Feature Review Great Hadham Golf Country Club
Review by Golfshake Member Matt Holbrook (23 handicap) - April 2014
Tucked away on the Essex and Hertfordshire border Great Hadham Golf and Country club is situated about 5 minute drive from Bishops Stortford. Founded in 1992 the course offers a gentle test for golfers of all abilities.
Pre round thoughts
I knew that the course had been undergoing some improvement work and was keen to see what they had done so wasn't really sure what to expect of the course itself.
The welcome in the pro shop was spot on. The pro shop itself is actually the flagship store in the south east for IJP Design and is fully stocked with a wide range of both clothing from the popular brand as well as a excellent selection of both clubs and accessories. The pro was very friendly and helpful which is always a great start.
The course possesses a 9 hole academy course, putting green and driving range which for those that do like a good warm up pre round will have everything you could ask for.
The Par 3 8th hole sticks out for me. Some would say the signature hole. Whilst only 150ish yards the large pond in front of the green means club selection is vital. For good measure there is also a bunker between the pond and the green. The green itself is quite wide but fairly narrow back to front and you don't want to be long. If the wind gets up picking the right number is more difficult than you may think.
The rest of the par 3's vary in length from 140 - 180 yards. But nothing is simply.
It seemed that all the par 4's here provided a different test. The 11th (playing as a par 4 for the time being) and the 12th really do stand out. With a narrow fairway on the 11th the tee shot is vital. Your approach to the green is blind. With a 30 foot drop down to the green. The tee shot on the 12th is also blind. Hitting back up the slop onto the fairway blind.
The 4th, while fairly wide, will provide an excellent approach to a green which is also at the bottom of a large hill onto a 2 tiered green. If your 2nd shot is short of the green it will more than likely roll down onto the green. Depending which tier the pin position is you could be left with a nasty putt!
A quick mention for the 17th. At around 400 yards and SI1 just keep it straight. Will play longer when into the wind - Which is more often than not - and the bunkers running up both sides of a narrow fairway will catch you out if you're not straight.
The 11th hole as mentioned above will become a par 5 once the reconstruction of the tee box is complete. This will be the stand out par 5.
With a new water feature going through the fairway on the 9th really coming into play for all its a lot more tricky.
Lower handicappers will be able to reach it. Whilst higher handicappers will need to take it into account when playing a second shot. An excellent addition to this hole.
Post round thoughts
Over the past 4 to 5 years the course has undergone some extensive redesigning and a lot of work done. Whilst still a bit rough around the edges in places the work has done wonders for the course and members and visitors alike have seen such a vast improvement which adds to the experience here. It's very refreshing to see a local course spending the money on making their facilities all round much better and enjoyable.
Included in the reworks being carried out some new drainage has gone in which will become a welcome addition during winter months.
If you do visit this course have an open mind for the time being and concentrate on the course itself and not the remains of the work that is still being carried out in places and you will have a blast!
Matt's rating - 8/10
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|Great Hadham Golf Club
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