Gourmet Golf at The Grove

Golf Links

That’s how golf course architect, Kyle Phillips, who also designed the stunning and award-winning links course at Kingsbarns near St Andrews , describes his approach to designing golf courses. And this philosophy is clearly evident with his latest creation. Sitting serenely in 300 acres of prime, natural parkland, The Grove, which was formerly the home of the Earls of Clarendon, is a magnificent new 18-hole layout, situated near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire.

Phillips set out to create a golf course, which would measure up to the demands and requirements of the modem game at the highest level, yet still have the look and feel of the classic English courses from the early 1920’s. And although the course doesn’t officially open until September 8 th , early indications are that The Grove certainly has the potential to meet both these design objectives.

The developers and owners of The Grove spent some eight years looking for the right location for the course and it was certainly worth the wait. At Kingsbarns, Phillips had to move a considerable amount of earth to create the links style layout. At The Grove he inherited a wonderful piece of natural rolling parkland terrain, where he was able to fit many of the holes into the existing landscape and he has made full and in some instances, exciting use of this in his superb design. No more so than on the short holes, where water and major elevation changes have been used to create four excellent par three holes.

With terrain, which in certain places is fairly steep, it’s inevitable that there would be one or two holes that play uphill. But in the main, Phillips has used the elevation changes to great effect, both aesthetically and strategically, with the result that while the layout is stunningly scenic, it’s not overly demanding for golfers who prefer to walk, rather than ride in electric buggies.

There is no doubt that The Grove has been constructed to the very highest specifications, with the aim of eventually hosting major professional events and this is clearly indicated by the strategic design of the holes and the quality of the bunkering. Not to mention large putting surfaces, which are already slippery and exceptionally smooth. Likewise the abundance of viewing areas for spectators have also been incorporated in the layout of the course.

However, while The Grove quite rightly strives to attract the game’s top professionals, Kyle Phillips’ design also ensures that playing the course will also be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the average golfer.


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