The Astbury Golf & Country Club Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Mel Davies
Situated a short drive from the market town of Bridgnorth in the heart of the Severn Valley, The Astbury Golf & Country Club was originally designed by K.K. Downing, former lead guitarist of Judas Priest.
Unfortunately, the course went into administration under his ownership but reopened in Spring 2021 and already you can see the investment in both money but also time in the whole place. Lodges are currently under construction so this will be an even better venue in the coming years.
Having not played here for a few years, I was really excited about returning to a course that for a good while ranked top in the West Midlands Top 100 Golfshake Rankings.
As soon as I arrived there was a buzz around the place as a lot is being done to the whole estate.
I was greeted by Tom (head of golf) who gave me a walk round the grounds of the Hall and across to the Potting Shed, which is a great addition offering the perfect opportunity to get refreshments either before the round or after the front 9. I was fortunate enough to sample a cappuccino and a very tasty bacon roll.
From what I could see before we headed out, the course was in great condition especially as the day before and even in the day I played we had a massive amount of rainfall.
Front 9 Overview
The front 9 has a great mix of holes with three par 3s, four par 4s and two par 5s. In my eyes, if you’re going to make a score, you really have to take advantage of this 9 as it’s a little more open off the tee, even though some of the trees have matured and the rough can still penalise you as it does swallow balls up. This 9 starts with a par 4 that sets the tone for the course, you can see the whole hole with its manicured fairways and bunkers with the green perched in the distance. You then have a par 5 that the bigger hitters can easily reach in two. Then follows the first of what I believe is a great set of par 3s, miss left and you have a nigh on impossible shot to get close as the green is very narrow and you are well below the surface.
One thing you need to do round here is commit to all shots around the greens as the rough really is tough to get out of.
You then have another par 4 followed by the second par 3. Then the 6th is a real risk/reward hole, but if you don’t miss in the correct place a par can easily be in doubt.
The 7th is a lovely little par 3 with one of the narrowest greens you’ll play, while the 8th is a great driving hole and one to get the camera out on with views across the valley and if lucky you can even hear the steam trains that are not too far away.
This 9 ends with a great par 5, doglegging from right to left with a green perched on the bank, getting there in two is really only for the biggest hitters and even so you need to be brave.
Back 9 Overview
The back 9 starts with a fantastic par 4 that can be driven, but again if you miss you can soon be struggling for par. This hole will be recognised by those that watch Me And My Golf on YouTube as Piers and Andy have done a lot of filming on this hole down the years.
The 11th is a real tough driving hole with a big tree on the left and bunkers on the right, par here I believe is a great score.
Next up is the first of the two par 3s on this 9, and what I do like here is the amount of teeing areas, and this hole can be anything from a short iron to a fairway wood or even driver. A great but tough green awaits and is well protected by some of the best bunkers you’ll get to play from.
The 13th is the first of two par 5s and favours a little draw off the tee to get there in two, while the next three holes are all par 4s and they sum up this 9 with a good straight drive required to give a chance to hit the green in regulation.
The 17 this the last par 5 and plays uphill off the tee sweeping gently to the right with the next shots playing slightly downhill through a narrow entry with trees either side.
Last but by no means least is a truly awesome finishing hole, a par 3 over water to a green well protected by bunkers and a surface that barely has a straight putt on it unless you are brave and keep the ball below the pin. I left myself about nine feet, pin high and with about two feet of break. I did make it though!
The course held up so well with the rain we had experienced, greens still running so fast it was crazy. I think the course is well worth a visit for all levels of golfer and some of the holes and views will have you reaching for the camera.
The food and drink was all of a high quality and everyone there made the visit a truly enjoyable one and makes me want to return.
All the par 3s are great here with a mix of distances and layouts of hole. The 18th is the standout but there are many others that come close.
As I’ve said, the 18th is the signature hole here but a couple of my favourites are the 9th and 10th. One thing you will get here is a well-presented course with greens as good as you are ever likely to putt on.
This was even better (apart from the persistent rain) than I had envisaged. The course is exactly what you would expect, and all the little additions made (with more to come) will only enhance the experience for anyone visiting here. If you like tricky and pure greens, then look no further than The Astbury.
Overall Rating - 10
Course (Conditions) - 10
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10
Course (Green Condition) - 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 9
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 10
Practice Facilities - 8
Friendliness/Hospitality - 10
Pace of Play - 10
Value for Money - 9
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