Situated just above Birmingham, we take a look at the best golf courses in the county of Staffordshire.
The Best Golf Courses In Staffordshire
Mention the County of Staffordshire and many people immediately think of heavy industry, from the Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent to the innumerable metal-bashing factories of Wolverhampton and the Black Country.
In point of fact though, it is generally a very rural county and has many attractive features. In the north, Leek provides a gateway to the high moorland of the Peak District, whilst the south-west corner is largely devoted to lush rich farmland interspersed near the villages of Kinver and Bobbington, with large tracts of heather and birch clad common-land and, in recent years, the inevitable pine-forests.
Given this type of countryside, and the insatiable appetite of the nearby towns and cities for golf, it is perhaps little wonder that this area can boast some sublime golf courses.
This highly regarded Harry Vardon course plays over parkland in the grounds of the former Little Aston Hall estate. With just three par 5s and three par 3s, there’s a strong and varied cast of par 4s ranging from the testing 446-yard 2nd – where a well-bunkered, narrow final approach makes par hard to come by – to the 317-yard 4th, which is eminently more scorable if you can stay out of the trees flanking both sides.
The approach to the 17th will test your nerve as the green is surrounded by water on three sides, with steep banks running down into it.
One of the oldest clubs in England, it was founded in 1886, Whittington Heath originally started as a nine-hole layout. Eventually it was extended to 18-holes and now it measures at a moderate 6,510 yards off the back tees.
A course that has gorse and heather to deal with, Harry Colt designed this hidden gem that has greens extremely well protected by bunkers.
Few courses offer a more pleasant visual surprise relative to their final approaches than Sandwell Park, wedged between the M5 and the A41 in West Bromwich. Google Maps hails it a “venerable Victorian golf links” and that’s not a bad description of this Harry Colt heathland course, opened in 1895.
From what should best be described as a proper golf clubhouse, there’s a delightful outlook over the 18th and a fairly generous opener, where you don’t want to miss the green left. The 4th is a superb par 3, while the dogleg 13th boasts a gorgeous bunker set into a mound 40 yards short of the green. The greens throughout were superb.
The Highgate Course is slightly the longer of the two, a 6,493 yard par 72 off the everyday yellow tees, and in general terms it is a driver’s course. Provided that you can hit it reasonably straight, and that you are alert for hidden dangers such as ditches, distance is a distinct advantage on Highgate. Indeed, on the 586 yard 9th it is essential, because this dogleg par 5, one of the longest holes in the Midlands, requires three text-book shots to reach the elevated green on which many players are thankful only to two-putt.
Having said that distance is an advantage, Highgate does not give in that easily, for the real card-wrecker is the 5th, a seemingly innocuous short hole of a mere 158 yards. However, the green is very narrow, with cavernous bunkers in front and to the sides, a vicious slope in the middle, and little or no bail-out area. Since the green-keepers often seem to delight in placing the hole on the slope, it’s a certain fact that the 5th does not play anywhere as easily as its stroke-index would suggest.
From a stunning Open venue in Royal Liverpool…
Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news