Golf Course Review of Moor Park Golf Club
Moor Park in Rickmansworth has two golf courses attached to its classy country club style estate.
Both courses – the West and the High – were designed by Harry Colt in 1923 and on my most recent visit to Hertfordshire I sampled the “High”.
In a county with several top-end parkland courses Moor Park is certainly very close to the summit when it comes to discussing the best of them. Played over some lovely rolling and firm terrain the routing is particularly pleasing as it leads us around the mature property but it is the set of short holes and the excellent contouring of the greens which endeared me most to this well respected venue that has hosted professional tournaments in the past and continues to stage the annual amateur Hertfordshire Stag.
The first three holes really grab our attention early doors; a gentle but tricky par-four to a narrow green opens the proceedings before a fantastic sliding tee-shot at the next followed by a wonderful par-three; the first of four good ones.
Admittedly, there’s not a great deal to report on the fourth, fifth and sixth but things start to get going again from the seventh as we embark on an excellent run of holes. The falling green at the seventh makes judging your approach shot difficult whilst the eighth is arguably the best hole on the course with a descending and turning drive before playing slightly uphill to a fantastically contoured green under the gaze of the (almost) halfway house.
The little triangle of holes between 10 and 12 is a particularly fun and challenging section of the course too and where the land is at its most undulating. There are two short holes amongst this trio with the delicate 10th well protected by bunkers and the epic 12th across a deep wooded valley to a two-tiered green also guarded by sand. The meat in the sandwich is the ‘down and up’ 393-yard 11th which if not a great hole can cause no end of problems in terms of lie and stance.
Things return to normal for the remainder of the round with the 14th standing out as the best hole on the run for home. The green complex at the last – unusually a short hole – is also a cracker. It doesn’t look much from the tee - in fact I thought it was a bit of an odd finisher at first - but the way the green slopes is excellent and coupled with the bunkering on the right and drop-off to the left this is a very clever and good hole.
Par is 72 and I played from the white tees which come in at a respectable 6,717 yards. I did, however, notice some blue tees which were set substantially further back and I wasn’t that surprised to learn that the course can stretch to a mighty 7,061 yards from the tips, however, I was a bit startled when I saw that the front-nine tops out at a mammoth 3,711 yards!! The main reason for the imbalance is that par is 37 on the outward nine compared to 35 on the back-nine, but still!
It’s easy to recommend a game on the High course at Moor Park (I’m yet to play the West but the glimpses you see of it are more than promising).
For a start the fact they have two courses enables them to keep one for two-ball play only on any given day. The exceptional well-draining turf that the High plays over is conducive to good golf and the presentation of the course only adds to how well it plays, especially the greens which were excellent; not only in condition but also in design.
It goes without saying that the famous Palladian style clubhouse is one of the most eye-catching in all of golf but that quality is also reflected out on the course.
Club Website: www.moorparkgc.co.uk
Tournaments: Open golf competitions at Moor Park Golf Club.
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