Feature Moor Park
Boasting two stunning golf courses, the High Course and West Course, Moor Park is a beautiful parkland members’ club set in the heart of Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire, just a few minutes away from the M25, though you would never know it as the courses are surrounded by mature trees.
It features a magnificent 17th-century mansion and two courses designed by the legendary Harry Colt in 1923 which have matured to become two of the best in the county – and among the best in England. The courses have remained virtually unchanged in all that time - sometimes you can't improve on perfection.
You will receive a warm welcome in the well-stocked professional’s shop and the practice facilities are excellent – Moor Park boasts a grass driving range, chipping green with bunkers and a fabulous practice putting green set behind the mansion. The facilities really are first class, and, as a guest, you can also have a locker for the day.
The High Course
Set within 300 acres of landscaped grounds the high course is a beautifully manicured mature parkland golf course offering a fantastic test and golf experience for any visiting golfer.
The High Course is the longer of the 2 courses, Par 72, measuring 6,717 off the Whites and is a long established course in the various Top 100 listings of English Courses. Having hosted many national and international events the High Course is also host to the annual Hertfordshire Stag, English Seniors Open and the Carris Trophy (English Boys' Open Strokeplay Championship).
The High Course features four par threes, with the 10th and 12th outstanding The 10th is only 145 yards but surrounded by trees and played to green protected by deep bunkers. The 12th feels wide open but at 210 from the whites a precise tee shot will only be rewarded if you can find the right tier of the challenging green.
The par fours on the High Course offer very different challenges, a mixture of short and long holes, with tight, narrow fairways and well-placed fairway bunkers. The fifth is just 334 yards but four strategically-placed fairway bunkers lining the tight fairway mean an accurate drive is essential. The eighth, which is the most difficult hole on the course, is 467 yards. Even if you find the fairway you then face an approach up a valley with water on either side of the fairway. The 11th is 393 yards with a fairway that drops down, leaving a tough approach to an elevated, well protected green. With the sun starting to set in the evening, this hole is a thing of beauty. The 17th is 467 yards from the back tee and the challenge is to keep your ball on a really tight fairway.
The four par fives offer longer hitter the best scoring opportunities. From 472 yards (ninth) to 517 Yards (16th), reaching the greens is a possibility – as long as you find the fairway. The sixth, at 493 yards, is probably the most challenging of the par fives, with four fairway bunkers running up the hole waiting to capture a misplaced second shot.
High Course Thoughts
It will come as no surprise to learn that the High course is in excellent condition. I was most impressed with the greens as they are by far some of the best I have played on. Firm but will hold. Fast, true and very fair.
The fairways are perfect. Bunkers always raked and tee boxes well presented.
The course is challenging but fair. Lower handicaps could score fairly well but its also great for those a lot higher. Whilst it is tight in places you have to be very errant from tees for it to lead to lost balls. The hazard are very well placed and they do come into play on most holes, as they should, but this will still lead to an enjoyable experience for golfers of any standard.
The West Course
The West Course at Moor Park may measure less than 6,000 yards, but it still presents a great challenge to golfers of all standards, and no matter what time of year you play, you will find this parkland layout in immaculate condition. The greens, in particular, are superb and tricky to read – they are also small, demanding accuracy.
You won’t be surprised to learn that four of the holes on the front nine are par threes. It is a par 32 and demands precision from the tee. The small greens are difficult to find and the undulations mean that two putts are not guaranteed.
The ninth hole is 244 yards, with a road running adjacent and deep bunkers short of the green, which stands in the shadow of the magnificent 17th century mansion that doubles up as the clubhouse. It is a hole where most golfers would happily settle for a four. The 13th, at 151 yards, may look easy on paper, but with out of bounds on the right and the green very narrow the putting surface is tough to find.
The West course presents a tremendous variety of par fours, some short, others providing a real challenge, all demanding precision. The 10th (258 yards) and 17th (267 yards) can be reached with a good, accurate drive. The first hole (329 yards) and 11th (340 yards) only require an iron for position from the tee, with the fifth (394 yards) and seventh (449 yards) holes playing long and tight. The stand-out hole, appropriately enough, is the 18th. It measures just 316 yards and is played down a steep slope. But it is the view from the tee to the mansion in the distance that is truly breathtaking.
There are only two par fives, both on the back nine, and they offer birdie opportunities. The 12th is 478 yards and plays downhill so get a good drive away and you should find yourself in prime position to have a crack at the green in two shots. A note of caution though – the second is played uphill to a green protected by a bunker waiting to swallow anything short. The 14th is longer at 515 yards but as long as you avoid the large oak tree on the right you should have a chance of making a four.
West Course Thoughts
It would be simple to look at the scorecard on the West course and reach the conclusion that it is easy. Don't be fooled! With its small greens and many hazards, the West course could easily chew you up and spit you back out.
Post Round Thoughts
It is rare to find a golf club boasting two such stunning courses and offering two different test. Moor Park is a special place.
The delightful terrace bar is a great place to sit with a cold beverage and reflect on what would have been a pleasurable round of golf regardless of your score.
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