18 reviews of Donnington Valley Golf Club
I was very excited about going to play at Donnington Valley and found that it was a real let down.
The holes are tightly packed together and there is people and holes going all over the place. Me and my playing partner nearly got hit about 4 times just by following the paths from hole to hole!
Pleaase don't waste your money there, you're better off going to Donnington Grove just round the corner and paying an extra £10. Donnington Grove is definately worth the money!
Played DV again here on a lovely Sunday afternoon on a 2-fore-1 and found it to be in excellent condition. I was expecting it to be a little boggy but was pleasantly surprised. Indeed - no temp greens.
The previous reviews have already mentioned how tight this course is, and that the front 9 is a bit uninspiring, with the back 9 altogether more interesting - the 10th is a driveable 270 yd, the 11th a very steep par 3, the long 600 yd 15th, the 16th a longish par 3 uphill and the 17th over the lake.
There were a few GURs dotted about but nothing intrusive, the bunkers had obviously just been re-filled and the greens were true. My only minor quibble was with the pin placements - plenty of them were so tight (only a couple of paces from the fringe) that putting was a very tentative effort, otherwise risk putting off the slick greens ! Would be absolutely treacherous in the summer !
All in all, a good course and well worth playing.
Quite a pretty, undulating parkland course well stocked with mature trees. Impressive clubhouse with patio overlooking the 9th and 18th greens.
Some interesting features such as the 600 yard Big Dipper 15th and the shared green on 3rd/5th.
Although the course is OK and reasonably well maintained, I ended up feeling disappointed with the overall golfing experience. I think the problem is that the hotel complex has taken up a lot of ground, which has led to it being a bit of a squeeze to fit in 18 golf holes. The 9th is a 100yd flick; the 10th a 250yd downhill par 4, the road is intimidatingly close off the 6th tee, but the real problem is the back and forth 12th, 13th and 14th with incredibly narrow fairways. It all feels rather congested.
Even with their special offers and 241, I would have expected a better golf course for the green fee.
Having read a few scathing reviews about temp greens and the generally poor condition, I was even more wary after being told in the Pro shop that the green fee was reduced as there were 'temporary greens on all the holes'. Luckily, just 3 temp greens, all in the first 4 holes. Indeed, the green on the first shortened the par 5 by a good 130 yards !
The layout of the opening 9 is quite tight, with fairways running alongside each other and a lot of the holes a bit 'samey'. The back nine is an altogether more interesting proposition, with a couple of tricky par 3's, the long 16th (580 yards but seems to play longer !) and the 17th over the lake. Greens in good nick, but there was a fair bit of GUR dotted around.
Not a particularly long course, but there's plenty of sloping fairways, making 2nd shots into greens more challenging. As summer comes, position on these fairways becomes all the more important. There is a short practice range (up to 150 yards) sandwiched between the 1st and the 8th, making wayward tee-shots on these holes somewhat troublesome !
Putting/chipping area and nets for a warm-up, plus the aforementioned practise area. Pro shop well-stocked and a nice little bar/patio area. Very nice ! They take 2-fore-1 vouchers all the time, so well worth the money.
Dreadful course. If they've had bad weather they certainly didn't forewarn us.
8 temporary greens in August - and they didn't prepare the temporaries just stuck a flag in the middle of the fairway.
Never to be repeated.
I can't believe that the Vineyard associates itself with the course: 5 star hotel, 2 star golf course
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This is a post script to my earlier review.Reflected in the ratings.
It transpired that when I got home,the hotel had taken an extra sum of money from my credit card without my autorisation.Over a month on they still have yet to return my money and after countless phone calls and emails still havn't resolved the situation.I have had to cancel the card for security purposes and got third parties involved to get my money back.All in all,looking back,I got more trouble than I bargained for with us losing the Monday's golf (seven of us taking time off work)as well.It is paramount to check with the pro and the hotel prior to booking to find out the state of the course,and pay in cash if possible at the hotel, the confusion we had trying to pay bar bills and rooms seperately went on for over an hour.Very poor show.
Very uninteresting layout and very short for the low handicapper (<5). First two holes blind and then a lot of walking in parallel to previous holes and a lot of walking behind other tees and other greens. Very poor layout that looks like it was compressed into an area as an afterthought. Many driveable par 4s in dry weather. Greens were poor in quality during July 2006. Good ambience in the bar and the Pro shop was useful. I'd not recommend this course to low handicappers.
Seven of us booked the Sunday Stayover,18 on Sunday,3 course dinner,twin room,breakfast and another 18 for £99.
First impressions of the hotel were good with friendly staff and ample parking.We'd booked a 1.30pm tee off but the pro said we could get off earlier if we wished which again was good.The course was in good condition,mown fairways,rock hard but they're all like that at the moment,and tricky greens,consistent,fast and I just could'nt grasp them.Some really nice holes and 3 or 4 driveable if you're straight enough and a great clubhouse balcony overlooking the 9th and 18th.Fantastic food and service in the evening with a nice ambience about the place.
Monday however was a different story.After a top breakfast we tee off again at 11.15.We had played 9 when we learned that the back 9 was all on temps as this was maintenance week (Just like in Alistairs review).No one told us that when booking 2 months previous and no one mentioned it at all when we arrived on Sunday or Monday.We had a moan to the Management and after an hour or so we were compensated so it was all settled in a friendly manner.We were all disappointed though that the weekend ended in an anti climax.All in all though great value and we'd definately go back.My marks below are for the course and hotel.
I recently played the course and found it very enjoyable. I 100% agree with the comment about the course guide, well worth it. You are unable to see the pin for most shots, which adds to the excitement. Also the staff in the pro shop were extremely helpful and friendly.
All in all I found it a great golf course and will be visiting Donnington Valley very soon!
Played Donnington at the end of a dry spell so the ball was running a fair distance off the tee. Despite the near drought conditions we have had lately the course was in pretty good nick. Some of the greens on the front nine looked a bit mottled but infact, they all ran true and were consistent in speed. My one concern were the bunkers - too many loose stones and not enough sand in some of them.
The opener is a simple downhill par 5 down to corner of the course and looks good from the elevated tee. This part of the course is quite open. The 2nd is a straightforward short par 4 brings you back to the access road. You then cross the road for no.3 and are suddenly into, what seems to be, a much more mature part of the course. All the fairways are tree lined here (the trees are used as screens to separate one fairway from another). The landing areas look very small from the tee and subconsciously you are put under pressure, even before you have hit the ball. The land here is extremely undulating and even if you hit the fairway, the chances of having a flat lie are small. All souds great doesn't it. Unfortunately, there is a catch. Many of the holes on this part of the course, run parallel to each other and are of very similar length (off yellow tees)- somewhere between 330 yards and 370 yards. On some of the holes here did feel a bit 'same old, same old'. Having said that, there are some super holes too - my particular favourites are the 4th (a tough dog leg right with the road down the right hand side), the 8th(again a dog leg right - make a choice from the tee time - either fly the righthand bunker or lay up into a narrow landing area), the 15th (undulating par5 - lovely view down onto the green) and the 17th (tough driving hole).
Length off the tee is not a priority here and the course poses enough problems to keep you on your toes. All in all, a enjoyable experience and one that I would be happy to repeat.
(Finally, the course lies adjacent to the old A34. I know the noise factor has been a problem for some but I can honestly say that I didn't notice it at all.)
Just played the course yesterday and really enjoyed myself, I had spent the night in the hotel and decided it would be rude not to get a quick round in with the wife, I too bought the course planner (which is down to £3.50 now) and set off, the course was really well maintained, and challenged both myself a 12 handicap and the wife (36), for once there wasnt 170 yards of carry from the womens tee hence she really enjoyed herself as miss hit drives didnt stop 30 yards ahead but got a bit of roll, making the round much more enjoyable for her, and obviously for other women too as ever group had at least 1 women in thir 4 ball, the couse was a little bit samey from 10 through to 14 but finished off with 4 great holes, good cheap food in the bar after and staff were extremely friendly
all in all a great day
This is the first round for a long time where I have been really dissapointed by the course. I've passed the hotel and club on many occasions and stayed at the hotel on early March, taking advantage of a booking deal for a two ball at £60.
First impressions were OK. Reasonable parking, and changing facilities and a well stocked pro shop. Decided on a stroke saver after previous comments, although this seemed a waste of money at the end. Teed off overlooking the main A34 and on many occasions the road noise from the bypass and old A34 felt like you were playing on a motorway.
The first green was a temp, but after about the 4th hole we realised that the entire course was on temp greens! The 9th hole, which looked like a fabulous short par 3 over a lake onto a tricky green in front of the club house was closed. The 8th had a flag and hole at the dog leg and another teeing mat - perhaps as recompense for the 9th - but no idea. All in it felt as though we had paid full price but lost about 25% of the course. Why no mention of this was made in the pro shop God only knows.
The course itself had just a few good holes as mentioned before, but was generally in poor condition, eventhough the ground was rock hard. Without watering, it must get baked in the summer. Mosty open style par fours, which played pretty easy, although without the greens I can't give an accurate total picture.
All in a very poor experience that could have been improved by some simple communication and recompense. The course really should have been closed if the greenkeepers take this sort of approach in March.
After a cold, damp, foggy December week the Tee Boys are heading off into rural West Berkshire in search of the Donnington Valley Golf Club. The weather is cold but crisp and the sun is making great progress in breaking through the light fog, this after all is mid December!
We turn off the Old Newbury to Oxford road and head up the long drive that seems to dissect the course. The course looks truly splendid in the bright yet diffused morning sunshine and whilst there are plenty of signs of activity it doesnt look packed.
The car park is small but adequate (although may not be at peak summer times) and the views across rural West Berkshire lift the spirit.
A short walk took us to the Pro Shop that is a good size, warm, well-stocked and staffed by friendly and efficient people who clearly enjoy what they are doing, very encouraging so far.
Adjacent to the Pro Shop is the clubhouse with a wide gravel terrace overlooking the 9th & 18th greens and the splendid views beyond. A short walk takes us to a small putting green and adjacent to the 1st tee (some might say a little too close) is a welcome addition of a practice net.
It was a good job we invested the princely sum of £4 in the course guide as it turned out to be worth its weight in gold, without it on some holes we might well have been shooting blind.
The first was a cunning downhill dog-leg to the left which was only let down by the temporary winter green. This hole set the scene for a great days golf.
Donnington Valley is a mix of terrain that never bores with each hole having its own unique identity. There are deceptively short par fours, very long par fives and stunning par threes, all with character and an abundance of dips, hollows, banks, ridges, woodland and water just to make in interesting. Each hole really does require very careful consideration before teeing off to ensure correct club selection and strategy. Despite looking like a sleeping cat this course is in fact a slumbering lion challenging you to try and tame it.
The holes that stand out for this reviewer anyway are the first (nothing like having a tough start to wake you up!), the 15th (Big Dipper) which surely must be longer than its recorded length (no?, well it certainly seemed like it!) and the 16th (Lakeside) where you tee off over a range of waterfalls with no real distance to tackle but a huge rise in height.
The course was in great condition given the time of year which is a tribute to the greens staff. Only a few holes were being played on temporary greens and NO temporary tees in sight. The only minor criticism of the maintenance was some of the tee-signs could do with refurbishment and a number of other signs were falling over etc. A small point that doesnt otherwise detract from the enjoyment the course provides. Oh, and there could do with a few more seats by tees for those inevitable long waits that seem so common these days.
The only negative of the day was the obligatory appearance of the buggy boys (why do these people always seem to be sponsored by Callaway??) who took great delight in zigzagging across the course with the compulsory wheel spins, handbrake stops and resultant skid marks that spoil the course for others. And the morons who dont consider the fencing off of greens to apply to them and still insist on playing the proper hole despite any damage this might do or play the temporary green then walk across the fenced off, frost-laden green to get to the next tee. Are these the same people who will moan like hell when the greens are not to their liking nest season?
Still, we had a great days golf and at the bargain price of £15 for 18 holes on a winter promotion what more can you ask for?
The Tee Boys can definitely recommend the Donnington Valley Golf Club and hope to return soon.
Played this course recently and left with mixed feelings .The biggest frustation was that no couse guides were avaiable so judging distance on a dull rainy day was a matter of luck ,in addtion on some holes mistakes were made through not knowing the lye of the land .All of which is a bit of a pity becuase most other elements of the course were ok ,but frankly I will not be rushing back .
Played in September 2003 on a Monday Morning
Course in very poor condition due to dry weather. Tees were terrible, Fairways had no grass left and Greens were varying in speed dramitically. I think a 10 year old could have come up with the cpourse layout. Playe up and down far too much to be enjoyable.
Clubhouse Ok but not great and the same can be said of the pro shop.
Played beginning Oct 2002. 3 day break, 3 rounds. Hotel excellent, course great for this type of break. Not too long or difficult. Some excellent driving holes and sloping greens to challenge even the better golfers. Tree lined fairways with no rough to speak of. General condition of the course was good especially given the time of year, standard of bunkers very poor though with some resembling gravel pits. Very busy Fri & Sat (nearly 5 hour rounds) but surprisingly quite on the sunday. Overall an excellent 3 day venue, I would be very willing to return.
Played this course just before easter,superb day,course played very well,final 4 holes very tricky, very friendly club,helpful in clubhouse, made most welcome.
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