Richmond Park Golf Course was the twenty fifth London Golf course I visited on my journey around every golf course in the nation’s capital. As I had notched my quarter of a century of golf courses visited, I felt it would be appropriate to play the sister public course of Beckenham Place Park, the golf course where I first started playing the game many years ago.
Norstead Pl, London SW15 3SA
020 8876 3205
Richmond Park golf course is operated by the Glendale organisation who also manage a number of courses in Britain and I was interested to see if there were any differences there were between this course and Beckenham which is currently under threat of closure by the local council.
Richmond Park is a Royal Park and one of the Capitals greatest assets. A stunning space that is regularly voted by Londoners as one of London’s favorite public spaces. A visitor to the park can genuinely forget that they are in London at all, deer and wild fowl mingle among the wide open spaces and woods. There is a wetland centre nearby which gave the course that added curiosity of geese and many migrating species of duck share the fairways with the visiting golfers.
Upon arrival at the golf course the first thing you notice is how modern the facilities are. A tremendous grass roofed and wooden constructed club house the result of some considerable financial investment also included course upgrades that were completed in 2014. The buildings are designed with the environment in mind, so-much-so that it looks more like an ecology centre than a golf course.
The club house is quite simply the best I’ve come across on any public golf course anywhere; not only because for the excellent amenities but because of the view. A huge crescent-shaped curved window looks out onto a small lake and fountain with the golf course and the park in the background; this clubhouse certainly has the wow factor. The standard of customer service matched the quality of architectural construction, the assistant that served me was amiable, friendly and knowledgeable.
In addition to the clubhouse there is a decent driving range, putting greens and short game area. While on the day of play buggies were not permitted there were a huge number of buggies and motor caddies available to hire. The facilities at Richmond matched if not bettered any golf course I’ve visited so far in terms of quality, affordability and availability.
Richmond Park Golf course is split up in to two eighteen hole golf courses and a nine hole par three course. The newer Academy course is separate from the eighteen hole courses which interweave with each other through the parkland environment.The courses themselves were well signposted now the first time visitor can easily navigate themselves around. Unfortunately on the day the weather was pretty dreadful, so-much-so the photographs I took didn’t paint the course in a terrific light.
The courses themselves are pretty straightforward. I would go so far to say that both the Dukes and Princes courses are the easiest eighteen hole courses I have played so far. The majority of the holes are straight par fours punctuated by the occasional par three and a rare par five. Almost all the par fours are around 350 to 400 yards, straight with wide fairways and a few bunkers though these were easily avoided. The Par five on the Dukes course was a very generous 467 yards; there are many birdie opportunities available all over Richmond Park course.
Notably the quality of the greens on the day was excellent. This was particularly surprising as I played on a very wet and windy December day when most of the fairways were very muddy. Despite the conditions the greens were holding up well although, similar to the rest of the course the greens were pretty much flat and rather predictable without much of a read in them.
Richmond Park is not the sort of golf course that you come to enjoy a challenge, it’s very much an opportunity to see just how low a round you can card on the day and have a bit of fun with it. The low handicapper might not rate this course at all, there’s very little in terms of complexity, but this is the perfect course for the high handicap and improving golfer. The facilities and surroundings are superb, again I challenge anyone to find a golf course as accessible as this with such a high quality club house. While the course isn’t particularly difficult its well managed and greens are excellent. It was also good to see that some more bunkers were being placed on the course which should add to the interest. All in all Richmond Park Golf Course represents an excellent day out for all golfers.