5 reviews of Arkley Golf Club
I played in a Hertfordshire wide team competition last Sunday and very much enjoyed both the course and the facilities. It is very well designed and the different sets of tees for the two nines make for some rather different holes.A par 3 becomes a par 4 and a par 5 becomes a difficult par 4 for example. The course was in excellent condition and challenging in a very enjoyable way. Very good fun and a very friendly atmosphere.
Reading the last review, I felt compelled to spring to Arkley's defence. I've played Arkley a number of times as a visitor and never experienced significant overcrowding or slow play. It is, though, a tough test for a high handicapper like me. Fairways are tight but most of the par 4s are too long for shorter-hitting golfers to take anything less than a 3 wood from the tee and have any real chance of reaching the green in regulation. So you have to take your life in your hands. In truth, the positioning of the back nine tees doesn't add huge variety, apart from hole 7/16, where the tee is pushed back 100 yards to turn a longish par 3 into a shortish but tight par 4. But the course is always well maintained and the members and staff go out of their way to be welcoming. Practice facilities and car parking are limited however.
If you like "crazy golf", this is the course for you. Note, the website does not make it obvious there are only 9 holes. Arkley quickly gets crowded. The pro makes no attempt to manage the number of players on the course, so you get new starters crowding out those coming round for the second nine. The result is that with only 25-30 players, play becomes almost static, destroying timing and rhythm. Unusully on top of that, the members played agonizingly slowly, adding to the congestion.
Once you're on, any drive that's not absolutely down the narrow middle gets punished by bordering trees on every hole which are now so mature as to be too high for a decent recovery shot. Not a course for big hitters. If you haven't been put off by the waiting, on at least half the holes you end up playing a series of trick shots to reach the green. So keep your driver and 3 wood in the bag. On the day we played (4 1/2 hours for a game of singles), there were no yardage markers, and no trolleys were allowed.
In summary, this course has been superseded by modern equipment, you can't play all your shots, and it's spoilt by slow play. One to avoid except perhaps for mid-weekday twilight games.
On the plus side it must be said that the bar staff, members and the pro are very friendly and visitors are made welcome.
A great test of golf welcomes you. Despite being officially 9 holes, there are 18 tees and believe me the back 9 is just like playing a different 9 holes. You do not get that shortened experience like that at course that have the same tees on the back 9.
James Braid designed which is always a pleasure and well worth the money.
A pleasent nine holes of golf here, go early!
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