Moor Park Golf Club
The clubhouse at Moor Park Golf Club is a Grade 1 Listed Mansion! It is one of the grandest in all of golf.
Moor Park Golf Club is home to the Carris Trophy - a tournament for England Under 18 Boys.
Some of the holes are better played from the forward tees. One such example is the 18th from the left winter tee.
When the course opened, Alex Herd was professional and Sir Guy Campbell served as Secretary!
Moor Park was considered to be the first Country Club in Britain, following the patterned after the American and Canadian concepts.
Golf Course Review
The Moor Park Golf Club High Course is the Championship test at Moor Park in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. Capable of being stretched out to over 7000 yards it also reaches the psychological par 72 championship threshold.
Championship Ambitions at Moor Park Golf Club
The club is the host of The Carris Trophy and has had ambitions to host high-ranking amateur competitions and professional events. In wanting to do so, it has had to add length to ‘toughen’ the challenge. In order to test the best, tees have been added with some long walks back if playing from the tips. For 2022 Open Qualifying, Moor Park Golf Club will be a host venue.
There is a reason why it’s called the High Course. It is situated at the high side of the site and it works its way over a series of ravines. These are used to good effect, particularly on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 11th, and 12th. These ravines are used to create heroic carries in a variety of ways. The use of ravines is used twice on one-shot holes. On the two-shot holes mentioned, carries are required twice on tee shots and once on the approach shot to 11.
Mr. Hawtree was hired to rebuild the bunkers on the High Course. It must be an unenviable task to rebuild and modernize one of Harry Colt’s most renowned design elements. The bunker work was not a complete restoration in the truest sense of the word. Locations, size, orientation, and look have been altered from the originals near enough 100 years ago. Maintenance has been simplified and the overall presentation is good.
I particularly enjoyed seeing the 5th and upon reflection, it is even better when one recalls the 3rd. When contemplating what to do, it appears that there are a plethora of bunkers from which there is no relief or safe passage. However, there are in fact only five… the same as on the 3rd. The layering and visual deception are done very well and were a highlight of the course.
The mounding around the green sites and shaping also appears to have been enhanced. The green sites and surrounds are full of lumps and bumps and they do contrast with the overall nature and feel of an otherwise rolling site with little contouring. The green surrounds will provide a variety of shots for members to enjoy despite feeling somewhat manufactured but in an appealing way.
On a variety of green sites, you could see where they cut material to use in the original construction of the green complex. This is particularly evident on the opening hole, where it extends into the fairway. It is a pleasing design element, almost imperceptible, and creates a lovely Valley of Sin-type playing feature. I’ve seen this done by Fowler, Simpson, and now Colt. Perhaps this design feature was a by-product of a construction technique from a time when heavy equipment was unavailable and the material nearby. It is seen repeatedly on the High Course before and to either side of multiple greens.
Still a Golden Age Great?
If you show up with your hickories and plus fours looking for an authentic Harry Colt original you won’t find it here. You may not see an untouched Harry Colt design but you will see how he laid out holes overland with a lot of movement and utilised some fairly stern ravines. Harry Colt didn’t shy away from long carries, awkward questions, or blind shots, especially from the tee.
Moor Park Golf Club Synopsis
One must not forget this course is used to test the best on occasion and caters to a mature membership most of the time. This is a tall order for any course and the tack the club has decided to take is to move with the times as they try to test the best when necessary. Due to the topography and membership, buggies are in constant use and the paths will perturb the purest. The Moor Park Golf Club High Course is a Harry Colt routing. It’s good golf in the heart of London with a classy clubhouse.
Potential for restoration? Meet the West Course!
With the potential of another 18 holes ripe for redevelopment, it will be interesting to see the tack the club chooses to take. The High Course is no doubt the Championship test. The West Course has all the potential in the world for a thrilling restoration. Perhaps one day soon, Moor Park Golf Club will have both a Championship test and a fully restored Harry Colt!
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Featured Architect: Alister MacKenzie
As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...