Jeremy Ellwood heads to the famous Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames to enjoy a stay-and-play golfing break at Badgemore Park
Badgemore Park Stay And Play Review
par 69, 6,129 yards
The parkland course at Badgemore Park just outside Henley-on-Thames opened in the early 1970s, since when it has continued to invest and evolve, with newly planted trees complementing the many pre-existing strategically placed specimens.
Recent changes include new, more undulating greens on the 1st and 5th holes, with the one on the 1st also extending the hole by some 40 yards.
Heading out, you’ll also remember the long, tough par-4 3rd as it slingshots round to the left, the short dogleg-left par-4 7th with its blind drive, and the daunting drive on the 9th, where you must find the gap if you’re to enjoy a shot at the green.
Coming home, the short par-4 10th is one of the most visually attractive holes on the course, but it’s no pushover as you’ll have to really thread the needle on your approach if you stray out of position.
The 12th and 13th are then a good back-to-back pair, the former a potentially drivable risk-reward par-4 and the latter probably the pick of the par 3s playing across a shallow valley.
On the final run for home, look out for the three sharply left-to-right doglegs of varying lengths on 15, 16 and 18 that will further test your positional play.
The 16th is the longest of the trio, but even on the two shorter holes, the placement of your drive will dictate the straightforwardness – or otherwise – of your approach shot.
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This family-owned club has continued to invest off the course too as it moves rapidly towards its half-century milestone in 2022.
The club is now able to offer four-star B&B accommodation in a lovely building close to the 9th green and new chipping green set to open in autumn 2020.
The eight rooms (five doubles, two triples and a large family room) are maintained to a very high standard, with each room individually decorated.
Breakfast can be taken in the clubhouse, but there’s also a kitchen and lounge for residents to use as they wish, plus the excellent FOCUS, a state-of-the art fully equipped gym in the clubhouse, where you’ll also find an extensive free-weights area, plus stretching and relaxation zones.
The beautiful riverside town of Henley-on-Thames lies a little over a mile away.