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Jeremy Ellwood visits Wychwood Park Hotel and Golf Club near Crewe in Cheshire to take on the challenge of its 21st century golf course
Wychwood Park Hotel and Golf Club Stay and Play Review
On course Par 72, 6,374 yards The 21st century newcomer near Crewe is a big golf course laid out over 200 acres of rolling Cheshire countryside, so make sure you choose the right tees for maximum enjoyment. The 1st serves up a generous drive, but then a more testing lay-up and tricky approach to a green boasting a central crest.
The long par-4 4th can be a real brute into the wind, with the 6th and 7th both good holes heading out. The former is a par 3 playing downhill over a marshy area, while the latter is a sprawling par 5 with a split fairway and a linksy-feeling green.
The inward half requires you to negotiate a tree in the middle of the 10th fairway and a large pond on the pretty par-3 17th, which can stretch to 216 yards off the tips. The par-5 12th is perhaps the standout hole visually, especially off the elevated back tee. Both nines finish strongly, with the par-5 18th a birdie chance if you can safely negotiate two more trees in the middle of the fairway.
Off course The Wychwood Park Hotel has a spacious feel and has just completed phase one of a £3 million improvement and refurbishment programme to its bedrooms, bar, restaurant and public areas. The good-sized bedrooms offer plenty of light and excellent facilities, with all 110 of them now boasting brightly coloured interiors and contemporary styling.
That contemporary feel extends to the restaurant too, where the excellent menu includes delights such as pheasant supreme or monkfish wrapped in Parma ham. Bar Vista is then a relaxed and very roomy place for a drink, as is the Claret Jug in the golf clubhouse looking out over the 9th and 18th greens.
Wychwood Park Hotel also opened its new fitness suite in September 2019 to provide a small range of fitness and training equipment to hotel guests on a complimentary basis 24 hours a day. This compact suite features a rowing machine, exercise bike, treadmill, cross trainer, weights and an adjustable weight bench.
The hotel is undertaking the final stages of its multi-million pound refurbishment project in late 2019, with a view to unveiling the finished article before the end of the year.
The over-riding feeling at Wychwood Park Hotel is one of space.
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
Jeremy is currently playing...
Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft
3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft
Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft
Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts
Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)
Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response
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