Jeremy Ellwood heads to the Hertfordshire/Essex border for a stay and play visit to the Manor of Groves Hotel in Sawbridgeworth

Manor Of Groves Golf Stay and Play Review

On course
par 71, 6,197 yards

This three-star hotel in Sawbridgeworth on the Hertfordshire/Essex border lies 20 minutes from Stansted Airport.

The golf course at Manor of Groves opened in 1991 and plays either side of a narrow country lane. The opening trio and holes 13-18 play over more open-feeling terrain up and down a  slope.

When you return to this part of the course after the 12th, the par-3 13th is a shortish but pretty little par 3 with a stream running across the front of the green.

This is also the part of the course where you’ll find the longer par 4s and the layout’s two par 5s. The 2nd is probably the toughest par 4 on your first visit to this part of the course. It stretches to 427 yards up the hill.

The course comprises two sets of distinctly different holes either side of a narrow country lane

The 18th is then a monster par 5 at over 600 yards off the tips. Mercifully, the first two-thirds are back down that same hill!

The 4th to 12th holes weave around the entrance drive the other side of the lane, and things are a little tighter and more thought-provoking here, with the short dogleg par 4s at the 4th, 6th and 12th testing accuracy and position far more than length.

The difference between the two parts of the course is similar to that at Aldwark Manor in Yorkshire, where you start and finish on the more fiddly holes around the hotel either side of a visit to the more open-feeling holes the other side of the river.

Check out some of our other south England stay and play reviews:

Off course

The grand main Georgian Manor House was restored and converted into a hotel in the late 1980s and early 1990s and now boasts 80 rooms plus a state-of-the-art leisure club.

The main hotel building is a converted Georgian Mansion

The Health Club facilities include a 20-metre indoor swimming pool, steam room, saunas, Jacuzzi, solarium, a three-tier air-conditioned Technogym, aerobic studio and sun terrace.

Food is served in La Brasserie Restaurant, The Atrium Bar or the Viewing Gallery Golf Lounge over in the clubhouse. The relaxed Atrium Bar is also the perfect spot for a pre- or post-dinner drink or cocktail.