Hollywood Golf Club Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Mel Davies (Handicap 11)
Hollywood Golf Club boasts a mature 18-hole, tree lined parkland course on the outskirts of south Birmingham, with easy access from the motorway network. The club was founded in 1913 and has been on its present location for more than 90 years. The course is laid out in a valley and has twin streams running through it that provide a natural hazard for players of all abilities.
As we pulled into the car park you could see straight away that this was a club that was thriving with not many free spaces in an ample car park. We made our way to the Pro Shop and a warm and friendly welcome greeted us from Lee Brotherhood, PGA Professional. Outside the shop was the putting green and 1st and 10th tees were a short walk from there too. Just a short walk took us to the practice area with nets and a great short game zone.
Front 9 Overview
The front nine starts with gentle but tricky par four with a green that is wide but very shallow protected by a ditch at the front and bunkers to the rear.
The 2nd is a very tight hole that even the long hitters will be hitting mid-irons into the green. The 3rd is the only par five on the front nine and a real risk/reward hole off the tee where you have to decide whether to hit driver over the stream or hit a hybrid/iron short and play it as a proper three-shot hole. The 4th again has the streams to contend with but this time nearer the green. The 5th is the first par three to a green protected by three bunkers. The 6th is a 90 degree dogleg to the left meaning the correct club needs to be hit to give yourself a look at the green which unusually has no bunkers just run off areas around it.
The 7th and 8th are both real birdie chances if you get a good straight drive away but both greens can prove tricky to get the ball in the best position. The 9th again can offer up a birdie but the hole plays uphill and two large bunkers wait just short of the green.
Back 9 Overview
The back nine starts with a great par three downhill to a green protected by three bunkers. The 11th is a short par five but don't be fooled as the hole is narrow, plays uphill towards the green and is again well protected by bunkers. The12th at only 120 yards and downhill may sound simple but correct club selection is paramount as anything short gets swallowed up into a big dell and the green is raised up from its surrounds. The 13th is another and the last par three and at 200 yards a totally different challenge to the previous hole, bunkers short, left and right protect a green that slopes from right to left. The 14th and 15th both see the return of the streams with the 14th having it all down the left of the hole and the 15th being another, making club selection off the tee a real tough decision, good tee shots will offer up chances of birdies on both holes but anything wayward can bring big numbers into the mix. The 16th is a great par five, doglegging to the left with large trees lining the hole and making a great frame all down the fairway. The 17th again can offer up a birdie if you can get a good couple of straight shots away. The last hole is the third par five on the back nine and apart from the real long hitters (requiring with a draw) is another three shot hole. Bunkers to the left protect the green which is sat right in front of the clubhouse.
My personal favourite holes were the 1st as it really sets the tone for what lies ahead, a great looking hole, not long but danger is waiting for any errant shots. I also thought the 120 yard 12th is a great hole and shows that par threes don't have to bee 200 yards+.
The front nine is the tougher and with only one par five it can be a card wrecker. Once you get onto the back nine you really feel like you can start to score better but both halves can easily bite you.
Bearing in mind it was still April when I played, the course was in fantastic condition. Very dry and well presented. There are many hazards including the streams dotted round and the bunkers were some of the best I have seen. The greens were as good as I've putted on for a good while, fast and true. The clubhouse offered up a wide range of food and drink at reasonable prices and again a friendly reception awaited us.
You can see that a lot of effort has gone into drainage and this would make the course playable all year. For the start of the golf season, the course in general and especially the greens were a credit to all concerned. Lee has a well stocked Pro Shop and offers custom fitting from his swing room.
Prices: Midweek visitor: £29
Weekend visitor: £39
Off Peak visitor from £19
9 holes visitor rate: £12.
Overall Rating – 9
Course (Conditions) - 9
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 8
Course (Green Condition) - 9
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 9
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 9
Practice Facilities - 9
Friendliness/Hospitality - 10
Pace of Play - 9
Value for Money - 10
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|Hollywood Golf Club
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