A very good challenging course!
Luton Hoo is a challenging 18 hole championship standard course in the grounds of the country estate on the Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire border!
The course is long, a par 73, for both genders!
The card comprised 4 tee options, ie blue (7107 yards), white (6810 yards), yellow (6544 yards) and red (6143 yards)!
The course planner indicates that it is one of the longest 18 hole courses in the UK!
By comparison with my club the red yardage for ladies (& men if so chosen), is the same as the Cherry Lodge mens yellow tees and the yellow tees were longer than our white tees!
There are separate slope ratings for men and ladies off the red tees, ie 130 for the ladies and 119 for the men!
The 4 ladies played off the red tees and the 4 men from the yellows! Given the course length it wouldn't have been improper for the men to also play from the red tees but perhaps it would have been ungallant to go against tradition!
The course planner describes it as a "harmonious blend of inland links (front 9) and
mature parkland (back 9)"! These two characteristics probably reflect the change from the original Victorian 9 holer to the 18 holes by designer Mike Smith!
The Water Holes
There are 6 holes with water hazards to overcome, the par 4 3rd, the par 3 4th, the par 3 7th, the par 5 8th, par 5 11th and par 4 12th!
The 3rd. Visually this was the most intimidating drive with two lakes either side of a narrow fairway and a wide landing area beyond! The lakes were very much in play for the ladies and higher handicappers though there is the option to take less club and play for a bogey 5!
The 8th. This requires a complete carry over the lake complex with no bailout area for the shorter hitters! A design flaw!
The 11th. A challenging risk and reward par 5 with the approach over a wider lake than it appears! On my 1st round I attempted a 5 wood approach from a downward lie which didn't make the carry and a double bogey resulted! Need to be at least 40 yards closer to the lake/hole to 'safely' take this on!
The Parkland Holes
The 9th and 18th holes both play towards the different ends of the clubhouse, both are slight doglegs left with the safer driving lines leaving the right sides of the greens semi blocked out with high trees go over or round! Bigger hitters could probably cut the corners with their drives but it's a riskier approach!
The 17th. A par 5 with a big tree in the middle to go past or over! Thereafter it's a tight tree lined approach to a long narrow undulating green! Index 5 says it all!
The Par 3s
There are 4 par 3s. Amongst them is the most ridiculous par 3 for any club or casual golfers?
The index 1 13th is listed as 246 yards from the yellow tees or 224 from the ladies red tee! Given its length, size, shape and protection (front right trees), this is a hole designed never to be reached and never to be birdied by anything other than a fortuitous approach 2nd! The red and yellow tees should be repositioned 60 to 75 yards closer to the green to make it a 'fair' challenge!
This is a lovely course which I hope to play again sometime soon!
The Hotel Accommodation
There is a 5 star mansion hotel and a separate clubhouse/Proshop/restaurant with a stay and play hotel accommodation!
I/we played the course on a 2 rounds one night stay and play deal, including 1 dinner and breakfast!
The golfers hotel accommodation was very good, no complaints!
The evening meal was a 3 course meal with multiple choices per each course! Not necessarily my preferred options but acceptable!
The 19th hole bar closed early, drinks prices were excessive and the choice of beers was limited! A pre-game sandwich and coffee in the 19th bar was £18! Ridiculous! The negative aspects of the experience!
not a bunker on the whole course, but a super test of golf, fairly flat but lots of different type hole's well worth a visit, hotel very nice and the practice area is good as well can't fault it at all.
I played with a society. We got a decent deal and each paid for a bacon roll and coffee, a round of golf and a two course meal afterwards.
The actual charge for golf is advertised as £36, but is probably only worth £25 on a weekday. I would play again, but only by booking cheap online.
As to the course - it is quite long at 6500 yds off the yellows. Some rough is ok, but whatch ou the rest is penal. The greens are pretty reasonable, in fact the whole course is quite good.
Time will tell if the course gets the chance to 'grow up' but will depend on the way it is used - hopefully it will not become a 'resort' course.
My advice - give it a go, but book online.