Sandwell Park Golf Club Course Review

Sandwell Park Golf Club is a delightful Harry Colt heathland treat a mere stone's throw from J1 of the M5 in the West Midlands

Sandwell Park Golf Club - 6th hole
Sandwell Park is a fine Harry Colt course in the heart of the West Midlands
(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, www.golfworking.co.uk)

Sandwell Park Golf Club Course Review 

GF Round: £35-£55wd only
Par 71, 6,468 yards
Slope 133
GM Verdict – A fine Harry Colt course that forms a veritable heathland oasis within wedge distance of the M5.
Favourite Hole – The long par-3 4th protected by several bunkers especially short-right. Uphill putts come highly recommended on this tricky green.

Sandwell Park Golf Club - 7th hole

The heavily bunkered green on the mid-length par-3 7th

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, www.golfworking.co.uk)

Few courses offer a more pleasant visual surprise relative to their final approaches than Sandwell Park, wedged between the M5 and the A41 in West Bromwich. Google Maps hails it a “venerable Victorian golf links” and that’s not a bad description of this fine Harry Colt heathland course, where it’s hard to believe just how close the ‘real world’ lies, with The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion Football Club, just half a mile away and junction 1 of the M5 just 100 yards away! It is one of several West Midlands golfing treats in this heavily congested part of the UK.

Sandwell Park Golf Club - 1st hole

The 1st plays downhill away from the striking clubhouse

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, www.golfworking.co.uk)

Indeed, the club was originally formed as West Bromwich Golf Club in 1895, before moving to Sandwell Park in 1897 and enlisting the services of the famous Harry Colt to lay out an excellent heathland course over the natural, undulating terrain, with the sandy soil and springy turf making for excellent playing surfaces. From what you might term a ‘proper golf clubhouse’ (actually it’s newer than you might think having been opened by former Speaker of the House of Commons, Betty Boothroyd, as recently as 1993), there’s a delightful outlook over the 18th and the fairly generous downhill opener, where the cardinal sin would be to miss the green left. The 4th is a superb par 3, with the green sitting towards you and a sea of sand short right.

Sandwell Park Golf Club - 4th hole

The 4th is an excellent long par 3 with much sand to ponder

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

The back nine starts with a very straight but quite long par 5, where, in addition to hopes of a birdie, you may also be treated to the very pleasant smell of fresh bread, for this hole flanks the Allied Bakeries plant where some of the nation’s favourites are baked, such as Kingsmill and Allinson’s.

Sandwell Park Golf Club - 9th hole

The 9th is a shortish uphill par 4

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, www.golfworking.co.uk)

The short par-4 11th may then allow you to capitalise further on any gains on the 10th if you can stay out of the sand. Tougher tests then lie in wait on the way home. including the dogleg par-4 13th, which boasts a gorgeous bunker set into a mound 40 yards short of the green, and the tricky but not overly long 15th, where the fairway cambers awkwardly against the dogleg before you climb to a shelf green, where anything missing right risks catching a bank and ending up some distance away.

Sandwell Park Golf Club - 18th hole

The 18th plays back up to the clubhouse alongside the 1st hole

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis, www.golfworking.co.uk)

When you’ve safely avoided the vast bunker stretching across the 18th fairway a little way short of the green and it’s all over, just reflect on the fact that you can play on a course of this quality and then be back on the M5 and on your way in a couple of minutes… the West Midlands traffic permitting, of course.

 

 

 

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf