Stoke Park Golf Club
As soon as you sweep past the entrance gates to start the long drive in to the Stoke Park Golf club estate, you know you are somewhere special. And as you set eyes on the breathtaking 18th Century Palladian mansion in front of you, it has already exceeded expectations as one of the best golf courses in England.
Stoke Park Golf Club is steeped in history and oozes class from every corner of this 300-acre Buckinghamshire estate. Handily located just 35 minutes from London and seven miles from Heathrow airport, there is simply not a better stay-and-play venue in England.
Stoke Park Golf Club first burst onto the golf scene in 1910 when it staged the first PGA Matchplay tournament and as well as 27 holes of Harry Colt designed golf, there’s a five-star hotel and some of the best sporting, leisure and entertainment facilities around.
Stoke Park has also played starring ‘roles’ in films, including the golf scene in James Bond film ‘Goldfinger’ plus Bridget Jones’ Diary and Layer Cake.
It’s parkland golf by legendary architect Colt and there is not a weak hole in the 27. The main 18 is the Colt/Alison combination (the Lane Jackson completes the set) with one cracking hole following another. However, the par 3s grab most of the limelight. The 3rd, played over a valley to an elevated green, is a belter but the 7th – the inspiration for Augusta National’s famous 16th hole – is the signature.
After visiting the smart halfway house, there’s plenty to look forward to on the back nine (Alison) and a pulsating finale starts at the par-4 16th where everything hinges on an arrow straight drive to avoid the lake on the left and trees on the right. You’ll love the practice facilities too, including a state-of-the-art swing studio.
There are 50 luxurious rooms and suites in both the main mansion – including The Pennsylvania featured in Bridget Jones’ Diary – and the modern Pavilion, which also boasts a Spa with 11 treatment rooms, heated pool, 4,000ft2 gym, creche, games room and indoor tennis courts.
Tennis is huge here: there are 13 courts and the annual Boodles tournament was won this year by Novak Djokovic! Choose from three restaurants, including the fine dining Humphrey’s.