Cheslfield Lakes Golf Centre is a modern course that borders the Kent Countryside. This is a course that presents golfers of all abilities with a terrific opportunity to test themselves on a course that’s full of challenge.
Chelsfield Lakes Golf Centre, Court Road, Orpington, Kent, BR6 9BX
01689 896 266
While Chelsfield Lakes Golf Centre is relatively short, this is an exposed course and the weather can play a significant factor in how many shots you go round in. For those that have played any of the courses in this North West Kent area, the layout and elevation of Chelsfield lakes will feel remarkably familiar. There is mix of open and exposed heath land with few trees and low shrubs like many of the courses making it vulnerable to high winds.
I’ve played many Kentish heathland courses in uncharacteristically benign conditions; on the day of play my luck ran out and I teed off into a howling gale, so much so that very few of the photos I took on the day did the course any justice.
My first impressions of the facilities at Chelsfield were good. The driving range in particular is excellent Numerous yardage markers are placed all over the 300 yard field with distances individually tailored to each bay. This is such a remarkably simple, effective and cheap feature that I really do wonder why all London golf ranges don’t adopt the same layout.
The large and extensively stocked pro shop provided excellent customer service, the bar and restaurant area over looks the putting area next to the first tee.
Perhaps the most immediate and surprising thing about Chelsfield lakes is the conspicuous absence of any actual lakes. If you’re expecting a lake land paradise with island greens prepare yourself for mild disappointment; there’s no 17th at Sawgrass here.
There are some ponds which line the edges of a couple of fairways on the back nine but these are only really brought into play with a wayward shot. More prevalent than the H2O are the numerous bunkers and so you are more likely to be digging out your ball from the sand than reaching for the snorkel and scuba gear.
The lack of lakes aside, Chelsfield is the kind of course that a player who likes to drive will ball will love. As I worked my way around the course I started to feel that I might as well had left the cover off my driver, the grips on my fairway woods and hybrids barely had a chance to cool down inbetween shots.
The course has a spacious and inviting feel that made to option of hitting it long all the more inviting. In the blustery conditions though the constant pounding of the ball into the wind felt relentless, the playing conditions were tough on the day.
When the ball eventually found the green I was pleased to find that they were in excellent condition. Despite the wet conditions the course had drained remarkably well and the greens in particular were is great shape, a lovely pace about them, not too hard not too soft. There was enough movement in the greens to make for a decent read and considering the amount of footfall the ball they ran surprisingly true.
The course was, with a few minor exceptions, excellently drained, the rough was quite forgiving and the fairways were well cut. Perhaps the holes are all a bit too similar with the emphasis being place almost entirely on just hitting the ball long and straight.
Chelsfield Lakes that has much in common with equally well run local courses such as Pedham, busy public London golf courses. Ultimately a trip to Chelsfield lakes is a worthwhile one with the only drawback being the occasional slow pace of play. Like Birchwood, Pedham and Lullingstone, Chelsfield Lakes has everything you would need for an excellent days golf.