Stanedge Golf Club Review
Stanedge Golf Club, situated between Chesterfield and Matlock, has been an underrated and unappreciated venue for many years by the wider golfing public. It's a moorland course of 10 holes with angled tee boxes that provides the full 18 holes experience.
I knew that in 2019, Fame Tate purchased the venue and installed a passion and fervour for quality golf provision. She is a PGA Advanced Fellow Professional having competed on the Ladies European Tour until injury caused her to rethink her career path.
Stanedge was shortlisted in the final four clubs by England Golf for its outstanding customer service in 2021. Given the pandemic interruptions, it was a massive achievement for Fame and her team.
I had been hearing some great things about the venue and its current conditioning so decided I needed to learn more. A sign on entering the golf course car park gives a great idea of the ethos behind the venue.
"We are more than just golf."
The Golf Club
This is a community hub, cafe, high end restaurant and venue for all manner of business meetings, etc, with a golf course attached. The customer service I witnessed during my visit was excellent and speaking to several members is ‘par for the course.’
The course layout offers a number of variations for play from 3 to 6 to 12 to the full 18 holes. The location of the clubhouse means that you are always within three holes of it at any point during play. This is a walking venue with buggies under consideration.
The pro shop is very well equipped with a comprehensive range of women's styles on offer. Something not always provided and a great indicator of a truly inclusive venue.
Directly outside the clubhouse is a well-equipped driving range and practice area with a small but perfectly functional practice green. I liked the fact that the pace of this green was matched by those on the course. Given the exposed nature of some of the green sites, it’s quite an achievement by Lee and his team of greenkeeping staff.
Pristine warm up nets are also another good indicator of attention to detail by the management of the venue.
I love the fact that the club members are at the heart of the club. There are no committees here, simply Fame managing the venue taking into account its members' wishes. This type of structure allows for improvements and enhancements to be made quickly.
The area around the clubhouse was resplendent with seating and there was a host of customers in place throughout all the time I spent at the club.
Many members of the public visit to access the excellent Tyzack’s Bar and Bistro without any interest in the golf course itself.
The Golf Course
The opening hole offers the chance for some serious embarrassment as it is exposed to the gaze of the watching gallery.
Opening with a par 3 of 197 yards, it requires a steady approach to a green that was lightning fast yet true.
The second hole is an interesting dogleg right to left requiring a decent drive that avoids the water hazard that bisects the fairway. The green is elevated with protective bunkers and multiple layers. The quality of the greens was obvious with a fast but true pace.
The third provides an elevated tee box and requires another accurately placed tee shot avoiding the heather and heavy rough that lurk around each fairway at Stanedge. This entire course requires accurate placement as any off-line shot is punished by the depth and lushness of the rough areas that offer some serious protection from any errant shots.
The course returns to the rear of the clubhouse and the fourth is a short par 3 up a hill to a well-protected green complex.
You then move to the fifth, which is a neat and compact par 4 that forms the outer boundary of the course. Anything off-line will be punished as the rough and semi rough is a definite hazard to be avoided if at all possible. The trees that protect the left side of the fairway also provide decent protection.
The sixth offers another elevated risk reward tee shot. Take the time to enjoy the views and atmosphere of this venue around these holes. I played in the hazy late summer sun but four counties can be seen on a good day from this location.
The seventh is a lovely but challenging short hole. Any tee box that has a drop zone provided at its farthest edge is one to be treated with the utmost respect. This green provides two different tee boxes with completely different angles into the green affected by the bunker situated to its right-hand side. There is no bailout here. Hit the green or go home!
Next up, the eighth hole offers another tight par 4 with an acute dogleg. Watch out for the water hazard that cuts across the fairway adding a blind hazard to the all too obvious well-established trees. Very little margin for error here but great fun nonetheless. The elevated green has multiple layers that also offers a decent challenge to even the best of players.
You then face the ninth, which is a true par 5 requiring accurate placement and avoidance of the lateral water hazard that cuts across the fairway. Open your shoulders and try to get as far down as possible to allow any chance of a birdie attempt.
Multiple tee boxes offer the full 18-hole experience, with hole 16 being a separate entity in its own right. A risk reward par 4, framed by established trees requiring a ball following the dogleg left from the tee box.
I had an excellent meal and spent time chatting to some members. They understood the reason for my review visit but they expressed the view that they didn’t really want additional visitors as they felt that Stanedge was their own little secret and offered millionaires' golf for a highly competitive membership rate.
I have no hesitation in broadcasting this facility to the Golfshake Community as it has gone under my personal radar for much too long and it deserves to be visited and enjoyed by as many golfers as possible.
Stanedge offers fun, accessible, affordable golf. Dogs are encouraged on the golf course. The food was simply superb with a thriving restaurant adding greatly to the overall package offered to the visiting golfer.
This seems like the perfect golf society venue and I will be recommending it for inclusion in the societies I support next year.
I decided to revisit this course for the first time after a gap of over 20 years because of the consistently high marks it was receiving from Golfshake subscribers and I was not at all disappointed. I will be returning soon as this is an excellent, ambitious, well-run pay and play golf course in a beautiful part of the world. It is friendly and welcoming and offers everything I want to see in a local golf course. Great fun.
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|Stanedge Golf Club
from 30 reviews