning the course has now developed better character and is starting to shine nicely!

I still find it amazing that this course never had to close during all the upheavals the course went through, to create the course you see today!

The 17th hole is another favourite on the course, especially since we both hit par, even whilst it was being protected by the bunker to the right.  A nice gentle hole that relaxes you slightly before the long 503-yard-par-5, 18th hole.  This hole was originally nearly 120 yards shorter, but after further development of the course the green was moved 75 yards further and the tee was moved back over 40 yards to make it a challenge for even the seasoned golfer.

The course par is 70, and we finished in under 5…hours!  before returning to the clubhouse for the recommended Clubhouse burger and much-needed pint each!  The food was fantastic and if you are hungry after your round, the clubhouse burger is certainly the choice I’d reach out for again. Not forgetting of course the pint of nicely chilled San Miguel.

All-in-all, South Chesterfield G.C. is now a course that has seen huge improvement over time and now offers a friendly-local choice for not only golfers, but weddings and events – in fact, Chesterfield F.C, are using the course for a day-out and choice local course.  Truly, if you haven’t played this course in the past 5 years, I would urge you to play again – you’ll be surprised at the difference half a decade makes.

I would certainly return to replay in the near future, to challenge myself again and would like to take this opportunity to thank the whole team on the course for their kind hospitality to County Golfer in inviting us to play.

Buxton & High Peak – Fighting the sun

Back in 1887 someone looked at this land, set some 1’100 feet above sea level, and decided this would make a great golf course, so they instructed J.Morris to crack on with designing it. The result was a golf course that some have likened to an ‘inland links course’ (holes 4,5,6th) and others describe as a ‘challenging and enjoyable test of golf’, welcome to Buxton & High Peak Golf Club.

On a blazing hot day yours truly (Lefty) and Newby were dispatched from the office to review this course high in the Derbyshire hills. The funny thing is, despite the course being set high in the Peak, this course is not subject to arduous hill climbs so you can leave your mountain gear at home.

The course itself is 5786-yard par 69 off the yellows, and 5204 yards par 71 for the ladies. The clubhouse serves food, and there is a well stocked pro shop for balls, water etc. We were met by Steve Norton who oversees the promotion of the club and also bumped into the club captain who was busy watering the flower beds, he’s very good at multitasking I’ve been told. They also told us that they are a very friendly club which permeates down to its members and visitors.

After stocking up on yet more balls (I lost quite a lot into the water on the 17th at Radcliffe-on-Trent) we headed out onto the 1st, which to be honest is quite a tough one to get you started, it’s a stroke index 3 uphill 427 yard par 4, and on the day we played we had a prevailing wind. I managed to get a bogie and I was quite happy with that, I won’t tell you what Newby got as I lost count at 7! Once you are up it’s followed by the easiest hole on the course, stroke index 18 269-yard par 4! Two very contrasting holes back to back.

Now to the 6th, it’s 412 yard par 4 which you might think is not too far, so what makes it a stroke index 2? This little corner of the golf course has a character all its own, giving you the feel that you have just walked onto a links course, the fairway undulates up and down before your eyes. The 6th requires a big drive otherwise an old quarry will come into play, I didn’t realise it was there but I soon found it with my second shot and the only way out was a sand wedge basically dropping a shot, if I played it again I would have played it very differently. This then leads onto another links shot, the 299 Yard par 4, it’s a bit of a ‘hit and hope for the best’ hole especially if you have not played it before. The green here is hidden from view, fortunately I hit a straight drive over a large hump hoping that was the line, it was thankfully. When you find the green you realise why you cannot see it because it’s in a basin hidden by humps and bumps, I got a par but I could imagine it could easily be a card wrecker. This is followed by a peach of a par 3, an elevated tee looking down onto a picture perfect green, they have made really good use of the land in this corner and it was a joy to play.

I was really enjoying my golf at this point, the sun was shining, the course was throwing up some interesting holes. Let me bring you to the 7th, this hole really gives you a chance of a birdie especial on a hot day, where a good drive will see your ball roll and roll making you feel that you are Dustin Johnson, this left me an easy shot to the green, I got on in two, missed the birdie but got an easy par.

This will lead you on to, depending on the wind, one of the hardest par 3’s you will ever played, fortunately for us the wind was a gentle breeze, but I have played this hole when even a driver would not get anywhere near the green! The 11th is the stroke index 1, and if played wrong is a beast, trust me because I got it so wrong.  The way to play this dog legged hole is to aim for the path in the distance, use your driver as the more you get it towards the path the easier this hole becomes. I used an iron thinking I would drive too far, if you get a par on this then you have done well.

Coming back down the other way on the 12th a par 5 482 yards, they make good use of the quarry, drive as close as you dare to the edge of the quarry face, if you do this without the ball falling off you have a real chance of a birdie, or a least a cracking 2nd shot down the fairway, this hole was a real joy to play.

At this point Newby and myself had really got in to our stride, playing some really nice golf, and the course was responding to our shots from the 14th to the 18th it’s par 4 all the way. Coming onto the 18th on this sunny dry day, Newby hit his best drive of the day, and because the fairway slopes down to the green, he ended just right of it and finished with a solid birdie, you see I’m not biased I do mention his good shots every now and again.

To sum up, the Buxton and High Peak Golf Course is set in a beautiful part of the world, they make good use of the topography, bringing in quarry’s to get you thinking and greens hidden amongst lumps and bumps that you would find on a links course.  So the question is, is the course worth travelling too? Well put it this way I will be back.

Ashbourne Golf Club – Tranquillity at last!

When I think of Ashbourne and sport, the first thing I think of is Shrovetide Football, what a sport!! 2 teams consisting of hundreds of players fighting over a ball, running, kicking and many scrums. When someone scores a goal, they’re lifted high up on the shoulder of one of his team mates and carried around to applause! It’s generally chaos!

In complete contrast, up on the hill, high above the village sitting in tranquillity, is Ashbourne Golf Course, where it’s anything but chaos! A place where you’ll see no fighting, running, kicking or scrums, and only rarely will anyone be paraded around on someone’s shoulders (this is usually after a hole-in-one, or a particularly good committee meeting!)

For me, it’s the tranquillity that draws me to a round of golf. Just a couple of good friends, the open fairways and peace and quiet. Away from work, away from the troubles of life! And being a fair-weather player too, our trip to Ashbourne Golf Course on one of the best days of the year so far was something to truly look forward to!

The first thing you notice about the course is the location (Sounds obvious I know!). It sits high up above the village and looks out over some of the best views you’re ever going to see, stretching far out  into the Peak District. On a clear, sunny day it’s truly breath-taking!

The course eases you in gently with the first few holes being pretty flat, a big dogleg left on the first hole is a bit tough to judge if its your first time at Ashbourne. It’s a little bit of a “hit and hope” hole unless you’ve played before.

As you turn onto the 3rd hole the course begins to reveal its true colours. A long par 3, lined with trees and with a big right-to-left sloping fairway, that also falls away down to the smallish green. It’s a tough hole that easily has the potential to ruin your card before you’ve even got going. Sadly there really isn’t a safe way to play the hole, it’s green or bust from the tee!

This hole sets the tone, as you start playing your way up and down the fairways, each hole either rising or falling in front of you. Personally I’m a big fan of courses like this, I get a little bored if the course is flat. The extra challenge at Ashbourne of judging the length of your shot really adds to the challenge of playing there, whether an amateur or professional. Deciding whether a 100 yard shot is sand wedge or an 8 iron depending on if you’re facing the Eiger or the precipice! And this course has those sorts of shots in abundance (although without a buggy I might not be quite as enthusiastic!).

The 6th hole is a great example of this, a 152 yard par 3 steeply up hill, with the green sloping steeply towards you. There’s a big bank at the back of the green to catch anything too big like mine, but two putting from above the hole is a huge challenge. Landing below the hole is ideal, but incredibly tough to do.

The 10th hole may lead you to think “the front 9 were hilly, I’m glad its flattening out now”! Don’t be fooled, the 11th is right back in the vein of the first 9. The fairway slopes down and steeply to the right. Land on the hill on the right and you’re in trouble and go right and it’s out of bounds. The only option is to land on the fairway, but with that sloping strongly to the right, you’re not guaranteed to be safe either.

My favourite hole on the course has to be the 12th. A long iron downhill (no surprise there!) will leave you laying up before a large pond, you flirt with danger as you see how close you dare get. The closer you are the easier the next shot. Then you have another iron over the water, up the hill (again no surprise) onto the green. It’s not the hardest hole to play, but it’s a great challenge and a fantastic hole.

After playing your way through the hills, the last few holes are back on the flat as your work your way back to the club house, with a fantastic closing hole. A dogleg right from the tee leaves the decision as to how greedy you’re going to be. I suppose this depends on your card really, protect your score or go for the big finish. Your second is approaching the green with water and the club house to your left. So a good finish is a must especially on a sunny day when the members are outside enjoying the sun watching you return home.

Without the buggy I reckon I’d have felt as if I’d played in the Shrovetide match, but as it was we had a fantastic round. The green’s rolled beautifully, the fairways were all in fantastic condition. You may not be able to guarantee the weather, but this course will never let you down. On a clear, sunny day, it really is a fantastic place to play.  Newby

The Lindrick Ryder Cup Dream

Playing an ex Ryder course is always bound to bring a little extra excitement to a game of golf. Lindrick hosted the Ryder cup in 1957 and so became, if my maths are correct, one of only 18 clubs in Britain to host this prestigious event. If I’m wrong I can only be out by a club or two, which is similar to getting my distances right whilst on the course too!

From start to finish our experience at Lindrick deserves the highest merit. John the professional is probably the most personable pro that you could meet, welcoming and open in his style. And that ran through to Julian Maturi, Paula King (Secretary) and Steven Gee (Greens Chairman) and the bar staff. We couldn’t have wished for a better day out. But did our golf match up to that start? To get any ambiguity out of the way I will say no now! Make no mistake about it this is one tough and enjoyable course.

We had the opportunity to sit and relax before the game with Julian, and then after the game with Steve, each time with a beer in hand. That was probably my mistake as I’m sure it affected my game! When we last visited in 2011 we were ushered into a back room to have our drinks as the main clubhouse couldn’t be entered  by us lesser souls! Now with the changing of the tide in golf,  the clubhouse has been split in two and we could sit looking out at the ninth  green in total comfort on the new Chesterfield settees. We even strayed off the mat to buy drinks (an in-house joke there).

Julian and Steven both explained how much development is taking place, and that they are two years into a five year plan with award winning course architect Ken Moodie (Creative Golf Design).  Dropping out of the worlds top 100 golf courses is bound to hurt, but now is a very exciting time, as after thirty years of only a little investment here and there, large investment and development is taking place which can only make the members happy and bring to them a course that remains challenging and  picturesque, whilst it still retain it’s natural appeal. There aren’t many courses around that can boast “we don’t play off mats in winter, neither do we have temporary greens and, based mostly on limestone, it drains really well”.  Put all that together with gorse and wild flowers now popping through after developments have reawakened them, you can’t wish for more.

The rough is a bit of a devil though! Whilst most courses have decided to speed up the game by making the rough easy to play out of, thereby getting more people on the course (good or bad I’ll let you judge), Lindrick still has quite a large amount of rough much to Newbys annoyance but, as I pointed out, “If you stay on the fairway it isn’t a problem”.  Steve told us that as part of the current plan, this is being addressed over a period of time but in a sympathetic way which will still leave a very challenging course. It would be a shame to take away this element of the course in my view as I enjoyed waking amongst the flowers looking for our balls, due to the most wayward shots, as the excitement got to us when teeing off. Spence made one of his best tee shots at the 15th only to lose it in the ‘mine hole’ to the left. If he had only stayed straight it would just about reached the green. So a possible par was ruined.

Our round.

We were supplied with two baskets of balls, course planners, scorecards, buggy and complimentary ball markers before we set out, and so the driving range was our destination. It was here that I played some of my best golf shots, nice and straight with good distance. If only it had lasted for the next four hours. Driving off from the immaculate tee on the first, down onto a sculptured fairway needed extreme concentration as you are in view of everyone who pretends not to be watching( but they are). The same is true on the 18th as people sit drinking, trying to not show they are glancing sideways at you. We all do it and pretend we don’t care.

Anyway , my shot went right and into the rough thereby  losing my first ball. I’m sure that triggered the “ball reaper” into action, as we called him for the rest of the round. How come he finds them and we can’t is my question.

We had decided to play Stableford and it was neck and neck right up to the 13th, at which point Newby and Lefty edged ahead by a point, and then held onto it and extended their lead. If only Spence had gone straight on the 15th instead of into the ‘mine’! We did pull a point back on the 16th as I had my best drive, fairway, bunker shot, and two puts. That was the story of my round where I found out the work on the new bunkers was going really well. One member complained that he always went into the bunker on one hole (I can’t remember which). Basically it is the bunkers fault!

The bunkers are undergoing a makeover, being reshaped and made more visible from the tee.

I’ll tell you my favourite holes and explain why. The second is a great dogleg left. We were playing off yellows (cowards) so it was 347 yards. At stroke index 6 it was a test early on for us, so I got a 6. The course planner said to play your drive to favour the right, so I went straight. I love these golf reports that tell me that they did as requested, I’m sure they don’t’. I tried right, but went straight and that’s the truth.  My ball was in front of the bunker and a 5 iron saw me just right of the fairway, which left a tricky shot to the green which I didn’t make in one but saw a nice chip and two puts give me the deserved 6.  I think I peaked too soon here.

The greens were in superb condition and got a high accolade from Spence ,“The best I’ve played on this year and that includes Canton”. A real feather in Lindricks cap there and I couldn’t agree more.  They were quick, accurate  and beautifully manicured.


The 5th is a tough hole at 424 yards, and again I carded a 6 whilst the lads were busy doing 5’s and 4’s. The harder I tried the worse I got and followed up with three 7’s one of them on a stroke index 16 because of a lost ball. If I could blame the course I would, but I was careless off the tee and just lost confidence for a while. “I don’t think golfs my game” I said to Spence… “Have you only just realised?” He fired back.

A bit harsh there I thought but that’s golf. You have to take the honest criticism as well as the praise – if there is any!

The stroke index 1 13th is a belter of a hole. Get away well here and you’re onto a winner, if you manage to miss the bunkers nestled to the left, there is a great chance of a birdie. Lefty (who was starting to get things right with shot placement and picking up points), and Newby flew past the bunkers giving them an easy green shot whilst Spence, who was carrying me as well as his bag, went screaming off left somewhere only to lose his ball.

Four at the 18th (a Mackenzie inspired hole) was such a relief for me, Newby and Spence got Pars. It was a funny hole because Spence decided he would use his wood and landed on the bank at the back. We all missed the green completely and had to chip on from various angles. Finishing on a Par 3 is quite unusual but it’s not a hole to take for granted as club choice is vital. Spence, who is a single handicap player over-clubbed. I enjoyed that!

The club over the past few years has attracted younger members who are keen to see the course develop. We smiled when Julian told us that after ten years he was stillconsidered “new”. Steve’s been there 20 years (his dad was captain in the 60’s ), and Steve’s ‘New’ too. Golf’s a funny game. We all know our place and I know that Lindrick beat me hands down. Full marks to you.

Out thanks to John, Julian, Steven, Paula, the staff and The grim ‘sorry’ Ball reaper for a great day. If you haven’t played Lindrick in the past few years it’s a definite must for your calendar.

Chevin – Up up up and away!

I would say that Chevin Golf club is one of our better courses in the area, and certainly one of the most picturesque, as the course winds its way up and down with cracking views towards Derby and beyond. If you talk to some local golfers this puts them off playing here because it is quite a walk, I always thought that this is the reason they play golf, not because of the golf, trust me I have seen them play! This now is not a problem, because the club has invested heavily in brand new golf buggies,which is a game changer for them. I’m sure a lot of you reading this will now take advantage of this new investment as we did, and I can assure you we reviewed this course on one of the hottest days of the year but came off the course not shattered like the last time we played here.

Along with the addition of golf buggies, Chevin has also invested in new mowing equipment. This has made the biggest change of all in our eyes, the definition between rough, edge of green and the greens themselves is to be applauded. Also they have employed a new golf manager, Andy Mellor from St Austel, who we met in the club house after the round, we were impressed with his driving ambition and passion for the club.

So all in all Chevin have all the right pegs in the right places, so the only thing to do now is get onto the course to play. Newby was my playing partner today and we took full advantage of  having buggies and stocked up on golf balls and water from the very well stocked pro shop. The first is a steady hole to get you warmed up, a 349 par 4. The fairway is forgiving, so for your first tee shot of the day there is not much to worry about even with my slice!

From this point you will start working your way very quickly up the hill creating some tough up hill shots, but also some cracking holes. One of these holes you ‘will or will not enjoy’ is the stroke index 1, hole number 3 simply called “The Hill”. From the tee it looks quite a straight forward shot but what you don’t realise is that the second is an uphill shot onto a blind green. To hit the green in two would require a lot of skill and a bit of luck. I walked away with double bogie and was happy with that as it is a potential card wrecker.

The bonus I think, of having a course built on a hill is that it creates some cracking par 3’s, so after being humbled by the 3rd you get relief on the next hole. “The Spinney” is a par 3 at 124 yards long. Basically on this hole hit the green first time, as anything to the right of it will roll off into the trees.  Anything short will more than likely go into the bunkers guarding the front. Both Newby and I hit the green and walked away with pars. Even though I was a good way from the hole I did rattle it for a par, this is the beauty of investing in new cutting equipment as the greens were stunning, the ball ran fast and true the way I like them.

On the front 9 you get two par 3’s that follow each other, the 6th being a long 228yards while the 7th is 124yards, the 6th is a trick shot especially if you have not played it before as it’s a blind tee and the fairway slopes up away in front of you. It’s really deceiving but not that far. I wrongly used a driver and managed to hit the back of the green and out of bounds.  A well struck wood will see you get near if not on the green. I learned a lesson there. The green itself has a green moat around the front and a steep bank at the back so you do have a good chance of hitting short and rolling onto the green which Newby did.

Let’s move onto one of the most talked about holes amongst Derbyshire Professionals. Why you might ask, especially as this hole has no bunkers on it, easy!!

It’s called “Tribulation” for a reason. If you are playing in a competition this hole is always at the back of your mind, it will not forgive a wayward drive. OOB down the right and left on this tight fairway that slopes away left and right, you have to hit the middle. After doing this, it’s all up hill. A difficult uphill 2nd shot to a green that has OOBs on the right, and over the wall at the back of the green is challenging too. Both Newby and I found the OOB and nearly took a woman out walking her dog, who got revenge on us by popping the said golf ball in it’s mouth and  running off with it…The dog not the woman! If you come off hole with a par, pat yourself on the back as you managed something that most pros cannot do.

You really are now starting to climb. The 9th is called “The Beacon” you will see why when you stand on the green, the views are stunning. I will now hand over to Newby who will carry on the story as it’s my turn to drive the buggy, Lefty.


I can’t remember any of that happening Lefty! Especially the birdie!! 😉

And on with the round as we continued to climb on the 10th hole, an interesting driving hole, where you have to circumnavigate three fairway bunkers with your drive. Laying up short is an option, but one that leaves you a 175yd  minimum approach shot, as a higher handicapper I’d go for this all day long. A 5 on your card here is not a bad result at all.

The 11th hole really starts messing with your mind, not so much the golf, but more the fact that you’re going up hill still! Surly an 18 hole golf course going up and down a hill will have 9 holes going up and 9 down. How are we still climbing on the 11th? What’s about to happen? Does the club provide oxygen or should I have brought my own? How steep are the remaining 8 holes? Spoiler alert! The answer comes at the 17th. But for now the par 3 11th is a lovely little hole, with a massive 2 tier green, hit the wrong one and a 3 is a very good score.

And so the descent begins!

Starting with a drive, with a little slice I sent one flying over the two bunkers on the left and round into the middle of the fairway of the 12th, my best drive of the day by far. The additional distance due to a good tail wind, playing down hill and a thin altitude (Maybe the last one is an exaggeration, but it is high!). The green is surrounded by bunkers, with just a small opening to play through if you land short, which unless you approach from the right is incredibly tough. Then comes the views, and what views they are too. I’ve yet to play a course that can match Chevin for the incredible sights from some of their tees. Words cannot describe how good they are, fortunately the camera can! The view from the Ladies on the 13th cannot be beaten, take a look even if you are not going to play it.

The sweeping holes back down the course continue, with the par 3 14th  being a stand out hole, where precision is key. It’s less than 150 yards, but miss left and you have nothing to do but hope it either sticks above the bunker or, if you’re longer hope it rolls down, go right and… well yeah, you’re in trouble. You’ll finish at least 20 feet below the green and a 4 is a good score.

Earlier I mentioned the 17th as being the hole where you eventually end up back playing on the flat. It’s a hole that seems to have divided opinion with some of the members really not liking it. Here’s my opinion for what it’s worth. It’s a good hole! Standing so elevated above on the tee, you have to drive down the hill, but not so far as to reach the brook or rough. Then the approach to the green is a big uphill iron over the brook. If your drive is left or right of the fairway, the bottom of the hill determines how big your approach will be, varying by at least 50 yards. It’s a real challenge, yes it still looks a little open and new, but it will mature, the trees will grow, when you have a buggy it’s not that tough to walk down. I like it!

But then again I like the whole course, it is mature, well laid out, a real challenge. Add all that to the improvements they have made to the condition of the course with the new equipment, it’s now a genuinely top course. With the buggies you no longer have to be Edmund Hillary to get the most out of the course as well. All in all, over the past year, the club have taken another big step forward.

Matlock – Just Below The Mist

County Golfer has for the past couple of years been trying to review Matlock Golf Course, but kept getting told “No, we are not ready for you yet!” In the words of Christian, the Club Pro, “We are on a two year project to return the course back to having a moorland feel about it.”

They have done this by lowering the cut of the whole course from the rough to the greens, and encouraging the moorland heather and the gorse bushes to return. So when we got the call to say that they were ready for us and that the course is the best it’s been for years, the golf bags were in the boot quicker than the boss could say “is it not your day to cover the office?” Matlock Golf Course is positioned on the east side edge of the Peak District; high on the hills looking across the historical Derwent Valley with the Bentley Brook meandering through the course.

Newby and Stav were down to review the course but after Newby retired with his dodgy hips yours truly Lefty was parachuted in to take over. Newby had very kindly got a par for me on the 2nd par 3  before he retired, so it would only be fair if I carried on in the same vein. I got to warm up on the 3rd  479 yard par 5, I watched a couple of members tee off and both of them went up the right of the fairway, and I could see why as the fairway slopes right to left. If you don’t push it up the right far enough your ball will roll down into the rough, both Stav and I followed their lead. Now, if you are a big hitter you could go for the green in two, but as I’m not, I got myself within a wedge of the green which was the right option as I got a par. Well Newby did set the standard.

Standing on the 4th par 3,165yard, both Stav and I were having a right moan, because looking down to the green off the tee you could see that it sloped left to right giving no chance of the ball sticking on the green. “Why make a green like this we said?” Surely you have to give golfers a chance if they play a good shot and  not make it so that if you hit the green your ball rolls off! Both Stav and I hit the green, and as you can guess, the balls both rolled off. I was having a right chunter on the way to the green, and then I realised the green is actually flat; it was an optical illusion caused by sloping hills making it look like the green sloped. So actually it was just my bad tee shot; no excuses!

It does take you about 3 holes to get your eye in and get used to the terrain. This is evident especially on the 5th. Christians own words are, “A tough hole that has been the ruin of many a promising score card.” What makes this hole a potential card wrecker is first, you must clear about 150 yards of rough that drops into a deep gully. Clearing this still leaves a long uphill approach. Reaching the green can very easily lead to the ‘3 putt walk of shame’ both Stav and I walked off with a 7! Don’t worry though, that’s only the stroke index 3!   Hole 6 is the stroke index 1. You do find that on most of the holes you need a good tee shot to avoid the rough. So if you are starting out in this game, I would suggest you visit their new driving range before you hit the course. The 6th is a good example of what I’m talking about; only a good tee shot will do here. There is a lot of heavy rough off the front of the tee. Then you must navigate from an undulating fairway to a narrow elevated green. If you walk away with a bogey you have played it well.


Now you might at this point be thinking “blinking heck! This course sounds tough.” It’s not if you stay on the fairway; this is a thinkers course. Sometimes the driver is not the right option. This course makes you think hard about how you’re going to play each hole before you tee off. Stav and I had many an in depth conversation , standing on the tee discussing the best way to play and which club to use; it makes you focus on the golf. Don’t get me wrong, you do have some holes you should be parring. The14th is one of these. It’s a short par 4 only 255 yards; it’s a blind tee shot to the green but you can drive it. If you have never had an eagle before then this hole will give you your best chance.

Matlock makes good use of the hills. A good example of this is a cracking par 3, hole 10; you could say it’s their signature hole, certainly a strong contender. You stand on a high, elevated tee with a shot across a ravine of ferns, heather and gorse to a green that’s cut into the hillside with bunkers front right and side left. It’s a cracking hole and if played right will become one of your favourites. I must mention that Stav went off the back of the green but chipped in for a birdie; funnily enough it’s Stavs favourite hole on the course! The back 9 uses the hills well, giving you some cracking views off the tee, especially when the cloud came down leaving whisps of it in the valley.

Overall Matlock Golf Course is somewhere special. The work carried out has vastly improved the playing conditions and it is well on its way to becoming a moorland course that will have you using your full arsenal of clubs. If you have not played Matlcok GC before then I would advise you to get a four ball together, hire a buggy and enjoy this corner of Derbyshire. It will give your golf a fair challenge and leave you wanting to come back to see if you could better your score. Card Wrecker the 5th at 403yards (Sally Gunnell will not help you here). Signature hole 10th par 3 (clouds kissing the hill behind the green, elevated tee looking down on the green, picture perfect). Cracking driving hole 17th par 4 (it’s all down hill from this tee to the green).

Breadsall Priory – Moorlands

The Moorland course at Breadsall Priory was designed by architect Donald Steele back in 1991 and is viewed by many as the Priory’s little brother course. However, to the members this has always been the course of choice.

Why so? Well, there’s no doubt that visually the Priory is an outstanding golf course and a photographers dream, with its big green rolling fairways, huge undulations, beautiful water features and mature trees, it really does look spectacular. However, in the words of the Moorland creator, Donald Steele;

“Making courses impossible is easy. Spectacular holes undoubtedly lift any course but enjoyment is the watchword and golfers find little enjoyment in losing balls attempting long carries over water or in knee high rough. Too much modern architecture is the slave to colour, irrigation, power and the lob wedge” In short then, how spectacular a golf course looks comes second to how it actually plays.  And that is where the Moorland course wins with its members.

We had chosen the best day of the year so far, blazing sunshine and blue skies met us on our arrival.  As this was our first round of the year, we were keen to see if we had lost any of our sharpness from the previous year.

Test number one; we arrived at 10:30 and our tee time was 10:50, could we squeeze in a bacon cob, a Starbucks coffee, get our golf clubs together, our shoes on and be on the tee in time for our tee slot?  Absolutely! Last year we had virtually turned this into an art form, so it was nice to know that we hadn’t lost any of our sharpness.

Test number two; actually playing golf!

As I mentioned, we had chosen the most beautifully sunny day, it was perfect for golf.  We’d had quite a bit of rain in the previous few days, but as the Moorland course is based on sandstone, the drainage is excellent and keeps it from getting boggy. This is one of the reasons this course gets played a lot more than the Priory, especially during the winter months. With this in mind, I was expecting the course to look a little bit tired and well played. But this simply wasn’t the case.  The course looked fresh and well manicured throughout, with the greens in especially good condition.

You start with a short par-3 which in fairness was not all that inspiring, however, when you cross the road to the second hole the course really opens up in front of you and you start to see why it’s held in such high esteem. After a dodgy start by myself and Lefty on the first, the ground staff did us a real favour. As they’re currently finishing work on the second tee, this hole had been shortened to about 300 yards. A great opportunity for some pars and a birdie, but at its full 452 yards, it’s a real challenge so early on in the round.  

Onto the third fairway; firstly it drops away in front of you, then rises up over a brow, then drops away again, and then rises back up to the green! This makes it look great, however, none of it should really come into play.  A good drive on a dry day will leave you on the fringe of the green. I landed just a couple of yards short and the Badger landed just to the right.  A simple chip onto the two tiered green should leave you with a steady par.

The 4th tee gives you a great view across this city of Derby. As we stood in our short sleeve shirts and shorts looking at the city we took a minute to appreciate that there are far worse places we could have been on a Monday morning. Maybe this is how all Mondays should start! Myself and the Badger were pretty much trading blows for the first nine holes going out in 6 and 7 over respectively. The wide dry fairways really lending themselves to good drives, it’s amazing the extra carry you get on a dry well cut fairway, and the difference it makes to your approach shot.

The sixth hole is a beautiful little par 3, at just 118 yards it’s only a wedge, but with bunkers either side and rough behind you have to be accurate.  The tall trees wrap around the green and frame it beautifully. 3 shots on to the green, three pars, golf can be such a simple game sometimes! One of the big changes we noticed since our last visit was the reduction of the rough, if you miss the fairway you will still find your ball, but your next shot will be a challenge.  Again this goes back to the philosophy of Donald Steele, golf is all about enjoyment, not about loosing 10 balls a round. This course punishes you for a slightly wayward drive, but it doesn’t completely destroy you. It’s a great balance .

The back nine follow the flowing, lightly undulating nature of the first nine. It’s a very open course, which means you can see many of the holes from the elevated tees, and on a busy day many golfers too. But lines of trees, bushes and stonewalls keep you on your toes. Venture too far off the fairway and you will be struggling to get to the green with a chance of a respectable score.

The Moorland course isn’t the greatest challenge of golf, it’s nowhere near as challenging as the Priory, but it’s incredibly enjoyable to play, it’s in great condition, you will most likely (but you can’t hold me to this!) make one of your better scores here. I don’t know about you, but I play golf as a hobby, to help me relax, to enjoy myself, and you can’t help but enjoy yourself on the Moorland. In the end I shot my best score for a long time but it wasn’t quite enough to beat the Badger, who beat me by just the single shot….but it was a great tussle throughout. And as for Lefty…… well let’s just say he took some great photos!

Cavendish Golf Club – Buxton

If I met Dr Alister MacKenzie…

…which is unlikely, since he sadly died in 1934, I would buy him a pint of beer and tell him that I played golf like him! MacKenzie was self-described as a “good putter, but a mediocre ball striker”, the latter bit I know my golfing partners will argue with because on a bad day I can be rubbish. On the greens however I’m happy just like MacKenzie.

Now, following in the footsteps of MacKenzie at the only original MacKenzie course left untouched in the world, Cavendish Golf Club Buxton, I would go as far as to say I would add a wee dram or two to the aforementioned beer.

As we set out for Buxton the sun shone brilliantly on a March day. The temperature dropped slowly as we approached Buxton and then rose steadily to be the most glorious day with blue sky, moving white clouds and a brisk wind gusting at times. A perfect golfing day for us.

We were greeted, and given our scorecards, by Rachel a very chirpy person indeed who bemoaned the fact she hadn’t had her hair done for us coming. Fortunately as it was a windy day ours didn’t look great! So she beat us hands down.

I have to say that the all round welcome we received was an improvement from my last visit more than ten years ago. That may sound a bit critical but attitudes have had to change in the world of golf due to economic pressure and the rise in people who play on a more ad hoc basis. Clubs have to be more open to visitors and view them as a lifeline to financial stability. Membership at Buxton though still provides great value for money for the weekly golfer.

Secretary Mike Watson  and club Professional Simon Townend were the perfect hosts and we sat together enjoying breakfast, discussing the course which they are rightly proud of.

Cavendish Golf Club have got together with nine other  imaginatively designed MacKenzie courses all within easy reach of Buxton to form an ‘alliance’, so that you are encouraged to play them all.  The first to play is naturally Buxton as it is the most authentic MacKenzie course to survive and MacKenzie’s inspiration for Augusta, which, among other courses, has altered beyond recognition to accommodate the modern game and TV thereby losing it’s complete authenticity, I would be so bold to say. When Ford stopped producing the Cortina and introduced the Sierra to keep up with modern demands the Cortina was dead and buried. If you change a golf course to accommodate current trends the ‘Old Course’ has sadly gone. I can now put the soap box back in the cupboard!

We smiled as Mike showed us a book that he had been reading about a MacKenzie golf course in Ireland, which I will not name here, whose members thought the MacKenzie course wasn’t hard enough so changed it all round. So much for history Eh?

I read with interest the Cavendish Golf Club’s web page before we arrived. It states “Cavendish is thought by some to be Dr MacKenzie’s most accomplished work in the UK and quite possibly the best layout in the world under 6000 yards. It illustrates how skilfully and creatively he blended the layout of the golf course into the surrounding landscape. Nothing jars the eye, nor distracts from the beauty of the natural setting. Those outstanding course design skills, which brought Alister MacKenzie international acclaim when he created the magnificent Augusta National course, in association with Bobby Jones, were developed and honed during his formative years in Great Britain. Cavendish exemplifies MacKenzie’s belief that “length has nothing to do with the quality of a hole”. I couldn’t beat that description so I won’t try because I agreed with it all even on a March day.

With all this rattling in my brain Simon, Lefty and myself headed out onto the course. We were a man down as Newby hurt his back chopping a tree down on Sunday and then attempted  to play the Brabazon two days later and did more damage, so I decided to play along with Simon and Lefty, whilst I took photographs and wrote about my experience. Not the ideal way  to concentrate on your next shot  but nothing could take away the classy style of this course. I think MacKenzie was a typical Yorkshire man (we could be invaded soon!)  “give nowt away” and this course doesn’t. Bunkers are placed to deceive the eye. You think they protect the green only to find the green another fifty yards or so further on. I considered withdrawing my offer of the wee dram at times… but it still stands.

The Clubhouse is light and airy but Mike said that a revamp is long overdue, so it is due for a complete overhaul. The plans are on display as you walk into the Mackintosh style entrance.  Budgets have been set and work was due to commence two days after our departure. From what we saw it will be a great improvement.

I read one report recently on Cavendish which said it was a bit wet underfoot! It’s Buxton we are talking about here, you get what you get. I lived in Buxton fifty years ago and you accept that it has it’ own climate. Even a Derbyshire Cricket Club match was abandoned here in 1975 due to a heavy snow storm. Some say it was only hail but I was putting a tent up in a friend’s garden in Fairfield that day and I say it was snow as the pictures taken can prove!

Time for golf

At 5721 yards off the yellows this isn’t the longest course you will play but then MacKenzie didn’t worry about that as his idea was to give the golfer a challenge and Cavendish certainly does. He used the natural contours of the land, no earth-movers, just hard hand labour to make a course that blends in and weaves through the  countryside. Nothing is forced it’s just natural, but really tricky to play.

We all got away nicely on the first hole including me! Simon, who has been the Professional here for 18 years went a bit to the left which surprised me! Not really, he was a great sport showing me and Lefty the way and having lots of banter all the way round. The first is a nice par four that slopes a little right to left. Avoiding the trees to the right is important.

It was great to go round with the professional pointing out the features of the course and advising on shots. He got us chipping onto the green at the 15th to see if any of us, including himself, could get near the hole from the back of the green. Even on a green that was a bit wet we couldn’t stop the ball rolling away. He was pointing out the importance of getting the tee shot right on this hole to give you a chance of a decent score. MacKenzie was sadistic!

Take the 122 yard par 3 4th for instance. The pin looks miles away, somewhere  down there over the small stream. Simon, annoyingly,  hit the green, Lefty went right into a bush and I completely over-hit and went across the road into a ditch. On the plus side I missed the stream, lake, bunkers and bush! 122 yards, that’s putting distance nearly.

The sloping third green is great, especially if you end up topside of the hole.  I went into the bunker – great! If you put the ball to the right of the green –  that’s so wrong. Stay left and the putt will be easy on the very quick level green. I think this was my best hole, I went a bit downhill from there!

I loved the 8th. We rounded the corner from the 7th and the sun shone down beautifully as the wind just hit us in the face. Simon’s tee shot held up in the air and dropped nicely on the fairway. A big hit but the wind affected distance. My tee shot went off left down the slope leaving a very tricky ‘back up the hill’ shot. The rewards of approaching the green are the most amazing views of the Derbyshire countryside and you become master of all you survey. I do have to admit that one of the attractions of golf for me is the chance to be in the countryside. Perhaps that is why I don’t play too well as I am easily distracted by a beautiful view.  I just can’t help admiring what I see. While some rush to the next shot I want to take in where I am. On the 10th it is vital to get the first shot right, making the second over the plateau below and small stream, and up to the green a massive chance of getting a par. This should be the signature hole I feel.

During the winter some of the self planted trees have been cleared, opening up views to the clubhouse and allowing the wind and sun to dry out the course naturally. The 14th is the only par 5 shot on the course and being stroke index 7 is quite a challenge, in contrast the 5th is stroke index one. But then again that’s an uphill haul and presents a real challenge not just in hitting the ball but getting your breath!

Playing the 18th through the tunnel of trees provided the final challenge of getting across the ravine onto the plateau beyond after which it’s a good run to the green. Lefty and I both failed and so Simon said “try that again”. I told you he was fun at the start of this article didn’t I? We did as we were told and hit our shots high and long landing on the fairway, perfectly positioned for  our second shot. (If you believe that twaddle you’ve had far too many pints of Thwaites bitter). My balls are still down there. I’ll be pleased if you find them because it means you’re down there too. Two can play this sadistic game.

Simon has been the `professional at Buxton for eighteen years and despite other job offers from this country and Europe, has stayed put, and I can see why. Lets face it, he’s quite unique being  one in seventy two worldwide as there are only seventy two MacKenzie clubs left and Buxton is an original. As he went off happily to give a lesson to someone he said “anytime you fancy teeing off early this summer lads, give me a call and I’d love to play another round with you”. That’s an offer we will definitely take up as long as he plays off yellows this time!

Sinfin Golf Course

On Thursday the 2nd June, Fame Tate travelled to Sinfin/Derby Golf Course to carry out a course report. Here is her thoughts.

I had never played the course before so I was really keen to see what it was like, particularly as it is no longer council run and has been managed by Seven Hills Leisure Trust since July 2015.

I was informed that since that time, many improvements have been made to the course by the grounds maintenance team. They have worked relentlessly in order to improve the playability of the course with new maintenance equipment, a revised cutting regime and enhanced fine turf.  The playing season has been lengthened with improved winter tee mats, in order to make the course playable for longer periods throughout the winter months.  A “no close policy” has also been introduced, keeping the course open whatever the weather.

Our day didn’t get off to a perfect start due to an accident and closure of the A38 so we were running extremely late for our booked tee time.par-5-3rd-hole

However, on entering the professionals shop, we were made to feel very welcome and at ease by Andy Foulds, the head professional and Mike Johnson, the shop assistant, who were very helpful. The clubhouse had a very nice to feel to it and seems very popular for lunch.  It was lovely to see a group of seniors enjoying the home cooked roast dinners and curries.  Steve, the steward was friendly  and made us two lovely sandwiches to take out onto the course as we were late.

Needless to say we didn’t get off to the best start however, after three holes we had both started to settle down.  The third hole is a 366 yard par 5 which is a slight dog leg to the left, followed by a 165 yard par 3, where we were greeted by a very friendly member of the greens staff.  The front nine was very nice with some lovely yet testing holes.  One of my favourites on the front nine was the 368 yard, par 4 eighth hole.  The ninth hole was a testing dog legged par 5, stroke index 1 off the red tees, which brought you back to the clubhouse.

Chatting to some of the members in the clubhouse before our round, they were keen to tell me that the front nine is one of the toughest in Derbyshire.

Off the red tees, the back nine starts with a fairly straight forward 366 yard par 4 followed by two nice consecutive par 3’s, which is quite unusual, but a refreshing change.

Mum found the par 5, 497 yard, 13th hole one of the hardest as she found the right hand rough off the tee and then continued to play down the right hand side.  It did seem quite a long slog for the average lady golfer.

I found the 17th hole particularly pleasant, despite losing my ball off the tee in the right hand rough.

The short 18th hole was a nice way to finish despite it being quite difficult to negotiate our tee shots through the small gap of over hanging trees down either side of the fairway.

For me it was a nice change to play off the red tees however, we both certainly found some of the holes quite tough.

There has clearly been the removal of some trees, which was quite noticeable on some of the holes as the marked stumps were visible.  This has without a doubt increased the playability of the course and helped the overall aesthetics.

There are still plans for 2016.Fame-approach-to-the-8th-green

Green Renovation: A powerful aeration process and 90 tons of kiln dried sand will enhance root growth and drainage, allowing the course to remain drier for longer.

Course Maintenance: Once recovered, the greens will be cut shorter and scarified regularly to improve speed and promote a smoother roll.  As well as improving the greens, their chemical and fertiliser programmes will also increase the durability of the tees and approaches.

Increased Participation: The Seven Hills Leisure Trust aim to work jointly with Derby Golf Club to develop new initiatives encouraging participation from the local community, sharing their passion for golf with local schools and organisations.

There are a number of fantastic membership packages available, catering for everyone’s needs, which include Golfit, Junior, Under 25’s, ‘Play Later’ and a 20 round ‘week day’ pass.

All of the packages give you additional access to Beauchief, Birley Wood and Tinsley Park which are located in Sheffield and Tapton Park which is located in Chesterfield.

For more information visit or call 01332 766462

All in all, we both had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and the course was an absolute pleasure to play.  It is a fair and good test of golf for any golfer of any ability, with beautiful and mature tree lined fairways.  It was also a lovely change to play somewhere flat but testing.  I would most definitely look forward to playing it again and recommend it to anyone.approach-shot-to-8th-green