Goodwood offers wonderful golfing opportunities, plus an abundance of appealing off-course activities. England Golf also recently named it England’s Most Welcoming Club of the Year...
GM Promotion, in association with Goodwood
Just 60 miles from Marble Arch, set in the beautiful South Downs, the Goodwood Estate has long been an accessible sporting playground for Londoners. Horse racing began here in 1801 and the annual ‘glorious’ Goodwood festival remains one of the key fixtures on the British sporting calendar. Goodwood has also been a wonderful getaway for golfers since the 6th Earl of Richmond opened a course in 1914. The golfing offerings at Goodwood today are varied to suit a multitude of requirements.
A tremendous success story at Goodwood in recent years has been the introduction of a credit membership model. The innovative system allows an individual to join for an annual subscription of £430 (which includes 30 credits) with no joining fee. Additional credits are then available for purchase, which can be used to pay for tee times, buggies, tuition or range balls. It’s proved to be so popular that Goodwood is one of the very few golfing venues in the country that currently boasts a waiting list.
This isn’t surprising when you consider what Golf At Goodwood offers. With two high-quality courses, a fabulous academy, a state-of-the-art practice facility and a putting lab, both members and guests have all their golfing requirements attended to. Goodwood was also named England’s Most Welcoming Club of the Year at the prestigious England Golf Awards in February.
The Downs course was designed by legendary five-time Open Champion and revered course architect James Braid. It’s a fabulous downland track that offers brilliantly memorable holes set through the valleys and uplands of this picturesque swathe of countryside.
The first section of the course meanders through a secluded and attractive valley known as Target Bottom before the layout climbs to a higher elevation, delivering fabulous panoramic views across the Goodwood Estate and beyond, towards the Solent and the Isle of Wight. The course recently underwent a renovation by leading course architect Tom Mackenzie. The result is a triumph – a sympathetic modernisation of Braid’s original concept.
The Downs delivers traditional English inland golf with a contemporary edge. The fairways become firm and fast-running through the summer months and, with undulating greens and sculpted bunkering, it presents a challenge for all players – especially the par-3 17th, below.
The Park course is a different proposition and it complements its older brother perfectly. Set across 18th-century parkland within the grounds of Goodwood House, the layout was designed by Donald Steel. The fairways are lined by mature trees, some of the Cedars are more than 300 years old and the layout is always immaculately conditioned.
It may not be as demanding as the Downs but, with doglegs and cleverly placed bunkers, narrow targets and tricky greens, this is a course that demands strategy. As such, it provides a memorable and enjoyable test. It’s a beautiful setting, a fabulous design and just great fun to play. Both courses at Goodwood are superb venues for corporate golf days.
The Kennels (below), located at the Downs course, is the clubhouse for all the Estate’s sporting and social clubs. It offers wonderful dining options and excellent spaces for meetings and entertaining. At the Park course, the Goodwood Bar and Grill, and the other facilities at the excellent Goodwood Hotel, are at the guests’ disposal.
And corporate days here come with that little Goodwood twist. Take, for example, the famous ‘Woody’ golf buggies modelled on an original car designed by the 9th Duke of Richmond in the 1930s. But they aren’t all nostalgia – they are also equipped with a cutting-edge GPS system.
Then there’s the ‘Beat James Braid’ competition, where the pro will dress up as the legend and participants will try to hit it closer than him on a par 3, using hickory clubs. Or, for those in need of some Dutch courage, how about the James Braid gin lounge which can be set up at the first tee?
Other tremendous offerings combine the non-golfing activities available across the Estate. Why not include a track session or driving experience at the historic Goodwood Motor Circuit, clay pigeon shooting or even an aviation experience with flights across the South Downs?
Through the summer, one of the most popular options is the ‘Fairway to Furlong’ package, where 18 holes of golf is then followed by hospitality at the iconic racecourse.
For groups with less golfing experience, or for those seeking a little fine-tuning, tuition packages are also available.
The luxurious Goodwood Hotel makes the Estate an ideal venue for a short golfing break. Play both golf courses over two days and, in between, enjoy the opulent and stylish communal spaces, the wonderfully comfortable and individual rooms and suites, the gym and spa and the exceptional dining options the hotel has to offer. The newest restaurant – named Farmer, Butcher, Chef – showcases the Estate’s wonderful, organic, home-grown meat and produce.
Golfing at Goodwood is far more than just a simple round – it’s a thoroughly memorable experience from the time you arrive to the time you leave. Whether you’re looking for a luxury break, a corporate outing, a new home or second club or a venue for a great day out, Goodwood has something to suit every possible requirement.
Just imagine playing 18 holes before driving laps on a historic motor circuit, then going for a swim before enjoying a locally sourced and prepared meal of the very highest quality. Goodwood – where else in the world?