Woburn Golf Club Duchess' Course Review

The narrowest course in the Top 100, the Duchess’ is an exacting test off the tee that will reward patience, concentration and good strategy

All holes at Woburn are flanked by stately pine

The narrowest course in the Top 100, the Duchess’ is an exacting test off the tee that will reward patience, concentration and good strategy

Woburn Golf Club Duchess' Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 92 Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 92 2017/18 - 89 2015/16 - 94 2013/14 - 94 2011/12 - 97 New Entry

Summer Green Fees

Round - £179 Mon-Thu, £195 Fri

Visitors: welcome weekdays

Medal Tee: Par 72 - 6,651 Yards

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Changes since previous ranking

No significant changes other than a few tee extensions to create a bit more length.

 Woburn Golf Club Duchess' Course Review

Think of Woburn and its three lovely courses, and there is one element that will spring immediately to mind; trees. Majestic pines dominate and are at the heart of pretty much every one of its 54 lovely holes. On the Duchess’, they are undoubtedly at their most imposing. They hug the holes so tightly that a wayward golfer may at times experience a touch of claustrophobia. There are few leading courses that place quite such a premium on straight hitting.

Looking back from behind the tough opening hole

You might think that the pay-off for this would be less demand for length. Don’t! It may be a touch shorter, but really it’s only a touch. On a fair number of holes, you also have to hit long enough to be able to get sight of the green. From the opening drive, an excellent par 4 requiring a long second over a dip, encroaching trees are an ominous threat. Any tee shot drifting away from the desired line can result in an impeded second. The short 2nd is a perfect example. It looks so narrow from the tee that you really feel like you are playing down a corridor.

The very tough, narrow, short second

Accuracy is also vital on many approaches as the greens are relatively small. On a few holes, trees close to the green can actually block the line to the flag. The Duchess requires a strategic, skilful approach, and if you are to score well, the four par 5s offer the best chance to pick up a stroke or two.

The final par- 3 is the sixteenth

This is a wonderful course that rewards good shot-making and a dynamic, flexible approach. As such, it’s been a popular venue for competition over the years. From 1982 until 1994 the Ford Classic on the Ladies European Tour was played here.

The par-4 seventeenth

Assessor Feedback

The most technical of the three courses at Woburn, there are few courses in the UK as tight , making a low score a fantastic achievement. A good place to start hitting the ball straight!

GM Verdict

The narrowest course in the Top 100, the Duchess’ is an exacting test off the tee that will reward patience, concentration and good strategy.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.