Woburn Golf Club Duke's Course Review

A very attractive course framed by a wonderful array of mature trees.

Woburn Golf Club Duke's Course Review
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A very attractive course framed by a wonderful array of mature trees. It’s a layout where the ability to hit a straight drive is of paramount importance.

Woburn Golf Club Duke's Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 86

Previous Rankings

2019/20 - 86 2017/18 - 91 2015/16 - 97 2013/14 - 97 2011/12 - 2009/10 -

Summer Green Fees

Round - £179 Mon-Thurs, £195 Friday

Visitors: Monday to Friday

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,976 Yards

woburngolf.co.uk (opens in new tab)

Changes since previous ranking

Some tee extensions

Woburn Golf Club Duke's Course Review

The Duke’s is where it all began on the Duke of Bedford’s Woburn Estate, with Charles Lawrie crafting the first of today’s three courses through avenues of pine, birch and chestnut in 1976.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

It’s an extremely attractive layout with springy fairways lined by bracken, birch, heather and gorse. It’s a track that sits so comfortably in its surrounds, it feels it has always existed.

Within three years of its opening, it had found its way onto the European Tour schedule, going on to host the British Masters 16 times over the next 23 years.

The course winds through pine trees, demanding accuracy off the tee. If you’re not on your game, you will often find yourself playing your second shot out sideways.

A view of the par 3, 3rd hole on the Dukes Course at Woburn (Getty Images)

All the Woburn courses are tree lined throughout, the Dukes is wider and visually less challenging than the Duchess. The trees frame the holes well and provide a feeling of seclusion and tranquillity.

It’s a well-designed course that doesn’t rely on heavy bunkering or water hazards for protection. The clever routing through the trees and the changes in elevation provide challenge enough.

The Duke’s boasts a very pretty start, a demanding middle section then a tricky run for home where accuracy is often of more use than distance as you seek to place your ball in the ideal spot over the closing three doglegs.

Perhaps the most majestic of the holes falls early on in the short-but-delightful downhill par-3 3rd, bathed in robes of purple glory when the rhododendrons are in bloom, and the magnificent par 4 that follows playing round and up to a challenging two-tier green sheltering in a secluded arbour.

Precision is most definitely the name of the game on the Duke’s course.

Assessor Feedback

With virtually all the fairways being tree lined, any shot off-line is likely to end up in the trees and in the spring/summer, the ferns covering the ground make it difficult to find a ball, let alone play it.

Often then, ‘going for it’ such as second shots on the par 5s has a risk/reward element akin to firing over water hazards on other courses.

A delightful course to play. Beautifully designed and maintained with tree lined fairways throughout. Everyone should experience a round of golf on a totally forested course!

GM Verdict

A very attractive course framed by a wonderful array of mature trees. It’s a layout where the ability to hit a straight drive is of paramount importance.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?