Hagley Golf Club Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Mel Davies, September 2019
Hagley is an 18-hole parkland course of 6,376 yards off the whites, 5,673 reds. Set in the shadow of the picturesque Clent Hills, first laid out in 1980 with nine holes, (now the back nine), with a second nine added in 1984. Both nines return to the clubhouse which makes the facilities readily available. Situated close to the M5 and not far from Birmingham, Hagley is easily accessible. The front nine holes are fairly flat with the back nine holes hilly but not tough to walk. The course really is "a tale of two halves" and provides a challenge to all standards of golfer.
Being in the Top 30 of the West Midlands Top 100 and Highly Recommended on Golfshake, this was a course review I have been looking forward to for quite a while. When you enter the driveway, you can see straight away this is a club that is making moves in the right direction. There is a driving range with numerous targets from 25 to 250 yards. The bays have a yardage chart with precisely measured distances to every target on the range so you can accurately judge shot distances. True Strike mats provide ideal surfaces to hit from along with 12 automatic Power Tee bays. The bays are even heated. A short game area is also next to the range and this is being renovated at present. A warm and friendly welcome came from Gareth Snelgrove Head PGA Professional. We then headed over to a very large and impressive practice putting green before the short walk to the 1st tee.
Front 9 Overview
The 1st hole is a gentle opener doglegging from left to right requiring a hybrid/wood at most to get in position for a short iron to a long narrow green well protected by bunkers left and right. The 2nd is longer than the 1st but offers up the same challenges, accuracy over length. The first par 3 awaits on the 3rd hole, just a short iron is needed to a green once more well protected by bunkers ready to gather up any balls coming up slightly short. The 4th is the first real challenge at 450 yards. A good straight drive will still leave a mid to long iron to a green again protected by bunkers short left and right. The 5th is a real risk reward hole where the adventurous can take on as much of the corner as they like and even reach the green, but you have to go over the trees and anything short or even long will end up tree bound!! The 6th is the second par 3 requiring a short to mid-iron to a quite generous green. The 7th and 9th are all about the tee shot, a well-placed shot will leave a short iron offering up birdie chances and with the only par 5 the 8th sandwiched in between you really can get a score going to close the front nine.
Back 9 Overview
Straight away on the back nine you can see that things get tighter and tougher. Accuracy is definitely the order of the day, but length will also be needed to get a score going. The 10th is a tough par 4, the 11th not the longest par 5 where the green can be reachable in two but also a big number can be ran up as trees and OOB to the left on both await. The 12th is the longest par 3 at 199 yards but it does play shorter but once more well-placed bunkers await any errant tee shot. The 13th is a tough par 4 playing all uphill with a narrow tree lined fairway, reaching the green here needs two straight well struck shots. The 14th is another great risk and reward hole. The tee sits well above the fairway and green so going for it is very tempting especially as the safe shot off the tee is not simple as two fairway bunkers sit at the optimum layup distance. The signature hole is the 557 yard 15th named "The Monster", I personally cannot think of another par 5 I have played that is the stroke index 1 hole. This really is a proper three shot hole for nearly everyone and playing uphill this really is a "monster". The 16th (par4) 17th (par 3) and 18th (par 5) are all scoreable holes. The 18th is a personal favourite of mine as the second or third shot depending how you've played the hole is over the water (with a lovely fountain) to a sloping green from back to front, a really great end to a truly superb layout.
Overall, the 15th and 18th are the two real standout holes for me, but the whole course offers up a great variety of holes that will keep all levels of golfer interested,
As the club say themselves the signature hole is "The Monster" 15th hole. A great hole for all abilities and a par here is a real result.
Overall Rating - 9
Course (Conditions) - 9
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10
Course (Green Condition) - 9
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 9
Practice Facilities - 9
Friendliness/Hospitality - 10
Pace of Play - 9
Value for Money - 9
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|Hagley Golf & Country Club
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