41 reviews of Birchwood Park Golf Centre
I was a member here a feew years ago. I went recently with a society that I play with and I have to say that it is still as bad as when I left.
The course was busy to say the least. On several occassions we had a wait of 20 mins on a tee before we could play! Thankfully it was still daylight. The main reason for this was that the tee times are so compacted that there is always a bottle neck.
The greens are in good condition and FAST!!
As for the Clubhouse, a recent referbishment has updated the theme and this is reflected in the pricing from behind the bar.
We decided to go and eat in the new Beefeater a mile down the road which did offer great food at a competative price.
Sorry Birchwood, but your not the course you used to be :o(
Played here on Saturday 12th November and wasn't really sure what to expect having read some of the reviews here. To be honest, I think that it's a perfectly acceptable course of it's type.
We were 20 minutes late teeing off after breakfast, which is never the best of starts, but there was a starter on duty who apologised for this and also spent the time to talk us through how the flags were colour coded depenging upon whether the hole was cut at the front, middle or back of the gren. This may be quite common, but it's not something that I've ever come across.
The round for a forball took just on 5 hours, but I don't think that you can always blame the course for the fact that 2 groups in front of you give seem to think that this is the Open and spend forever teeing up the ball, taking 5 practice swings and then shank it straight into the trees.
As for the course itelf, the stand out hole is the par 4 15th. Drive it 250 yards to the marker post and then drop off the edge of the world for what in 90% of cases will be a blind second shot. Apart from that, there aren't really that many features and the low handicapper may find it a bit 'samey'.
Only 2 real issues. Firstly although there was plenty of sand in the bunkers, there seemed to be just as many stones as well so keep a eye out for that. Secondly, the greens were a bit ropey. Very slow and rather bobbly, which is a shame as it can spoil the rest of the round.
But if the previous reviewer states that it was, in his opinion, the poorest he's seen it then I'd certainly go back again - especially if they can get the greens running true.
First time played scine last July, customer service is appaling, teed off at 4.00pm, paid the boy at the desk (who done me a managers deal for cash )and handed me two scorecards, waited 20 minutes at the first tee, talking to several other groups. Apprently if you pay cash for your round you get it cheaper. so just ask. ( dodgy place but at least saved us a fiver each).the owners need to send in a mystery shopper, that will open there eyes.
Played there this week. I really enjoyed it. Interesting mix of holes. The greens were excellent for March as were bunkers and fairways. One possible area for improvement would be to tidy up the tee boxes.
Staff were ok but not really friendly, no course map just the little thumb nail on the back of the score card. No Starter when we tee off but then it was not that busy had a 2pm tee off went round the first 9 at a good pace nice gap between us and the group in front. No one behind us until we got to the 3rd we saw a group Teeing off at the first, Which is good as the G/F is not a big hitter plods along hitting 120 yards all day. Finished the first 9 in 2 hours, noticed the massive crowds at the first as twilight had just started, Went down hill from then as the starter had decieded to send half the Twilights to the 10th just before we got there. waited an age at the 10th to tee off even the group that was 2 holes behind us caught us up, they was that disgusted they packed up and went home. We chose the call the course marshal over to sort it out route shame he did not show however the groups in front of us saw sense by the 12th and let us play through. Rest of the round went well very nice course but avoid the twilight it looks like a bun fight.
Pre-booked tee times mean nothing on this course.
We arrived in good time for our slot and there was a group of about 12 people on the tee. It was clear, as we all discussed our various times, that people were just pushed out regardless of those who had decided to reserve a time. We teed off 48 minutes after our allotted time. Disgraceful and for £108.00 for our four ball you should not be treated in such a cavalier way.
So, on to the course. The fairways were rock hard and had no grass in many places but it has been dry for some time.
The greens were fine and true.
The bunkers are a mess and need a rethink. Full of stones and ended up with a chunk out of my sandwedge when I bottomed out in a bunker on the 13th.
FIVE AND A HALF HOURS to play round a course that is playing only 2/3 of it's distance because of the dry conditions.
So, a nightmare Saturday.
This course is more like a poorly kept council run course than one that is privately owned. A pity because the potential is there but golf is to be enjoyed and you can't do that while you're kicking your heels for hours because the course has been massively over booked.
We will vote with our feet.
I played a Friday twilight session with 11 other people and booked tee times in advance. The club even rang me during the day to check if I needed all the slots, fair enough I thought. The large group all turned up on time and happily paid their £15, very reasonable we all felt and headed to the 1st tee. Sadly, there were 4 groups already there! It seems the officials at Birchwood are happy to cram as many people as they can onto the course whether they have booked or not. The round took over 5 and half hours, 2 players left after 13 holes. On the positive side, the fairways and greens were in excellent condition and the facilities are super. However, I'll not be returning in a hurry as we have been treated far better on other local courses.
played the course today and my general impression is that this is a very good course but would be helpful if they had a course planner available greens were fabulous as were the fairways i will be definetely be going back though
Birchwood Park is a challenge to most players. However, it can be slow getting round, especially at weekends. Despite what the previous person said, it isn't because of the members monthly medal.
The members don't start their competitions until 8.02 and they are already way behind schedule by the time they tee off. It is simply down to there being too many players allowed on the course I'm afraid.
The management have officially told the members that they would expect a minimum of 5 hours for a round at the weekend and this HAS been minuted in their committee meetings which are posted openly on the club members board for all to see.
There is your answer.
A very nice course and one that I enjoy playing on - except for the length of time it takes to get around. We invariably play it on a Saturday morning and there is always a queue on the first tee so you can expect to tee off later than your alloted time. We played it last Saturday and with the delay in starting plus being held up on most tees, finished just over 5 hours after our alloted time. I'm sorry to say that this was not an isolated case - it seems to be caused partly because of the members' medal on Saturday mornings.
It's a funny old course for a player of around 10/12 handicap - I've scored very well at times but there is a run of 8 holes from the 7th where the stroke indices mean you may only get only one shot. If you don't get through those with at least 6 pars, you could struggle to score well (and heaven help you in matchplay) because the closing four are challenging. The signature 15th has had plenty of mention from other contributors but the par-3 16th across the valley is far from easy and the par-5 17th has water along virtually its entire length. The finish is a long par 4, invariably played into the wind, where even a very good drive will leave you with a mid or long-iron approach into a narrow green with water on the right and deep bunkers on the left. In all, you'd better score well on the opening six holes!
The course is potentially very good with some very nice golf holes, particularly the 15th,a fabulous hole that takes no prisoners. The problem is the course always looks a bit scruffy and the bunkers are never in good condition. It is a course that is maintained in a condition to 'get you round'. It is never set up to it's full potential, hence in the summer you can scuff a ball over 200yards from the tee. Good for your ego maybe but your score does not reflect how you've played. It's interesting to see how many comments refer to how 'cheap' the course is. It is cheap to play and rightly so. If you are a player who likes a challenge this is not the course for you. If you want just to knock a ball around, you're not too fussed about how a course is set up and you have plenty of time to play. There's no better place.
Enjoyable golf. Enough of a challenge. Front 9 are a lot different to the back 9, which seems to be just a couple of fields moulded into a course. Looking forward to further rounds and at £13 for twilight golf, you cannot complain. Also to entice you back, the club gave the two of us a two for one voucher to be used after noon. Good effort.
First impressions as I drove in to the car park were that this was going to be a wide open field of a course, but it didn't turn out like that. There are a lot of wide fairways to hit, but this is a very pleasant course. The front 9 especially, with great views over the Kent countryside, had some very lovely holes on it.
It's the sort of place where you can really burn up the course if you have a good game, but won't beat you up too much if you don't.
My one gripe with the place is that it costs £3.50 for a basket of balls for the range, and they don't have a smaller size for people just wanting to warm up before a round. Surely if people get to warm up then they're going to play better, and if that happens then they're more likely to enjoy the experience of playing here. A trick missed on Birchwood Park, I feel.
Nice looking clubhouse. Most of the guys working behind the counter have not got a clue what they are doing though. They were double booking tee times. Even while we were paying for our golf they gave another 4 ball the same tee off slot.
When we got to the first tee at our time, it was chaos. Almost every tee time had been double booked. The poor marshalls really got it in the neck. A 6 hour round ensued. Having played this course for the last few weekends - we have discovered that this is the norm and will not come back. The pro's were useless. Just trying to rake in as much cash as possible. We had the time printed on our scorecards. Others had them written on. This was true for most tee times. I heard somebody allege that they thought the pro's were keeping the money or the management were not passing it on to the owners of the centre but I could not accuse somebody of doing that. Surely that would be tantamount to stealing?
Decent course - but way too slow to be worth the £27.50 they charge for weekend golf, especially as half of the players out there don't know how to play - wear jeans - tracksuits - and some of them were even kicking a football about!
The showers have been broken for 6 years. What are the management doing??? £4 for a bottle of Magners??? What a rip off!
I work in SE London and so the courses in and around J3/4 of the M25 have all been sampled at one time or another. And I have to say that Birchwood is the one that we keep going back to, especially when it's on the bargain £12 twilight offer.
The front nine is fairly tight with plenty of changes in elevation. The back nine is flatter and longer but still as enjoyable with the signature 15th hole ready to cripple your score: a good straight "lay-up" of 210-230 yards is required before playing a blind second shot of c. 200 yards to a bunker protected green in the valley some sixty feet below.
The only minor criticism is that if you're driving the ball well (and by that I mean 250+ yards and straightish), then you're never left with much more than an 8/9 iron into most of the greens. Also, the greens can be quite changable in their pace from round to round which can be a little frustrating.
Overall though, an excellent little course which is always great fun to play.
the greens are fine, however there are plenty of stones in some of the bunkers and one or two on the fairways. a colleague raised a load of sparks with his tee shot on the 14th last week and I noticed two broken irons on the course, one in the rough at the 1st and another on the magnificent 15th. It would have worried me if I had expensive clubs.
is it a land-fill site and if so, why not finish it off?
Good all round course with most of the front 9 situated on one big slope and a flatter back nine, apart from the 150 foot drop from the fairway plateau on the 15th (plus the other couple of holes in that part of the course).
Good value for money and excellent facilities; the course itself has matured nicely is usually in very good condition also. Not particularly long and there's usually plenty of room off the fairways, though this doesn't make the course easy. There's a lot of well placed bunkering while water hazards are used in a couple of places to really make you think about how you're going to play the holes.
Overall it's well worth the visit if you can make it, and also has a par 29 9 hole course to warm up on.
My favourite course in this part of Kent, not too testing for beginners but no pushover either. It has a few risk and reward holes, notably the par 4 11th, which can be got at with a driver, but if you stray off line, you'll not find your ball. Watch out for the wind on the par 5 10th, it always blows into your face. An excellent finish awaits on the 18th, a par 4 arond the 400 yard mark, that demands an accurate approach (water on the right and hills and bunkers on the left). The fairways and greens are in extremely good condition and the course is marked with 150 yard markers thankfully. Good value for money.
Played at Birchwood for the first time on 25 April 2006, having previously failed to get a Saturday morning tee time on a couple of occassions.
Initial impressions were of the practice facilities, which are very good. The opening hole is a straightforward par 4 but overall the course is an interesting one. There are a few blind tee shots and it certainly is an advantage to have played the course at least once.
The 15th is a splendid hole - drive up as close as you dare to the out of bounds stakes, leaving you a 200-yard+ approach down to a green protected by bunkers. The 18th is a good finish, a good drive should leave a mid-iron to the green but it is a narrow approach, with water on one side and deep bunkers on the other.
Overall the course was in good condition for the time of year.
Best value for money I have had for a long time. From tee to green all in excellent condition. Not too difficult even tough there are some tough uphill par 4s. Worth every penny.
It is nicely laid out but quite wide open so u can open ur shoulders. The water features on the back 9 are wonderful and certainly come into play.
The club house is nice and do a good brekkie. £18.50 is a bit pricey for the condition of the course but it is worth playing once to make your own mind up
Played this course twice with a bunch of friends on 09/08/04 under their excellent "Summer Sizzler" offer. Although recent hot spell had had an impact on the fairways (in no way severe though) I thought tees and greens were very good. Not long course but interesting layout with good use of mounding and bunkers. I think the 15th is one of the best holes in the region (gross par both times round so I would say that wouldn't I!) Food and service very good.
After reading some of the comments we thought that this course might not come up to scratch, however, our day from start to finish was excellent, good modern club house with warm up facilities driving range etc. The greens played on the fast side and were in good condition, after the dry summer the fairways have held up well. Our round was on the long side at four hours but this seems to be the case when playing with soceities. The evening meal and service was of a high standard.Give the course a try I don't think you will be unhappy.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank and respond to the comments posted by those enthusiastic golfers.
As a public course with extensive facilities, we continue to improve the course and service we provide. Finding a suitable balance on golf etiquette has been addressed on our par 71 parkland course, with sufficient literature and advice given prior to and during play by staff including course wardens.
The par 3 9 hole Orchard Course is accessable by all ages and abilities, Course Wardens patrol at regular intervals to monitor and advise on safety, speed of play and etiquette.
Beside the 4th hole we are undertaking major re-landscaping of the 4th lake, which will enhance this par 3 hole.
Annual course improvements are planned for much later in the year. There are currently no plans, during these improvements, to close part of the course as suggested by one user of this site. We do not consider the earth brought on site for landscaping purposes as "smelly rubbish". Our golf courses are a joy to play with recent excellent weather conditions and continued good remarks from members and visitors. Full credit to our team of Greenkeepers.
Your information on this course is incorrect. It is now £23 to play at weekends and Bank Holidays, not £20 as stated in the course info. I played at Birchwood today 5.5.03. I enjoyed the course, though I did think that £23 was plenty considering a large part of the opening holes seems to have been allocated as a tipping area with LITERALLY thousands of tons of waste dumped alongside the 4th hole and behind the 2nd and 5th holes. I hope this does not signal that the course is about to close as, apart from this it develops into a good test particularly when you get to holes 13,15 and 16 which, as a first timer at the course, come as a surprise. The greens are indeed extremely bumpy, maybe that is the time of year but most courses have them sorted by now. The course is well worth a visit but wait till that smelly rubbish is cleared first.
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