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!

The Brabazon @ The Belfry

Back in May 2014 yours truly Lefty, Newby and Spence were invited to the relaunch of The Belfry and when I say relaunch I mean 22 million pounds of investment to turn this once tired hotel and course back to the prestigious place it used to be, in fact the paint on the walls was still drying and the smell of fresh carpets filled the air.

Did this investment pay off? Have the businessmen returned to impress their clients? Have the golfers returned to once again do battle with the Brabazon? Well we decided it was time to return to see for ourselves, if these questions had been answered.

As you would expect from this huge investment the hotel interior looks stunning, in fact they have gone for a ‘Great Gatsby’ feel in the lobby; sweeping into the breakfast lounge, which was full of business people  on sofas with laptops on tables, creating a buzz in the air. The pro shop has also benefited from the investment. The changing rooms feel that you have arrived somewhere special. It beats the time we came here  7 years ago when myself, Newby and two putt Plant were literally the only 3 people staying in the 200 plus room hotel!

We though were here today for the golf.  The Belfry has three courses, the PGA, The Derby and the one we all want to play – The Brabazon. This too has benefited from the revamp, a course that was, back in 2010, looking tired and to be honest scruffy, has been brought back to its former glory befitting a course that held the Ryder Cup more than any other venue in the world.

The welcome we got on the first tee from the starter put us all at ease. The first is a relatively easy hole with an open fairway to forgive a wayward shot. Both Spence and I got away clean, Newby on the other hand decide he would take the pictures as he had pulled his back the night before at his Zumba class! The one thing you cannot stop thinking about is the golfing legends who have walked these fairways. You start to think about Seve’s drive onto the 10th green, Sam Torrance’s famous putt that won the 1985 Ryder cup match or Christy O’Connor Jnr with the most brilliant shot on the 18th hole using his trusty 2 iron.

This does heighten your playing experience, the course itself despite the very damp winter we have had, played well and the greens were playing true. I played steady golf on the first 5 holes and even got a couple of pars but then came the 6th and 7th – on these holes you will find the large expanse of water comes into play. Basically you are teeing over it. I must have lost 6 balls and  at one point I had taken a drop then managed to hit it straight back in the water only 3 feet away!

But my moment of glory followed shortly after these two holes, strangely enough on a stroke index 1.

The 8th is 409 yards par 4 with the water running down the left side of the fairway. What makes this hole tough is that the fairway is narrow and the front of the green is protected by a water filled ditch. I managed to avoid all of these hazards and got on the green for 3, but I was still 26 feet from the hole and NOW my moment had arrived as I sank the putt!! Where are all the cameras when you need them? It would have made great television.

One hole on the course that people love is the 10th as you can attack with your driver or lay up short for the shot over the water. Walking onto this green can send shivers down your spine, so take your time and enjoy it. Even though the course is primarily flat you really appreciate the different undulations you get on the greens. It was an enjoyable change not to do the 3 putt walk of shame! We must mention the par 3’s on the course. There are three of them,  one on the front nine the other two on the back. These are a real challenge and my favourite was the 12th.

The green keepers were working on the yellow and white tees so we had to play off the blues. Now we were playing Ryder Cup style which took the hole from a respectable 179 yards to a “which club do I use?” 226 yards. Just to make it extra hard the whole front of the green is protected by a large pond. I shouted over to the green staff “You really don’t like us do you” to which they replied “You will be fine, Seve always hit the green from there!” Thanks for that!

Newby risking his dodgy back went first with a wood, and came up short straight into the water, Spence did the same, I don’t have a wood in my bag so I opted for my driver which turned out to be the right choice as it sailed over the water and landed about 6 foot from the hole! A clap from the green staff, a bow from me, and some mumbled words from Spence and Newby which we can’t print here. I got a solid par.

Spence was still waiting for his ‘moment’. He waited, I would say, until one of the greatest finishing holes you can play – the 418 yard par 4 18th. ‘A daunting drive followed by a daunting approach,’ is how this hole has been described and I would agree with that. As you stand on the tee you are looking at a dogleg left over water. Once you have negotiated this you have another long shot over more water to an elevated green that slopes towards you. If you don’t get a tee shot with just the right amount of draw and distance, your second shot will have to be the shot of your life as you will still be miles away from the green with  the water coming very much in play. In fact you will have to re-enact  the brilliant shot from Christy O’Connor Jnr,  on the 18th hole.

Spence played this like a pro – a great tee shot with just the right amount of draw and a second that landed on the green, he missed the birdie but got a respectable par on this potential card wrecker. That hole really made his day. That’s the beauty of the Brabazon, when you sink a par or even a birdie you almost find yourself waving at an invisible crowd pretending that you are playing in the Ryder Cup. The investment that has been made to the hotel and course has brought back the glamour and prestige it once held.  The Belfry is  once again living up to its name and the expectation you would associate with a place that calls itself the ‘spiritual home of the Ryder Cup’.

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!

Ormonde Fields Golf Club

When I was 16, like many people, I started playing at the usual municipal courses, Tapton and Grassmoor.  As, during the 90s, there was very little choice for the non member. However on one Saturday afternoon, we decided to venture further afield and play Ormonde Fields Golf course. My memories: The first hole was quite interesting, one of the fairways had a pylon in the middle of it and to be honest that was it! It made very little impression on me however, 15 years of development later would the course make a bigger impression?

Myself and Badger couldn’t have landed on a better day. Crisp, cool but bright and sunny, perfect for golf. After a quick chat with the pro we set off on the first, a cracking opening hole, the big pond on the left of the fairway guarding the green can be taken out quite simply by a good drive down the fairway. The 2nd shot is a real challenge, right drops you down a slope into the trees, short leaves you a blind chip, long is a bunker and left (the direction I chose to go) water … not the greatest opening hole for myself. Thankfully Badger, although short on his tee shot played a cracking 2nd into the green and walked away with a par. The second for me was one of the tougher holes on the course, no matter how good your first shot is, your second will always be blind into the green. Maybe as a member you will know the green layout and the bunker to the right of the green, however as a visitor like myself and Nathan it was more a hit and hope shot. If you go into the trees on the right though you will still have to chip out and play a blind shot up to the green again.


You get a real feeling that the course has been there for many years with established trees, no two holes feel the same and the green keeping staff clearly have a long time to learn how to get the best out of the fairways. To say we were playing towards the end of the season, the greens and the fairways were in good condition. The greens were soft enough to attack whilst still giving a good true roll.

The seventh hole par 5 gives you one of the best birdie opportunities on the course, 440 yards and pretty straight, the green is reachable, with two good shots. Even with a wayward first shot, your downhill second can still leave you with an eagle putt. Neither myself nor Badger played particularly well today but on a beautiful sunny afternoon out on a golf course you can never get too down about your game.

The fifteenth was probably my favourite hole on the course titled Crich View, as you stand on the first tee you can see Crich Stand visible along the horizon on a clear day. You strike a big drive down the valley and if you have a slice like myself you’ll bring it round into the fairway leaving you a second uphill shot, leaving it short on your second is not an option, as the slope will bring the ball back towards you at an alarming pace.


By the time we played the par 3 sixteenth Badger was three shots up on me, and despite the fact that neither of us were playing that well, our competitive edges meant that the scores still mattered no matter how embarrassing they were turning out to be. We both stuck it on the green and it was all down to the final two. The seventeenth is a daunting hole and the best on the course, you have no idea where the green is when you play the tee shot and the pond on the left which you very much play means you have to be accurate with your drive. Sadly I wasn’t and pretty much handed the game to Badger. The 2nd shot is incredibly difficult because of the slope on the fairway, which carries all the way to the green. Simply put, stay right or you’ll be in trouble. The par for Badger and a 7 for me meant that Badger took the honour for the day.

The final par 3 and I was playing nothing more than pride (though with my score being as bad as I can remember) I didn’t have a lot of that left neither!

As we sat in the clubhouse eating burgers and drinking beer, the only way to finish a round of golf, we reflected on how the course was really like nothing we’d ever played. It is incredibly hard to compare it to anything in the area. It is mature and has an amazing variety of holes from short and tight to big and open.

The first time I played the course 15+ years ago it made very little impression. How it has changed.


Allestree Park Golf Club

Before we start let’s have a brief history on Allestree Park. The park itself dates back to the early 19th century when Allestree Hall was built. The hall is a Grade II* listed building and in 1928 Derwent Buildings Ltd and Offilers Brewery Ltd obtained the park and planned to build 2,000 houses and a golf course. By the Second World War the golf course and some houses had been built, but the park was requisitioned by the army, for the war effort, where they practiced throwing grenades! In 1947 Derby Corporation bought the park to preserve it for the people of Derby.  In 1948 the golf course was opened as a nine-hole course and extended to eighteen holes in 1955.

You will be pleased to hear they don’t throw grenades here anymore just the odd stray ball. Our playing partners for the day were Martin Wightman (Honorary Secretary) and the club professional Leigh Woodward who gave us a warm welcome. As they went off to get warmed up we duly stocked up on chocolate bars, balls and water.

Let’s get on to the first tee. I decided I would tee up first and having not warmed up there is always a risk of your ball going in the opposite direction you hit it, but much to the amazement of Newbie I hit a screamer right down the centre of the fairway, to which Martin replied ‘We are going to have a tough match today, against these boys’. His thoughts were duly waylaid, after he watched Newbie hook his ball onto the opposite fairway. Upon reaching my ball, I struck a 9 onto the green and sunk it for a par. It’s easy this game, I don’t know what everyone moans about! The second is the 301 yard, par 4, it is an uphill tee shot on to a fairway that doglegs right, and the line is up the left side of the fairway. If you manage this you will get sight of just the top of the flag, where the green is. This kind of gives you a feel for the course straight away, let’s you go up the hill, down the hill, up the hill and down the hill, but this creates some stunning holes, none more evident than  the third a 446 yard, par 4. The view from the tee is very picturesque I love holes where the tee is elevated and you’re driving into a wide open expanse of fairway, going down off the top of a hill.  All of us got away clean here, you know you have hit a good tee shot, when after you have hit the ball, you can stand and watch it fly through the air, whilst you have time to have a swig on your hip flask before it lands. This left us 8 irons on to the green, which is banked up and raised, with a sloping bank on the right. Newbie hit a beauty within 4 foot of the hole; I decided the more technical approach by hitting the bank on the right, and rolling my ball on within 3 foot of the hole. This course seemed to like me.


The next few holes trees start to encroach onto the fairway, so you have to make sure that you drive accurately, this as you know by now is not in my repertoire, so I got punished by them. A good example of this is the 6 which is 361 yard, par 4. The fairway goes down then up before you, with trees to the left and the right by the dip in the fairway. My drive landed in the trees to the left and Leigh came to help me look for my ball. I’m glad he did, because he was able to lead me back out of the forest, otherwise I would have had a Bear Grylls moment. By the time I reached the green, I was on my seventh shot, while Newbie had parred it. The green on the 6, stands proudly in front of Allestree park manor house. As followed by a par 3, which is on the flat after this hole you start to climb back up the hill. The eighth is a stroke index 2, par 4, 387 yards; it’s an uphill shot, again with the trees encroaching on the fairway, so it has to be accurate. A good drive will give you sight of the green, but be aware 9 bunkers come in to play, so you better make sure your second shot is on the green.

By the time you reach the tenth, you are back on top of the hill. I must admit, they have used the lay of the land very well. You will enjoy, driving off this hole, it’s all downhill so you can really open up your shoulders. Our playing partners were as you would expect, thrashing us. In fact Newbie and I named Martin (the machine), as he constantly drove straight, hit his iron straight and never seemed to waver.

Leigh for the first time was playing with his glasses on – instead of his usual contact lenses, and if he wasn’t paring a hole he was birdieing.  This led him to declare that he will be playing with his glasses on the next day, in the Derbyshire Alliance Competition. So to all the other professionals out there, you know his weakness, if he starts winning, nick his glasses.

You now weave your way up the hill until you hit the very top on the fifteenth; again you can’t help but stand, and take in the view. Leigh said to us, that his old Geography teacher told him that the peak district starts at Allestree Park golf course, and if you think about it, he’s probably right. From this point all the way to Belper and up to Matlock the hills increase.


Signature hole time, the seventeenth, par 3, 187 yards, it’s a beauty! (Check out our Facebook page for pictures of this hole, there is also a video of my amazing tee shot). What makes this hole so special is, it is difficult, but on the other hand rewarding if you play it right. It’s an elevated tee with a slope going down into a ditch, with trees left and right cutting it in half, sloping back up to an elevated green. Basically between the tee and the green is a world of mess. So you are either on it, or you have lost it. Leigh, Martin and I were just short of the green to the left. Newbie unfortunately had lost it, and himself, in the ditch, in the wilderness, between the tee and the green. The last few holes in true lefty style, I had started to warm up and basically I pared them. It’s just unfortunate that the first fifteen holes, I didn’t, but if you are going to go down, go down in a blaze of glory, which I did on the eighteenth.

The eighteenth, 323 yard, par 4 the trees again encroach about 170 yards on the fairway, so again you need to be accurate. I manage this; I did my best drive of the day and landed within a sand wedge of the green.  Martin warned me, that the green slopes front to back so you have to both drop it like a bomb on the green, or try and roll it on and pray it stays there. I decided to try and drop it like a bomb, so I took out my sand wedge and duly dropped the ball within a gimme’ of the hole. That’s right my friends, a birdie. That’s the way to finish. Overall, I liken Allestree Park Golf course to a sleeping giant. The course is laid so well, every hole is different, you will find yourself standing on the many holes wondering which club to use. On a clear day it’s worth taking in the views. You can’t actually believe you are only 3 miles away from Derby City Centre. You may be wondering why I called it a sleeping giant, simply because if a private company got hold of the manor house, it would rival the likes of Breadsall Priory, but then you would be looking at paying over £50 a round. So for now, take advantage that it’s not. Prices Monday to Thursday, £16 before 12pm, after 12pm £10, and unbelievably, only £5 after 3pm. To play a course like this, at these prices is unmissable. We would like to thank Hugh, for sorting the round Martin and Leigh for giving us a good thrashing on the golf course, and for their hospitality. It’s worth noting that the club house, which is located at the back of the manor house, is a well stocked bar and much to the delight of Newbie and myself sells Doom Bar and my advice is go for the chip cob, Martin had this and it was massive. Just a note on the clubhouse, it is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.​