Bracken Hill Golf Course
Bracken Hill Golf Course, Heighington, East Midlands, England, LN4 1JX
3 reviews of Bracken Hill Golf Course
I read the reviews, which were either glowing or damning, from various websites. A lot of the reviews were outdated - so we thought we'd give it a go.
To start with we turned up to nobody about. There are two recently built buildings, with no decor, just harboring building and decorating materials. As nice as the buildings looked from the outside, there is no pro shop, no dressing rooms, no bar, clubhouse, staff...or even score cards as far as I am aware (since there was nobody there at all).
The Positives: The course layout was quite good, There are some shared greens and presumably fairways (we only played 9 holes) but this does seem to be temporary as I saw an unused green part way through being made. If you're a real beginner there's no water hazards to worry about (some may see that as a positive). In all fairness there is a lot of potential for the course as the actual layout seems like it's been thought about.
The Negatives: The bunkers were appauling. The sand is orange, hard, and full of stones and weeds (for the record I did not see one bunker that wasn't full of weeds). The guy uses his own resources, such as for the bunkers to cut down on costing. He extracts this from the site by the look of it. That is all well and good but if you want to attract people and make a nice course...don't use poor quality stoney sand and let it fill up with weeds. The owner needs to sell the resources he has for the money he needs to get the right materials.
The greens were very poorly maintained, some greens were longer than the others (noticably) and the grass was a bit woolly, again with weed patches on the greens. All in all low quality but not unplayable. There were some greens with bald spots on them. They need work
There were big piles of sand, unused machinary (including agricultural and industrial) and rubble around the course (not on the fairways...but in the cases of the sand not that fair away either).
We could hardly tell what hole we were teeing from until we got right up to the tee. The signs at the tee consisted of a hand painted map with a very faded tee number drawn on it, on a metal stand like a road sign. There is no indication for how far the hole was or what par or stroke index it was.
There is no clear direction between the green and the next tee (it's not always next to the last green). No signs telling you where you need to go, no map on the back on the none existent score cards...nothing. Some of the tees were easy to find but other, such as from the 2nd to the 3rd, means crossing the 7th tee. A sign pointing to the next tee would be useful.
No score cards. You've probably got this by now but I've never known a course without them...especially one that has been open for 8 years (if he gives them out to people on arrival then just hope you turn up when he's about. I saw no evidence of scorecards anywhere).
No Website. Not that there's much to put on it but not having a website in this day and age is pretty poor.
The 9th green was partially smoked out because of the guy's woodburner just outside of the club house to be. His positioning of the woodburner wasn't very well thought out really.
I think the biggest problem is that the owner is doing it himself. There is, in my view, a desperate need of a groundsman and a green keeper to look after the course. Also...the sand has got to go. If it ever wants to be taken seriously it has to make the changes.
In the long term some water would be nice but this isn't really a criticism as much of a suggestion.
I'm only too sorry to say that for as long as there's no other employed persons working on that course it's never going to look finished. I have played on young courses before but I have never known a course progress as slowly as this. It is very clearly still under construction after 8 years. I'd forgive it a few months in but not 8 years. People were writing of this in reviews from 2007-2009. I understand that it takes time for a course to develop but it also takes more work than one pair of hands can put into it 7 days a week.
There are a lot of good courses close by and it's a competative market. There's too much competition to let standards slip this low I'm sorry to say. Maybe I'll try again in another 8 years.
I played this course recently, what a disgrace, no facilities, bad condition, layout is dangerous, no yardage posts, bunkers a joke, the sand on the beach is better and has less stones. fairways if you call them that, are devoid of grass in places. And now for the greens, or should we say weeds. Dont go. Absoulute complete waist of money. owner does not have a clue and i found him very rude with a bad attitude. Not fit to be a course and the price is riddiculous.
recently,i played bracken hill golf course with an ex county player.
i only found this out as he joined me for a game.
he said it was the first time of playing the course.
so i was interested in his opinion of the course ,he said it was a good layout and well thought out and in good condition.
he said the greens were flat but fast,owing to that type of grass,and also he commented on the bunkers surrounding the greens and added a decent golfer has to use some intelligence when approaching the greens as the bunkers certainly guard the greens.
he would like to come back next year when the new holes open
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