Handsworth Golf Club Feature Review
Golfshake ambassador Mel Davies recently visited Handsworth Golf Club in the West Midlands to review the course. Find out how he got on- date played August 2017.
Handsworth Golf Club is a parkland course founded in 1895 featuring undulating tree lined fairways and fast, true sloping greens. Accessibly located just a few minutes from J1 M5 near West Bromwich and just a few miles north of Birmingham.
The course measures 6325 yards and is par 70 course that will reward good shots yet at the same time will punish anything offline. Length is not necessarily needed but accuracy certainly is. With over 70 bunkers and relatively small quick greens this is a great course for all levels of ability. Pretty much every hole can offer up a birdie or a bogey (maybe even worse) dependent on how well you place the ball off the tee and then find the right spot on the tricky but very true putting surfaces.
As soon as you arrive at the gates you can see that this will be a pleasant experience and I was not disappointed. A warm welcome was offered from Lee Bashford Head Pro for 25 years. A brief insight into the club and what lies ahead was given by Lee in the shop which is ideally situated next to the clubhouse and is the first thing you see when entering the car park. The shop is well stocked with everything needed for any golfer.
Just across the car park is a practice area with the choice of hitting off the grass or undercover bays if needed. A large practice putting green sits in front of the clubhouse and a short walk from the 1st tee.
The opening hole pretty much sets the tone for the course. It's the signature hole with a large pool to the right, a slight dogleg to the right with the first 2 of many bunkers awaiting down the left of the fairway. A par here will be a great start to anyone's round. The look and nature of the hole really sets the tone for a truly enjoyable experience ahead.
The 2nd and 3rd like the first require accuracy not necessarily length off the tee avoiding well placed fairway bunkers to leave mid irons into well protected small greens.
The 4th is the first par 3 requiring a well struck short/mid iron to a green with 4 bunkers awaiting anything that comes up short.
The only par 5 on the front 9 the 5th is a dogleg to the left meaning a good tee shot past the corner is needed if you want to attempt hitting through the very narrow entry to another protected relatively small green.
9th is a great hole with a good tee shot still leaving a tricky 2nd shot uphill to a green surrounded by bunkers with OOB behind that slopes quite severely from back to front.
The opening stretch of the back 9 starts requires a well placed tee shot ideally avoiding the bunker to the left and oak tree on the right. This should then leave a mid iron into a 2 tiered green with bunkers short left and right.
11 is probably the toughest par 3 with a mid/long iron the order of the day. Finding the putting surface here is a great result and should set up a great par.
The 13th is a short (344yds) but very tight par 4 that is all about what plan of attack to take off the tee.....a well struck driver could get very close to the green but the safe play is a long iron/hybrid leaving a short iron into a green with bunkers front, left and right. This hole could easily offer up a birdie or a double bogey dependent on the tee shot.
In my opinion the 14th is the hardest hole on the course.....a good tee shot is needed to avoid the stream running across the fairway. A long iron/hybrid will then be needed to a small green with the miss being left rather than right.
17 is the last par 3 with a mid iron to the middle of the green avoiding the 3 bunkers to enable a good chance of a birdie or par at worst.
And finally the 18th. This is a truly great finishing hole, a downhill par 5 that with a good straight tee shot avoiding the fairway bunker can easily lead to a finishing birdie, don't be fooled though as anything right for the approach is OOB and a birdie opportunity can soon turn into a bogey or worse.
New Holes Update - 2021
Having done my feature review back in September 2017 there have been some changes at Handsworth.
Basically they have added three new holes as the original three were used by the Environment Agency as a flood storage area.
The new holes were designed by Gaunt Golf Design - link to the project. These holes opened for play in August 2019.
One thing you notice straight away is the new holes are totally in keeping with the existing layout. Mature trees have been kept along with some new ones. Bunkers look great and the green complexes on the three holes are as good as you’ll find anywhere. A very good mix with two par 4s, one literally a dogleg at 90 degrees to the right. Each hole has great bunkering that really fits in with the whole course. The new greens look and feel exactly like the rest of the course and you’ll struggle to find a straight putt on any (especially the par 3 13th).
All in all a fantastic addition to an already great course.
The course was in great condition with well manicured fairways, the bunkering is of some of the best I have seen and is complimented by the recent renovation of the 70+ bunkers. The greens were quick and rolled well all the way round.
The course is both challenging and playable for all levels of golfer. There are lots of well placed fairway bunkers that will challenge the best of players. The course is relatively flat with only a few gentle slopes to walk up/down.
Once inside the clubhouse you could see this was a club that was very proud of its history yet at the same time making you feel welcome and comfortable. The food was well priced with a very good variety of options both from the regular menu and specials board.
Handsworth is Highly Recommended on Golfshake with a current rating of 4.18 out of 5.
Overall Reviewer Rating: 8
Course (Conditions): 8
Course (Hole Variety/Layout): 8
Course (Challenge/Difficulty): 9
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse: 8
Practice Facilities: 8
Course (Green Condition): 9
Pace of Play: 9
Value for Money: 9
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