De Vere Carden Park Hotel Golf Resort and Spa

De Vere Carden Park Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, Chester, North West, England, CH3 9DQ

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25 reviews of De Vere Carden Park Hotel Golf Resort and Spa

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Played the Cheshire Course and it is a great layout. Holes 3, 12 and 16 very good. My only problem was the pace of play. Arriving early we paid and told to go. Got to the tee and there was three groups on the tee. After a wait we got under way and it was a 5 1/2 hour slog. Will not play this course again unless its first thing. Many of the groups in front were playing off the whites and we were told by members that there was no comp on. The group in front said they were not that good and it really slows things up. Some of the tees were shocking and you could see the wear and tear to the course due to the volume of traffic. Paid the extra and expected a fairer pace of play. Glorified 'Muni', you can see a lot of the other holes as you play and see golfer s play, some should not be here if the policy on HC is upheld, not asked hor HC cert. Think it's about getting as many on as poss. Member told me he overheard some scores after nine as they talked in the high sixties, well you can keep it, rather play muni at a quarter the price and get round. Played on the Friday, was told its always busy. Not knocking the course and clubhouse as the lies you get are good and the greens are tricky to read, lots of pitch marks on some. Ball sits up on the turf, and you can feel the quality of work to get this. Take plenty of food water and a book while you wait, five groups on hole 4 and 5.

Posted by Happy Golfing on 30/09/2013
3
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  • Green conditions3
  • Clubhouse3
  • Course challenge3
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  • Value for money3
  • Green conditions3
  • Clubhouse3
  • Course challenge3
  • Staff service3
  • Value for money3

Played both courses today in tough windy conditions and it was a soul destroying experience,

There are some beautiful views and backdrops to both courses and on a warm sunny summers day this would undoubtedly add appeal however...

The terrain is generally flat with little protection from the elements. The courses are badly neglected and the general conditions were comparable to those I would expect to find in on an overused municipal. Neither course is designed to be walked and buggies are more or less essential. In fact we walked the Nicklaus course in the morning and it was the regular presence of 100-150yd walks between greens and tees that led to us hiring buggies in the afternoon. The cost all but doubles the green fees. Tees were generally in reasonable condition but were poorly signed meaning it could be difficult to navigate from hole to hole. The problem is exacerbated by the absurd feature of using large rocks to mark and identify the tees. The problem however is that the inscribed signs all point inwards so they can only be read when you user stood on the tee. They are invisible from the walking/buggy tracks which is inconvenient leads to confusion and adds time to the round.

The course set-up is challenging and seemed to be laid out with low single figure golfers in mind. The fairways were narrow, often only 20-25 yards wide yet the length of the course generally meant you had little choice but to hit driver from the tee. The fairways were hard and in parts they were bare so it was not unusual to find yourself playing from a hardpan clay lie or from a divot due to overuse and limited maintenance.

The exposed nature of the courses combined with the sort of wind we encountered on the day generally meant that at least one or two of the balls from our four ball missed the fairway and found the 'semi'. This 'semi' was brutal. In the two rounds we played we probably lost a couple of dozen balls that were no more than a few yards into the first cut. The problem was the first cut doesn't get cut and it was a couple of inch deep and full of dandelions so don't take yellow balls. If you strayed into this you were looking at the real possibility of a lost ball as they would settle into the grass and were often impossible to see unless you were literally stood on top of them. Again this does not help with the pace of play.

Bunkers were in bad shape. Riveted walls were still just about identifiable through the weeds and the quality and quantity of sand was variable. Some bunkers were packed hard with very little sand indeed. Drainage was poor and several bunkers were unplayable being full of water.

The greens were one of the better features, many having several tiers and challenging slopes and borrows to contend with. They didn't always run true and were prone to the odd bobble. Our impression was that they hadn't been watered and few balls pitching the green held. In this respect the parkland layout was more akin to a links requiring shots to be played short of the greens to allow them to run on.

In summary, my impression was that the courses are there as gimmicks to attract golfers to use the hotel and that they do not get the care or attention required to justify the hype. My thoughts were that they are business ventures first and golf courses second. There are many superior courses in the Chester area to chose from. If you are visiting for golf I'd recommend you consider those.

Posted by A. Cameron on 23/05/2013
2
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  • Green conditions2
  • Clubhouse3
  • Course challenge2
  • Staff service2
  • Value for money1

my first visit to Carden was on the Cheshire course just after all the really bad weather we have had ...
and it was in very good condition indeed no mud anywhere, and little need for ball cleaning.

sadly, because the society in front of took 2 3/4 hours for 10 holes, I only managed the first 10 and then a walk round the back of 11 and through 15-18

the drive in through the Nicklaus was delightful, but it did look flatter and more open and perhaps less interesting than the Cheshire turned out to be ...I doubt the great man ever set foot on that land.

I really did enjoy the Cheshire's front 9, even though they seemed perhaps surpassed by what I saw of the back 9 ...
it has some very good holes, and good true greens, and the whole course and grounds are really well presented indeed.
it was also very peaceful - especially the lack of buggies flying around like on some corporate type courses I have visited.

I am 68 and use an electric trolley and whilst the course is undulating (especially the back 9) it is in no way strenuous.

the bunkers were very well designed, nicely raked, and appeared to have plenty sand in them. fortunately I did not hit any, and was glad not to ... they are mostly evil ! and for the average golfer would require a chip out sideways.

my snack and tea in Jack's bar was wholesome and good value, and all the staff and a members I spoke to were very helpful and friendly.
the only minor cons I have are the lack of a practice net, the shoe cleaner not being in use, and the somewhat 'thin' fairways ...
they are not bare - but not lush enough for my taste.

Carden is a bit of trek from my home in Leyland and I only went to use up a gift voucher, and whilst my visit was sadly curtailed, it was a very pleasant visit indeed.
I shall certainly return, and have no hesitation in paying next time.

lastly, the 18th is superb - a well laid out hole from a very elevated tee with glorious views out over Cheshire


Posted by Kevin J. Browne on 09/10/2012
4
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Overall Rating 4
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  • Green conditions5
  • Clubhouse4
  • Course challenge4
  • Staff service4
  • Value for money3
  • Green conditions5
  • Clubhouse4
  • Course challenge4
  • Staff service4
  • Value for money3

Free round on a voucher on 20/8/12. I had played the Nicklaus Course in 2009 and found the Cheshire rather disappointing in comparison.

The greens though true were very slow and bunkers rock hard and almost unplayable.

Little challenge off the tee with the exception of 3 and 16. 9,12,16 and 17 are the best holes but nothing memorable here. Speed of play was surprisingly good.

Value rating based on a TOT rate of £20

Posted by Stephen Lucking on 23/08/2012
3
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  • Green conditions3
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  • Green conditions3
  • Clubhouse3
  • Course challenge2
  • Staff service3
  • Value for money2

Stayed at the hotel on a 'Sunday Special' For £119.
Cheshire course on Sunday was excellent with a good variety of holes and impressive views, some of the tees were a bit worn and sandy though. They kept the bar in the golf centre open late for us, so we could watch Mcilroy win his first US open. The Nicklaus course, I thought, was disappointing. The fairways were terrible-tufty/tussocky-. A couple of interesting holes and long walks green to tee with not much signage to guide. Cant complain about the service in the hotel as some others do, rooms were first class, catering very good.

Posted by Colin Steele on 22/06/2011
4

Our society stayed at the hotel golf complex on a Sunday driver 15/16 May 2011..We were met in the clubhouse by a very friendly gent named James who was the manager..he opened up the extra meeting room for us because it was a very busy weekend for the hotel with lots of groups of golfers.
Played the Cheshire course first day..It's a great course some good thinking holes the last two par fours are well worth playing just on there own.
The greens were very true and in decent condition to say they had 6 weeks without any rain this early into season!!!
The Nicklaus course is a good test too..again it's not just about driver all the time, you can score well on this course I play off 10 and had 37pts just made a mistake on 18th, Big tree on left of fairway..you need to hit over bunkers and stick to right hand side or Tree blocks out green!!!
Overall we had a great weekend and we voted to keep Carden Park on our list of favourite society weekend venues..

Posted by Lee Wetherill on 25/05/2011
4
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Overall Rating 4
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  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse5
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  • Value for money4
  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge4
  • Staff service5
  • Value for money4

Played the Nicklaus 5/5/11. My only grumble apart from my ineptitude at the game that day, was that the condition of the fairways leaves a lot to be desired as does the punitive nature of the rough. The day was made for me with a birdie at the par 4 6th from yellow tees - my game went down the pan after that! Given that this course is only 16 years old, it still has a lot of maturing to do!

Posted by Mike Black on 07/05/2011
3
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Overall Rating 3
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  • Green conditions3
  • Clubhouse4
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  • Value for money3
  • Green conditions3
  • Clubhouse4
  • Course challenge4
  • Staff service3
  • Value for money3

Played the Cheshire course on a beautiful, dry autumn afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed the round. The clubhouse, staff and members were very welcoming and the course was in fine condition. Some of the tee boxes were showing end-of-season wear & tear but the fairways, fringes and large, fast greens were in consistently good nick. The rough wasn’t too penal but the greenside bunkers are deep and challenging and there’s plenty of woodland to catch stray shots, especially towards the end of the round when you find yourself hemmed in by wonderful-looking stands of forest, framing the approaches to the uphill 14th & 16th - anything short on the approaches to these 2 could wreck your card. The course is pretty fair and all the hazards are in plain view so it pays to think your way round rather than just blast away off the tee, although there’s plenty of opportunity to use the driver, especially from the numerous raised tees that encourage you to open your shoulders. The views of the Welsh hills are stunning, especially from the lovely closing hole where you have the 18th fairway, its bunkers and a pond laid out below you with the green and clubhouse framing the backdrop beautifully. I recommend you give this course a go and I certainly look forward to returning soon. I’ve rated the VFM based on our discount ticket, rather than the £45 full price, which is on the high side and I recommend grabbing a ‘pit stop’ brunch at Mickey Broxton’s “Famous Garage Store” just a couple of miles short of Carden Park on the A41/A534 roundabout as DeVere aren’t shy in charging top whack for their bar food.

Posted by Kevin Gibson on 18/10/2010
5
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Overall Rating 5
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge4
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Played Nicholas course. Environs look superb, and the course looks beautiful, but disappointed with condition of some fairways (obviously drainage issues). Had a good knock, but on reflection faintly disappointed. Lot of walking between holes. Par 3s lacked character. Some interesting 4s with choices of how to tackle water and I found 5s tricky. However, find it difficult remembering many holes now which is not a good sign - for price of round you would want it to be more memorable. Would not rush back - better courses close by.

Posted by paul checkley on 03/08/2010
4
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Overall Rating 4
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  • Clubhouse5
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I have managed to play both courses this year and would say they are two very different courses. I have very much enjoyed playing Carden Park despite the corporate feel to the place with the mandatory slow play with such establishments.
The Nicholas course is wonderfully set up as you would expect of a Nicholas course. Some of the holes are very interesting with risk and reward options available. The many fairway bunkers can be card wreckers as the chances of playing long irons out is not usually there. The down side to the course is the actual greens, which are patchy in places, although they seemed to run very true and fast when I played in September.
The Cheshire course is definitely the more scenic (I would even pay to walk round for the views and I don’t do walking for walking sake) of the two course and the greens here were in far better condition than the Nicholas course. Again some lovely holes and the finishing hole was truly spectacular.
All in all two good courses, although see if you can get a deal (2-4-1 or De Vere stay and play deals are good value) as the green fees are a little expensive at full price.

Posted by Simon Alford on 17/09/2009
4
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Overall Rating 4
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge4
  • Value for money3

I played the Nicklaus for £20(twilight rate). Though generally the fairways are wide and inviting there are a number of good holes with the 7th and 15th good examples of "risk and reward". You are allowed to play from whichever tees you wish and the blues at 6600 yards are a good test.
The greens were disappointing even ignoring the unrepaired pitch marks which can hardly be blamed on the course. The pace of play was far too slow(4 hours plus) particularly for a course with little rough. It seems inevitable from the geography that the course would become very wet after any moderate rainfall.
Full green fees would be expensive but so long as you can book a twilight time with AT LEAST 4 hours before dusk it is worth one visit if no more.

Posted by Stephen Lucking on 16/08/2009
4
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Played Cheshire course at beginning of March.
Some decent holes on this course where decent scoring needs the ball putting in the right place - I know it sounds easy! 16 was probably the best example of this. The wet weather meant the course was playing longer than normal, though it was not as wet as I expected it to be in fairness.
Greens were in pretty good nick - no temporaries. Tee beds were a bit overworked, but it was pretty clear they were trying to protect the main parts of the tee beds. Bunkers ok if a bit thin on sand - but again I suspect the weather had a bearing.
Like prevoius posters, I think the back 9 is better than the front 9 by some distance.
Staff friendly enough but as has been mentioned previously prices in bar for food and drink steep to say the least. The golf though I think is reasonable value for money.

Posted by Richard Lupton on 01/04/2009
4
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Played the Nicklaus course on a corporate golf day and found the set up very interesting. It seemed to be a course which players of all standards would get something out of, and the tees and greens were in excellent condition. Some of the fairways were very wet, but then the weather in the preceeding days had been pretty ropey. All in all an enjoyable round.

Posted by Jonathan Phillips on 09/10/2008
4
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Overall Rating 4
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge3
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PLayed both courses over 4 days. Both were a bit wet after prolonged bad weather. Enjoyed both courses, the Cheshire is very scenic but the Nicklaus a good test with some demanding long holes. Recommend both courses. Staff were very friendly and couldn't do enough to make our stay enjoyable both on the course and in the hotel. Only downside was £3.00 for a coffee in the Clubhouse.

Posted by Phil Northam on 04/05/2008
4
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  • Clubhouse5
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Very much corporate hotel golf. Played the back nine holes on the Cheshire. This had to be a special request and luckily it was quiet on the April afternoon. I think they are missing out after closing the par three for hotel guests who want a couple of hours golf and not a full day.
First thing the golf range is not near the club house - makes warming up requiring transport as well.
Club house is large and luxurious but spartan in the shop. Otherwise fairly helpful. £20 for nine holes - OK. Advised to play the back nine which were drier. I had played shortly before in Yorkshire which was sodden. These holes were nicely dry and the greens pretty hard. However much signs of work on the greens with a short of ridge effect from some machine.
Saying that it was pleasant enough. Good views over the Cheshire plane. Some added water and what seems like hundreds of pot bunkers - most poorly maintained with degraded edges and weeds.
Overall OK, but I would have been dissapointed to pay £45 for 18 holes and the Niclaus course would need to be spectacular. It didn't look that great from the holes I saw from the hotel.

Posted by Alistair How on 25/04/2008
2
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Very bad golfing experience. Another set of courses played to ruin because of the way DeVere manages its corporate side. Far too expensive for what you get. Much better courses nearby. Terrible customer service.

Posted by James Deakins on 28/09/2007
1
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Really can't say that I was terribly impressed. Our twenty strong Society played both courses last Saturday with a starting time of 0940 on the Cheshire.This was booked last November. I learned upon check in that the scheduled time for a round on this course is 4 hours 20 minutes. Simple mathematics made one realise that it would be unlikely that the last few groups would make the second round on the Nicklaus commencing at 1440 before nightfall as indeed turned out to be the case. The situation was not helped by the rough on the Cheshire that had been allowed to grow too long in the sense that play was considerably slowed looking for balls in the first cut of rough - a point acknowledged by the starter on the 1st tee. The second nine are a big improvement over the first nine but overall reasonably ok. The Nicklaus course is not at all impressive with largely flat holes and numerous bunkers. The only points of interest are the two holes where you either play round the fairway or opt for the straight drive to the green across the lake.
The catering at lunch was fine for quality of food but oh how unhelpful were the catering staff - can't do this, can't do that, should have booked before - all the things and attitudes that considerably try the patience.
I am afraid that I certainly wouldn't bother coming back for more.

Posted by Nigel Weekes on 05/10/2006
4
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Played the chesire course yesterday,excellent course.Stunning views and top class greens made it a excellent days golfing.Will be back in the summer.

Posted by Anthony Evans on 16/04/2006
5
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Overall Rating 5
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Played the Nicklaus course for the first time and was very impressed. The numerous water hazards and double option fairway make it a golf course for the "thinking person." The chesire course it also impressive and i agree that the back nine is excellent. The facilities with the both courses are excellent.

Posted by Tom Bailey on 01/09/2005
4
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge3
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I'd agree with the comments below about the relative quality of the 2 courses. My partner and I have now played them both - the Cheshire last February and the Nicklaus yesterday. The Nicklaus was very wet, following an overnight thunderstorm we were told. It contains some nice holes, but only a couple will stick in the memory. The Cheshire is much more varied and the back nine are excellent, however it too was very damp in places when we played and the 4th and 5th were closed. Probably best to leave it until late spring to see the courses at their best. The pro shop and clubhouse are high quality and the service is very good.

Posted by John Patterson on 02/05/2005
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Having played both courses the Cheshire course is the gem for me. Top class views compliment a great course. Beware though,can be very boggy in sustained wet periods. I visited in Spring and many bunkers were brimful with water. The Academy course also needs better drainage and maintenance, and does not justify the fee charged. Otherwise standards are high, with enough staff to look after you better than most courses I have visited.

Posted by Colin Turner on 01/04/2005
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played the cheshire course twice excellent facilities course not to hard but hard enough for a high handicapper like myself.really nice course and surrounding are stunning good day of golf has been had on both occasions.

Posted by Neil Parr on 30/03/2005
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Played both the Cheshire and Nicklaus on the same day in early June 2fore1 offer 50pounds for the day! PLayed the Cheshire in the morning, everything excellent especially the greens. A really good back 9 that the front doesn't quite prepare you for. Outstanding holes for me were the 16th & 17th. The sort of hole you see at Wentworth. The Nicklaus course is obviously used more than the Cheshire particularly for company and society days out. Its more open than the cheshire with the feeling of an inland links course. The greens were very soft (like winter greens) and very slow to putt on. However, still enjoyable and we were given the opportunity to play off the blue tees 6600+ yards. All this with a free buggy on the Nicklaus course and an outstanding clubhouse which could double for a hotel in its own right.

Posted by K Ramalli on 07/06/2004
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Only played the Cheshire course as yet. Great test of golf with fine views. Last 5 holes probably the best finish to any golf course in the area. Standing on the 18th tee makes you feel on top of the world and certain you can reach the green in one. Beware of the pond. Can't wait to play the Nicklaus course early next year. Club house and staff great.

Posted by Chris Allen on 07/11/2003
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Played the Cheshire Course in early June. The layout is well presented and nothing seems to be out of place. The staff is friendly and there is a practice range that is excellent. Everything seems to be well thought out. Could do with a bit of eccentricity and character (personal opinion) which could make it more memorable.
There are many beautiful holes, particularly the 17th and at the 18th tee where you can see the Welsh hills in the west.

Posted by NT on 13/06/2000
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Course information

Number of holes 18
Year opened -
Designer -
Style Parkland

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Tees Yards Par SSS
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Men's 6824 72
Ladies'

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