Darenth Valley Golf Club is course that successfully combines modern and the traditional elements of golf course design. This is a compact yet challenging course suitable for all levels of player.
Southern Valley Golf Course, Thong Lane, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 4LT
Many of the courses within the vicinity of Darenth Valley are located on the top of hills, it’s next door neighbor Lullingstone is a good example. This course is set out long a valley giving it a far more sheltered feel.
The facilities within the building itself are excellent, a bar offers snacks and light meals, there are good changing facilities including showers and lockers. There is a small but well stocked pro shop where Motorcaddy trolleys are available for hire.
The course its self is relatively flat, this came as something as a relief on the day as I have grown used to playing the hilly courses in this area. Known for its High Wealds and exposed heath land, the courses in this part of Kent are usually a few hundred feet above see level. It certainly made a nice change to not end up pushing my trolley up a hill for nine holes. Darenth is a comparatively easy walking course.
Overall the overriding theme off the tee seemed to be to just keep it straight. Most of the longer holes are similar in character and apart from the occasional slight dogleg and the par threes most of the holes a similar. The bunker placements on the fairways are well thought out. You’ll find the sand traps perfectly positioned to catch out any of your drives that don’t quite carry the distance.
The course at Darenth Valley is beautiful managed. The first and second cut are clearly defined and the areas of rough are cut to good length.
On the day of play the course in general was a bit soft with a couple of temporary greens in play, but that had more to do with the time of the year than the grounds keeping which was excellent. This did mean that the greens were receptive on the day, collecting a well pitched shot and stopping it dead.
There are a couple of holes that demanded a tactical approach but overall this is a course the will not tax the lower handicap player to any great extent. Particularly enjoyed the eleventh par three and the seventeenth, a terrific sweeping dogleg right with a tricky approach.
I met a lovely couple on the course who were playing their 191st round at Darenth Valley this year. It was a wonderful reminder that while for me, this visit was a one off not likely to be repeated very often occasion, there are many dedicated members for whom this golf club which is a central part of theirs and other members community.
There is a genuine affection for this course among it’s members, something that came across in the attitude of every body on the course, there was a terrifically open and friendly atmosphere at Darenth Valley.
While I didn’t find the course at Darenth Valley particularly taxing this is a community golf course much loved by its members. Darenth has its roots in the area and the people that play it. A beautiful and friendly course with a distinctively open and personable character and a pleasure to visit.