The Grove Golf course is inside a luxury hotel and conference facility near Watford. It styles itself as ‘London’s Country Estate’ which may be just one marketing claim too far, you are not in a rambling country mansion but instead a high quality hotel with a great spa, good selection of restaurants, leisure facilities galore including the high quality course.
Designed by golf’s hottest course architect – Kyle Phillips who also oversaw latest links legend Kingsbarns – The Grove is everything a British inland course should be: it’s always in great condition and the tests include subtle bunkering, undulating greens, lakes, streams and mature woods. And when you put that lot together it makes for 18 holes that are distinctly individual yet fit together as an extremely impressive whole.
This immaculately conditioned parkland course has excellent bunkering and moulding with a terrific and comprehensive variety of features, such as tight doglegs, demanding carries over water and inviting drives from elevated tees. The sumptuous 3rd, with its approach over ‘Hell’s Lake’, is a real test of the nerves, and the short hole that follows is all about hitting the right length.
There are further excellent par 4s both at the 5th and the perfect 18th to its raised green, and in 2006 Tiger Woods recorded an eagle three on the 567-yard 9th hole three days in succession.
The short holes are all very appealing, particularly the inviting 13th from its elevated tee. If you want to get the best from your round, the recently introduced ‘Caddie Experience’ is well worth considering, as you will learn a great deal about both The Grove and your own game.
Golfing legend Gary Player summed it up by saying: “The Grove Golf Course is without doubt one of the finest facilities I have ever seen anywhere in the world.”