3 reviews of Chalgrave Manor Golf Club
Very friendly staff greet you, but this isn't the greatest course. Reasonable length off the back tees (6400 yds), but the greens are poor, as is the overall condition. It doesn't pretend to be anything it's not, and it's cheap to play.
Chalgrave Manor golf course is based on clay so is best played in spring, summer and autumn, best avoid the winter. When you turn in the club entrance and drive down the scruffy pot holed lane you wonder why you have come to play here, but keep going. The lay out of the golf course is great with holes playing in all directions around the course. As the course is set high in the countryside wind is definitely a big factor in scoring well especially on the par threes. The front nine is the place to score well with four par fives, three of which can be reached in two for twelve handicappers or less depending upon wind direction. You will need to play well from downhill, uphill and hanging lies to score well, indeed the course offers very few flat lies. The front nine is let down by two poorly designed par three holes, one of which is semi blind even though it is downhill! The par fives all play very different with some exciting second shots to be hit if you get a good drive away. The most difficult shot on the opening nine being the third shot into the 9th with danger all around a sloping away from you crowned green. The back nine holes are like playing a different golf course and you have to be on top of your game to play your handicap on this nine. The holes that stay in the memory are the show hole 10th, 11th and the 18th. The Tenth needs good distance control with a lofted club off the tee and a first putt or chip that best leaves you an uphill putt for your par, there are no gimmies on this green. The eleventh hole has a tiny fairway with two bunkers right and out of bounds right so nearly all handicap golfers bail out left of the fairway and hope for a good lie in the semi rougth over the trees (a real shame). Your second shot to the eleventh is to a severe three-tiered green which is better to be a level below than a level above for your first putt, but you have to sure to carry the pond in front of the green first. The 9th 10th and 11th are the real card wreckers of this course and par on these three holes should get you a good score. All the holes on the back nine are good with three very different but good par threes and some difficult par fours especially the 14th and the 18th. The 18th requires a good accurate tee shot and a straight second shot to a sloping away from you green. Distance control on the second shot is difficult so you will probably be left with an up and down or long two putt to make a par. Unfortunately the greens here tend to be slow so leave your balata putters at home. The tees are in also need of vast improvement as finding a flat lie can be difficult. Leaving aside the latter this course offers an unusual and at times exciting test of golf and is well worth playing.
The condition of this course has improved greatly in the last 12-18 months, to such an extent that I have recently re-joined the club. The greens were in fairly poor condition in the past but are now much better following the installation of a new irrigation system midway through last year. Many of the young trees planted in the last couple of years are now coming into play and a lot of work has been carried out re-modelling the course and improving the condition of the greens and tees. The welcome is always very friendly and the course is rarely so busy that you are held up during your round. I believe the club have got their priorities right by spending what money they have available on improving the course rather than the club house. While the club house facilities may be a little limited all the basics are there, including a pro shop that is fairly well stocked, a bar with facilities for food and some very helpful and friendly staff. All in all, I think this is a course that presents a reasonable test to golfers of all abilities and one that will only continue to improve with time. I would not hesitate to invite a friend to play at this course.
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