Welwyn Garden City Golf Club was founded in 1923, this is the home club of Sir Nick Faldo as well as Tom Lewis, who won the Silver Medal at the 2011 Open and claimed his first European Tour title on his third start as a professional.
The course is established as one of the finest in Hertfordshire and the clubhouse enjoys a similarly excellent reputation for excellent dining and a friendly welcome. This is a traditional but progressive club at which societies and visitors are welcomed during the week, with some availability for visitors at weekends.
Back in 1923 it was created as a nine-hole course, and has undergone a number of changes in the past 90 years – now being an 18-hole challenge which measures 6,096 yards off the back tees.
Set in undulating parkland, its narrow fairways and small greens have seen many scorecards ruined with just a touch of wayward hitting.
Its superb drainage makes it a truly year-round course, providing a good venue for winter visitors and societies.
The 1st is one of the toughest opening holes in the county with two well-struck shots being required to reach the green. You must aim your drive between the newly placed bunker and the oak tree next to the gap to leave a testing shot into a narrow green protected by a large bunker on the right and another short and left of the putting surface.
The 3rd is the shortest short hole at Welwyn Garden City Golf Club. It is however surrounded by trouble on all sides. This is a deceptively tricky, picturesque hole where the choice of club is essential to avoid the front bunkers which guard the green.
Another highlight of the front nine comes at the 6th, a double dog-leg par 5 which requires a well-shaped tee shot to find a sloping left to right fairway. Longer hitters may be able to reach the green in two but it is a small target and protected by bunkers on both sides.
Even if you lay up,the second shot is no gimme, requiring precision to avoid a well-placed fairway bunker and leave a simple third to the small green.
The par-3 12th is one of Welwyn garden city golf club’s toughest holes; out-of-bounds lurks down the right-hand side of the fairway and all the way round the back of the green. There are also two well-placed bunkers to contend with if your tee shot is slightly short.
The round finishes on a high; the 17th is regarded by many as the signature hole of the course, a tough 600-yard par 5 which is a true three-shotter for all except the likes of Faldo and Lewis.
The fairway slopes from right to left in the landing area and towards the out of bounds. The second must miss a prominent fairway bunker to leave a testing approach to a narrow elevated green that falls away to the front and on the left-hand side.
There are no greenside bunkers but there is a trap some 30-yards short of the green and 2 ponds slightly further back on the left.
Then the last is a spectacular hole requiring a long, intimidating shot to a narrow two-tier green. You must be careful to avoid the front bunker and be aware of the out-of-bounds behind and to the left of the green.