It is well worth taking the time to visit this challenging selection of courses in Middlesex.
The Best Golf Courses In Middlesex
Situated in the ceremonial county of Greater London, Middlesex offers some excellent escapes from the hustle and bustle of the capital.
James Braid and Harry Colt are common figures throughout our list of the best courses in Middlesex below. We start with Ealing that has been influenced by both legendary designers.
Related: Golf Monthly’s UK&I Top 100 Courses
Running over easy walking land with the River Brent coming into play at frequent intervals, the course at Ealing was originally laid out by James Braid before a major redesign by Harry Colt in the mid-1920s.
The river is a key element of Ealing’s character, and it makes its first appearance at the 4th, where your tee shot must stay right before a pitch to a green that is almost completely surrounded by water. Never close enough to the putting surfaces to be unfair, the approach to several greens means crossing the river again at 6, 10 and 13, and finally at the par-3 closing hole.
There are five short holes, albeit three of them over 200 yards from the tips, and three shortish par 5s. The 6th – a long par 4 where most will need to lay up short of the river and rely on a pitch and putt for par – is extremely tough.
There is an element of crossover in one or two places, but this is more than compensated for by the consistently excellent greens. These are under the supervision of Greg Evans, who, six years ago, became only the 52nd Master Greenkeeper.
JH Taylor designed both men’s and ladies’ 18-hole courses at Fulwell in 1904, five years before the opening of nearby Twickenham Stadium. Following World War II, JH Morrison took eight holes from the outer course and ten from the inner to create today’s testing, tree-lined challenge. There are several long, tough par 4s, doglegs that call for careful placement of the drive and a ditch which comes into play on the opening and closing holes, as well as the par-5 5th. The same waterway opens out into an attractive pond that sits between tee and green on the pretty par-3 9th.
After a back-and-forth opening three holes, this gently undulating parkland course really takes off from the 4th, where a fairway bunker prompts you to play right. The next is a strong par 3 played from a slightly elevated tee, and the 6th is a characterful par 5 played down into a valley where a hedge and a ditch await. On the back nine, the long 11th sweeps down into the valley before climbing the other side, and the 12th is a picturesque par 3 where a burn and stately trees provide all the protection required. To round things out, the closing four holes are all strong two-shotters.
This Harry Colt creation is an extremely enjoyable and fair test of golf, with the bright and welcoming clubhouse looking down over the entire layout. Bordered to the south by the Grand Union Canal, there is fine variety throughout. The course opens with three strong par 4s, where most people would happily take three bogeys. The most exciting holes are probably those on the back nine, like the 11th, played down to a wonderful green site on an old Roman burial mound. The club prides itself on its friendly membership and staff, and celebrates its centenary in four years.
Northwood Golf Club
Regarded as one of the finest courses in the county, Northwood Golf Club was founded in 1891 and was originally a 9-hole course. However the club itself then bought more of the land known as ‘The Gravel Pits’ and extended it to 18 holes.
To celebrate 100 years, in 1991 a small stone bridge was built over a stream by the first tee.
In terms of the best hole at the course, twelve is a feature hole where the approach is particularly demanding. A ditch snakes its way in from the left and then hides itself behind the right-hand bunker to catch anything that makes it over; an excellent par 4.
Next up in our list is Crews Hill and like a couple of courses above, Harry Colt is the individual responsible for its design. Often called ‘The Jewel of north London, it is renowned for its undulations especially in the fairway. Some believed this was to stop enemy planes from landing in the First World War but the farmland and traditional ridges are a more likely explanation. Colt designed the course in 1916.
Holes ten to thirteen are probably the strongest section of the course, its own Amen Corner, with the 11th a demanding par 4 leading you on to what I feel is the club’s signature hole.
Founded in 1893 and designed by former Open champion James Braid, accuracy is the key at Enfield. It may only be 6,154 yards but the tree lined fairways narrow the target off the tee and into greens which are also misleading. Salmons Brooks works its way throughout a few of the holes and the 17th has the Moat, an ancient English heritage site at the back of the green.
Braid also designed Finchley, the picturesque parkland course renowned for its quick greens. The course has some distinguishing features to it, namely the link to North America, with many of the trees, bushes and shrubs around the 1st, 12th and 18th greens being indigenous to North America.
This can probably be attributed to Henry Tubbs who once lived in the clubhouse and had strong links to Canada through business.
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