Review's of Hartswood Golf Club
Could do with a trim
Hartswood are spending some money on a few alterations to the course but it would probably be better spent on a lawnmower. There are some nice holes, but greens could do with a trim, very slow, the tees are messy and i won’t even start on the bunkers. Just avoid!!
It’s a shame because reading previous reviews was looking forward to playing here, but certainly won’t be rushing back.
"Royal" Hartswood is a little gem away from lively Brentwood towncentre
Having heard the ups & downs of Hartswood GC, having wanted to play this course for many years, I was pleasantly surprised to find a little gem of a course away from the hustle & bustle of Brentwood town centre. It is situated on the King George’s playing fields (with football, rugby pitches, Pitch & Putt, large playground, skate board run, Bowling Green, Sensory garden, summer children paddling pools, a very popular Park Cafe, Toilets & a large Car Park with overflow overflow).
The course is in 2 parts: holes 3 to 11 are across a busy B road, a long walk through beautiful & private ancient woodlands which I believe may have been part of the Thorndon Hall Estate at one time. Thorndon Hall is now a private Golf Club with private luxury apartments which can be seen from holes 3 & 4. This side of the course is a lot drier underfoot and easier to play.
Royal Hartswood is Council owned/run, it celebrated its 50th anniversary the summer just gone, a new team of Greenkeepers was introduced 3 years ago & one can only compliment on all the hard work put to restore this course to its former glory. The pond has been cleared, the paths defined, new diagrams by each tee box (although the design is “back to front”), it looks neat & professional, good signage to next tee etc. Ball washers, a water fountain at the 7th.
The fairways were in good condition, expect a little wetness underfoot as we are in Essex.... Rough quite thick, hard to find the ball, if found difficult to get a good shot unless you are Seve or Phil.... The 2nd part of the course is a lot drier, more pleasant to play. Greens were a little slow, the bunkers will be dealt with in the Spring now, so I have been told. But none of the above spoiled the challenge as the course is very attractive, lovely holes surrounded by tall, ancient, attractive & varied species of trees, a certain willow tree comes into play on hole 3 & 11, defining the shape of the holes & posing questions how to play the dog legs (6 of them), whether to lay up or not on the long Par 4s as the approach can be tight.
Wildlife present too, we saw a real heron by the pond at the 10th hole. There are new ditches, well designed, to help irrigation & making the approach of certain holes more challenging, the 8th comes to mind.
The course is not long, there is only one Par 5 from the Yellows, some long Par 4s, 6 nicely shaped dog-legs, beautiful Par 3s, short to medium in length with great bunkers guarding. We are in Essex, so expect a little wetness underfoot. We played Sunday 15th Oct 2017. So I assume the very best time to appreciate the course will be late Spring, Summer & early Autumn.
We had a very pleasant 4 balls, with our very own Mr TSG giving helpful information on how the holes should be best approached whether you are a 27 or 16 handicapper. Very useful on a 1st visit.
Some memorable holes:
5th - A short Par 3 with a beautiful backdrop, bunkers for protection.
6th - The only Par 5 from the Yellows, a very nice, slight dog-leg hole.
8th - Par 4, very pretty dog-leg left.
14th - A long Par 4, truly attractive, well designed, a little wet in the middle going downhill.
The Welcome in the Pro shop was insignificant.... Just paid the Greenfee, no friendly chit-chat to a new Visitor. Maybe they did not want to talk about Brexit to a French Lady golfer. The shop has lots of stock, rather untidy but did not have time to look around. I believe it is run independently from the Council and do online business.
There is a Starter hut where one has to show your Green fee ticket.
There is a Clubhouse for the Club Members, apparently, Visitors are welcome but I believe most of the casual players go to the popular, busy & friendly “Cafe in the Park”, open early till late, a nice seating area outside. Prices are very reasonable.
If you played this course in the past, I recommend you pay another visit and see the improvements that has been made.
The Greenfee for a Sunday late morning was from £22 to £15 (age dependent...).
THE END .....
Of my personal recollection of my 1st visit to "Royal Hartswood"
Good municipal mature tree line parkland course
A good municipal mature tree line parkland course which had an easy walk with undulating fairways. Fairways were in good condition, but if you run off the fairways into the 1st cut it is very easy to lose a ball. Sadly the greens had just been sanded. The 7th is a tough par 3 with a ditch in front of the green and over hanging tree branches.
My only criticism of this course is the bunkers which are in very poor condition (very little sand)
Practise chipping/ putting green. No driving nets.
A very good course for the price will definitely play again. Also has a great pro shop with a huge selection of equipment and clothing.
Hartswood tricky track
Having played it for the first time I found it tricky, as the trees play a big part in your positioning around the course, it needs playing a few times to know where to go also the green are small so making your approach shots difficult, its not long but the weather will make it a lot different. well worth a few rounds.
Royal Hartswood update....
I thought it time to give you all an update on a course very close to my heart....
I've given this course a lot of stick over the last few years but credit to the NEW greenkeepers, they have done a fantastic job at returning this course to some its former glory.
It's always nice to see work going on around a course but in my last few visits to the course during the summer demonstrates that is just getting better and better.
OK, the green are still a little fluffy in places but they are flat and true and I look forward to seeing these improvements continue.
In my humble opinion, I think this is one of the prettiest courses I play each year. So Well done Brentwood Council for investing in their staff and this very pretty and valuable municipal course - its appreciated by those of us that pay our council tax and like to see local amenities invested in!
Great course, has really been improved
Great Council Golf Course !!!
Hartswood Golf -A nice tight parkland course - Greens needed a cut Very Slow only 5 on the stint meter ! the weather a little too hot for me, but all in all a nice time. A great crowd Ian seemed to get a good bunch of golfer's too attend.At £21 a round a little steep for what it is ! If I go back it will be on a week day ,my only regret that they do not have buggie's I had to walk the course but no too hilly so all was well.
Fantastic little gem
Couldn't express pleasure more. What a beautiful course. Not the longest or hardest course but some lovely signature holes. You need to think your way around a little bit.
Whatever you do, when you're in Essex, play this course.
would play there again
like all council courses could be better looked after,fairways need to be cut and the greens are not the best,very bobbly
It has the potential to be a really lovely course
This is a well laid-out course but is let down badly by the poor greens and having no sand in the bunkers. The guys in the pro-shop are also a bit miserable, probably because they've had to play out of too many bunkers. Having said that, a green fee of £20 for a Saturday represents fantastic value and for that reason I would recommend the course to anyone wanting a friendly game.
Wettest course I've played this year
Bacon sandwich, coffee, ham egg and chips best for some time.
Good course that although fairly open has it's own challenges.
I will return, but not until better weather, as the course was verging on wet to waterlogged.
Hartswood is a good test
Lets start with the down side to hartswood, the bunkers need sand in them, and there isn't much in thw way of practice facilities, (if wrong I apologise to the course management, but I didn't see it). For my taste the greens were a little slow, but that's my problem not the courses
On the course is was very pleasant, you could be in the middle of the countryside, tree lined course with some tough tee shots.
Seriously people, I know the company on the course always makes a difference to how you enjoy the golf, (and I had good company in Jack and Ian), and as Ian Mullins proved, play well and you can score well. And of course if you played a number of poor shots, the course will bite you. I would most definately play here again, just avoid the bunkers, there is no sand.
My first game here for a couple of years,still the same layout,no major changes. Nice bacon sarnie and cuppa before we played in the cafe. Fair size pro shop,with loads of stock,too much in my view,it was everywhere without any organisation,the staff where very friendly and welcoming. Green fee for W/E golf I thought was very expensive (for a council run course) although the course generally was in good condition not worth the £21 charged. You can see evidence of the work the green keepers are putting in around the course,trying to restore it back to its former glory. This place was once a little gem,and it is on its way back. Fairways where good not to many divots, bunkers never have been that good here,mainly full of dust hardly any sand. The rough was cut well down giving you a chance to redeem your score with an errant shot.
Greens were sound and quite acceptable,to putt on.
This course is a great trek round with some well laid out holes always keeping you interested,set right in the middle of a woodland there are some great tree lined fairways. It has an abundance of wildlife,with little rabbits running everywhere,and a few Old dominating Oak trees. You have to cross a main road to play a few holes after the second,this is where you can begin to see why people call it ROYAL HARTSWOOD!
The layout has not changed here at all, and going in the right direction to its former glory. However,the price for W/E GOLF is a bit much O.T.T. I will come back and play this course during the week,where you get better V.F.M. When we where playing we hardly saw anyone on the course,which must raise a question considering it was Saturday afternoon. Worth a visit if you ask me!
I have to agree with Ian. Apart from some greens being a bit 'hairy' I was surprised to find it in very good nick. I have played this course a lot in the past and about two years ago, I said that was the last time! But I had heard that had improved and it certainly has.
Time to revisit.....
Well it's fair to say 'Royal' Hartswood has taken a pounding from me over the last couple of years, ranging from 'satisfactory' to a 'avoid at all costs'.... however, now it's time for some praise! After some pretty poor attention in the last few years, I can honestly say, right now the course is looking as good as I can remember! The local council have obviously heeded the comments of TSGers (I doubt this very much!) and put some TLC back into the course. The greens are flat and there is little or no sign of any disease anymore, in fact apart from some of the greens being a little 'fluffy' they are looking great. If you get a chance, go and play this course while you can (Sept 12), as the winter will not be kind to Hartswood and therefore now is the time to visit!!
Short but requires some careful thought
On a bright sunny day with a swirling breeze, this is a well appointed 'short course' the major observation was that greens were slow and bobbly (not running at all true). Other than that though this is a good test of ability. Mature parkland, pleasant walk, good views in an old Royal Park. The observant will be able to recognise the multitude of flora and fauna, and some well established Japanese Knotweed.
A course for careful thought - favours the skillful player (low handicappers especially) or the lucky...
Although no notable holes there are some interesting challenges and some peculiarly placed trees which have sprouted up over the years to obscure views of wide sweeping fairways...
Part of a leisure centre which seemed well attended - catering was adequate Ice Cream was expensive but a treat. Car parking might be a problem in the popular months as space seems restricted without obvious overflow facilites. Locals were friendly and a nice day out.
Be aware though that you do have to cross a busy road twice during the course of the round, and the view of the 'fast-moving' vehicles is obscured by trees and bends... take care and move quickly...
Nice selection of stuff in the pro shop...
Altogether a surprisingly good test of skill and ability (I lost two balls on separate holes to the same Willow Tree)...
No Par 5's from the yellow tees, but there are a couple of loooonnngg par 4s. Par 3s are a good challenge as well... lots of trees obscuring views a good challenge of decision-making... worth a second trip...
Greens in poor condition
Nice course with some awkward holes, and nothing higher than a par 4!! The greens really need attention, but at only £8.50 for a twilight ticket I shouldn't really complain.
Greens need looking at.
A very interesting parkland course, Greens in bad condition,Twilight after 5 only £8.50
What a shame!
Hartswood is a council run course and you can tell! Despite being in a great setting the lack of tender loving care has resulted in a good course being rather poor.
The layout (Parkland) is very good and some of the holes are really nice.
The problem is the council won't spend any money on simple things, like cutting the grass on the fairways and looking after the greens.
This could be a really nice course if only somebody would give it a little tender loving care. Why somebody doesn't take this course over I don't know.
It's worth a visit if only to see for yourself how nice the layout is, but be warned, the greens will be poor and very slow. We played on a Saturday and there were times when we couldn't work out if we were on the fairway or not!
Lovely, but for the greens
Great value @£20 for a Saturday, very pretty course. All they need to do is spend a few bob on the greens / bunkers and they could charge a lot more.
Hopefully will return at a later date and they will have sorted things out.
Well i have played this course for years now and have seen it a lot worse than it is now! that being said the greens are quite poor at the moment and the bunkers need some attention its a shame as the parkland the course is on is very pleasing on the eye and the green fees are good value
Interesting challenge, worth a visit !!!
Having been somewhat hesitant I decided to take the plunge and join the community of social golfing!
What an absolute pleasure to meet a new golf partner and enjoy good conversation in a suprisingly relaxed situation.
As for the course....
Hartswood is in "good nick" given the recent dry spell and represents a decent challenge. Plenty of trees, dog legs and well positioned bunkers make up for a lack of distance.The greens and bunkers could do with some investment, but certainly worth the very reasonable green fee.
Lovely in Spring...
Played this course at the end of January so, along with most courses at this time of the year, never going to be looking its best and playing it's best. That aside, it's a user friendly course, nothing too challenging, with plenty of fairway and not too many obstacles. One observation, being a lady golfer, I was surprised at how many holes the red marker was set significantly behind the yellows, can imagine a few ladies taking issue with this! All in all and enjoyable round and will look forward to playing it again in Spring.
very mature course, slow greens.but ok for the money
Fitst time i.ve played with the s/g, the two groups of
lads made me very welcome and enjoyed the day. Like to make it a regular thing, thanks to everyone.
The course was very mature and pretty but this time of year can get a bit wet and muddy, but good value for money.
Well worth a visit in spring/summer
Good value, enjoyed
Played Hartswood again a few times in the last few weeks and I am happy to say that the greens are now recovering well (See previous review). I also was pleased to see there has also been a bit of sand thrown into some the bunkers and even some new rakes as well. Good to see the course being maintained again and it remains pretty as ever. Always enjoy playing here and its once again great value!
Hartswood Golf Course
Stay away?? Did you not experience the harsh Winter that the majority of the country did?? Yes, the golf course has suffered this year like many others have up and down the country. Some people are too quick to judge and focus the blame on the staff not realising the knowledge, skills and resources that it takes to maintain a golf course.
The course has improved greatly since May, many people have commented on the course and how nice it is to play.
Try for yourself and make your own mind up!
Played Hartswood last week for probably the last time....despite being a very pretty course, it has fallen into dis-repair! The main problem is the diseased greens that make it virtually impossible to make an honest putt! I have written to the local council to complain but this seems to have fallen on deaf ears and as such I can no longer recommend this course! A shame, as it has provided myself and friends great entertainment over the years. I will keep you updated but in the meantime stay away!!
Finding a trolley ban, we sought hire of Carry bags but staff couldnt help. David went home and brought 2 back and we managed to persued loan of an old one from starters hut. Then needed a strap, but again shop couldnt/wouldnt help. Could buy a carry bag at £30 was only offer.
Fairways were often like rough, though it was muddy for cutting. Greens were dreadful with diseased footprint-like ravines. Last straw was the 13th hole that had been filled with sh** and the flagstick used as toilet roll.
Had found this pleasant last summer but awful this time.
Nice, parkland course
A really nice parkland course, but it's run by the council so needs some money spent on it!
We played on the 13th March and teed off on mats (poor quality ones) despite the tees looking playable.
The greens once again were in a poor condition. Putts would turn off line due to the diseased grass!!!
Such a shame as this could be a top quality course.
Great, mature parkland course.
The only problem here is the greens! The grass is a bit long on them which means most putts are short.
Some great holes and this course is well worth playing.
This is a nice course, especially for £18.50. The course itself is nicely laid out and well marked. Apart from the greens being like your lounge carpet when we played it was all good. The pro shop is small, but stocked. Didn't see warmup area (driving or putting) and the cafe opens too late.
Superb value for money.
If anyone knows of a mature,tree lined course,in very good condition,that you can play for these prices,please let me know. Not a long course by todays standards,but an excellent all round test for more than most. If you've not played here,check it out,i doubt many will be dissapointed.
PS: Anyone know a tip on how to get out of green side bunkers in one shot?
Not been put off!!
Played here recently for the 1st time, many thanks to Ian and Craig, thorougly enjoyed your company.
We endured wind, rain and hail but finished off with sunshine, i was'nt too keen on teeing off from mats or the condition of the shaggy greens.
However i can't wait to play here again, in a few weeks when course conditions have improved,(i'm sure they will).This is one of the most visually appealing courses i have played and is great value for money.
The shop is packed full of bargains so if you like to "window shop" allow extra time.
Good value round at just £13. Greens needed a cut and every hole off mats but overall an enjoyable, fair but relatively undemanding test of golf.
No practise facility to speak of but good pro shop with wide and tempting selection of well priced clubs, clothing and balls (12 Callaway Tour i £28, 12 ProV1 <£30).
Hartswood Golf Course
This is a very pretty course and generally well kept for a council course. A parkland course, it is forgiving to the Mid/High handicapper but can be challenging for all levels.
At £13 midweek and £18.50 at weekends it great value for money too. They also have a well stocked shop which is often very competitively priced!