There are many courses in and around the London area that have a heritage that elevates them above the ordinary. Hadley Wood Golf Club is certainly one of those golf courses. Designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie, this World renowned 6,517 yard course is a golfing destination of global significance.
44 Beech Hill, Barnet EN4 0JJ
020 8449 4328
Dr MacKenzie designed a number of great golf courses, perhaps he’s most famous for his work on Augusta National, home of The Masters.
Augusta National is a light that shines so bright it perhaps obscures the fact that Mackenzie had developed his craft long before he set foot in Georgia, USA.
The course at Hadley Wood Golf Club is one of Mackenzies later works in the UK and is a fine example of golf course design. The view of the vista from the superb Georgian Style clubhouse is an aspect like a classic British Landcape panting made flesh, it is a Majestic master piece.
Everything about Hadley Wood Golf Club is exceptional. The facilities from the changing rooms, the billiard room, spike bar and restaurant exude an air of quality and service dedicated to the sport of golf.
The pro shop is a wonderfully appointed and superbly stocked converted stable to the rear of the club house. The shop is also equipped with a golf simulator for those inclement days when the practice on the range may not be a sensible option.
The practice range itself is next to the first tee so offering a perfect warm up opportunity before you tee off. Unusually the course offers free balls for use on the range for visitors and members alike.
As you’d expect from a golf course designed by one of the most respected architects in golf history, this is a golfing destination of the highest quality. From tee box to fairway to green, you’ll be hard pushed to find a course as well managed at Hadley Park Golf Club.
Beautifully shaped and manicured, the undulations on the greens combined with the speed makes for some challenging reads and putts that require total commitment to length, line and pace.
The course is partly laid out along a series of ponds and lakes that come into play at several points. Your first real introduction to the famous Mackenzie bunkering is the second par four. The greens are works of art that are protected by nests of intricate bunkers that rise and fall with the landscape.
Hadley Wood Golf Club is a country parkland course that occasionally feels more like a manor house garden than a traditional British parkland course. The wide and sweeping fairways are deceptively open and inviting. It is tempting to hit the ball off the tee without a care in the World but caution is advisable and consideration your landing spot must be taken to ensure a good line into your second shot.
There’s a good mix of rough off the fairways, densely matted fescue is thankfully rare, however, tight and neatly cut second cut, that seems to gather and hold the ball is more common. The ball settles down into the grass that wraps itself around the club face as you play through it, another reason why it’s necessary to select your landing spot with care.
There are a couple of par threes that are worth a mention. The seventh is a cracker, a tiered green demands and rewards an accurately delivered shot with a gentle roll towards the pin. The 17th is a hole Instantly fell in love with at first sight. Against a backdrop of flowering Rhododendron, this beautifully landscaped hole would happily feel at home n any Pro Tour course in the World.
As I left the 18th green at Hadley Wood Golf Club I truly felt as though I had played a course that wasn’t only historically significant but also a test of skill. This is a golf course that is relentless in challenge, hole after hole offers a test and simply demands golf of your highest standard. You need to have several shots in your repertoire to play this course so it’s definitely more suited to the dedicated, improving or low handicapped player.
It’s difficult to visit Hadley Wood Golf Club without having MacKenzie’s most famous creations in the back of your mind. There are indeed several holes that resemble the likes of Augusta and Melbourne but I would suggest that the course is best enjoyed in its own right. Put Dr Mackenzies other courses aside as you tee off and allow yourself to enjoy what is truly an fantastic sporting experience in London.