23 reviews of Hellidon Lakes Golf Club
I have just got back from a 2 day golf break at Hellidon Lakes with 4 friends. Plus points are the setting is fantastic, in the middle of nowhere with great views, There are some very unusual challenging holes which you really have to think about. The 18th is very nerve racking with the tee position and audience although despite this I managed a birdie and a par! The Spa facilities come in handy after a long round to relax the muscles. Hotel facilities were very good. The deal was good value for money, we payed £105 each for 3 rooms, 3 course evening meal, breakfast (both very nice) and 2 rounds of golf. terrace bar service wasnt great, had to wait 45 mins for a bacon sandwich! Also very expensive £16 for 2 bacon sandwiches & 2 coffee's, £19 for 3 pints of lager & 2 bottles of beer. We wanted to have a go at the bowling but they wanted £25 for a lane for an hour. The rooms could have done with a bit of a makeover although still nice. Parking was a bit of a nightmare as they had a conference on. Overall despite the little niggles we had a great time & will definately be coming back again next year for more.
Played on a weekend break. Great setting and super undulating course. I think I played the red and blue 9 hole courses and did not have the pleasure of the green 9. Loved every hole played even through the rain. The holes are varied and stretching to negotiate, driving over a few lakes throughout the round. The hotel facilities and staff make this a pleasant retreat in which to play golf and I will certainly return
Played Hellidon and Lakes
Firstly, there are some very poor reviews on here but don't let that put you off!!(time of year will obviously play a part in course condition)
I played here on Monday 27/6/11 one of the hottest days of the year and was greeted at the pro shop by a very helpful and welcoming chap behind the counter. The course was in fantastic condition. The greens were challenging,quickish and ran true. There are a few par 4's that can be just about reached with a well struck 3 wood and accurate, this which has been critisised which i quite frankly can't understand as its championed when Faldo, Nicklaus, Trent Jones, Dye etc put risk and reward holes into their designs. It would be easy to look at the course yardage and assume you are going to easily shoot under your handicap, not so, i know i didn't!!!! You really have to pick your shots or you can come a cropper like i did on the par5 8th, i play off 14 and got a 10 on that hole(round ruiner)!!!!! The 18th is a superb par 3 finishing hole where you play down from a raised tee nervously in front of a possibly full terrace of onlookers. The views of the surrownding countyside are breathtaking(you are in the middle of nowhere) the course is very undulating which makes for interesting holes so its tough on the legs but i like finishing knowing i had a good work out but if you are not very mobile then you will benefit from a buggy. I enjoyed the round but wish i had of been staying over as would have loved to had another go at this course armed with the knowledge learnt from the previous day :-)
The previusly mentioned Terrace is a fantastic place to rest your legs and watch everyone else play the 18th, i didn't look at a menu so can't make too much comment on the food although i had a pint and a bowl of chips, now i like 'homemade' and rustic' as much as the next guy but i got about 8 homemade chunky chips in a tiny bowl.
As for value for money of the green fee i can't comment as i had a free voucher but i'd definately come back.
Played the Red and Blue courses over May Day Bank Holiday weekend and although not overly long the greens are VERY testing and depending where your ball was in relation to the pin could be a rapid putt and find yourself off the green further away or shorter than you would like,no flat greens. Very rarely did you have a flat lie after the tee shot,7 doglegs to contend with,a fair amount of internal out of bounds,not a grip and rip it course,strenuous on the legs,and on the brain, you'll know you've had a good walk after this one,loved it,but if you have an aversion to exercise,then use the buggies.At the time of playing the course was in good condition,but the practice putting green was very poor.Overall worth a visit,and the bowling helps to break up the evening. Bar prices a bit higher than average,and bar snack food prices seemed more geared towards corporate customers than golfers,the only real downside.
We played here on a society package on 28/29th September.
As described earlier this course is a tricky track just over 5,600 yards. As we arrived the better players amongst us were bubbling with anticipation in being able to over-power such a modest course.
The truth was somewhat different! Despite its length this requires a great deal of thought to negotiate the slopes, the banks, the dog-legs, the mature trees, the tight fairways, the lush rough etc etc.
The first is only 241 yards (off the yellows) but despite the tee being elevated, the green is mounted on a side of a slope and missing it short or right means your ball is down into a dell way below the green in deep rough.
This type of decision-making happens all the way around the course as the average of the par 4's is only 340 yards and the par 5s only 463 yards.
There are plenty of par 4s which can be driven although because of the undulating topography, it requires long and straight drives to reach the greens. One of our colleagues commented that he was mentally shatttered as he walked off the 18th.
The 3rd and 13th (at just 91 yards) are weak holes, although this is countered by the 18th, a par 3 of around 150 yards from an elevated tee. It is a good finishing hole and for our society, made for an interesting "nearest-the-pin" competition.
Such a venue attracts groups such as ours and another (larger) went out before us. This lead to a 5 hour round, which for such a modestly sized course is not good enough. We didn't see any course marshalling at all - which would have helped chivvy things along. It should also plan better and perhaps only have one society per day.
On balance this is an OK course. It ticks some boxes and leaves a few others empty. Nevertheless if someone asked me to play it again, I think I would venture back.
Played the course at the end of a period of wet weather, so course was a bit soggy and the greens soft and slow. Odd design of course which has a lot of lakes, but they are rarely brought into play as intimidating hazards. Several tee shots are quite tight particularly with sweeping arcs, doglegs and even Vs in the shape of the fairways.
The distance markers are to the front of the greens which was a bit disconcerting for distance judgement as I am used to distances to the centre of the greens. Signage could be improved as the schematic on the back of the card doesn't always make it crystal clear where the next tee is.
The facility is a very large hotel complex which appeared to be largely geared to being used for company training courses and a conference centre. Although there were golf changing rooms and a small pro shop, the bars and restaurant appeared to be geared around the main hotel rather than golf, (didn't spot a spike bar).
Reasonable value for money with discount vouchers
My society played here on 24th June 2008. EVERYONE loved it.
A course that makes you think about your tee shots. Not just grab the driver and let rip. That tactic will get you in big trouble here. !!
The course was in great nick, greens were fast but true.
Breakfast was superb.Drinks etc in the bar afterwards were reasonably priced.
One piece of advice. Use the buggies!!
I was one of a group of 8 who played Hellidon Lakes on the first weekend of December and we were very impressed. Despite the cold, the wind and the rain, the course looked beautifully maintained, the fairways held up well and the greens were in excellent condition. I think that the fact it was fairly quiet helped. Our handicaps range from 12 to 28 and the course produced triumphs and disasters for each of us. All in all a very enjoyable weekend - the facilities at the hotel are excellent as well, especially the bowling alley! We would happily return.
3x9 hole courses - extremely poor signage on all of them (in fact there aren't any!) making it rather difficult to know which hole to play next. I mean, how much does it cost for a piece of wood and some paint!! Some of the par 4's driveable with a 3 wood meaning so they are a bit of a joke. Buggies are an absolute must for the red and blue courses, not so much the green, but don't kid yourself you could play 36 holes a day - you'll be in an oxygen tent by the end of the day. Some of the holes on the red course extremely testing for high handicappers, but good fun.
Hotel is very average. Rooms are incredibly stuffy - no aircon. Staff are mostly snotty, particularly behind the outrageously expensive bar - £4.70 for a gin and tonic is daylight robbery!!! Food in the restaurant is pretty dull, tasteless and uninspiring.
All in all, a very average weekend, and you won't be surprised to hear we won't be returning.
Thoroughly enjoyable round of golf. Greens are certainly not flat and will test your nerve. Not a long course but not one you can blast your way round. Put your thinking caps on and make sure you have an uphill put or else!!
Played the course twice over the weekend on a break. Agree that the drainage is an issue although only a couple of fairways badly affected & no temporary tees or greens in sight. The course is a real test for high handicappers & given the elevation on some holes a buggy would be a wise move for the less sprightly - particularly on the Par 5 11th (Cardiac Hill)!
Hardly a flat green in sight & plenty of mature trees to catch out the unwary. Overall we thought the course was great value, with the on-site accommodation ideal for a group break.
Will definitely play here again in the summer.
Quite disappointed with this course. Played Red/Blue here as part of a society last Saturday. Ok so it's rained a lot recently but the drainage here is terrible. I've never played a course so wet.
With many temporary greens and tees, yardages were very hard to work out, even with a course guide.
There are some interesting holes but the name Hellidon Lakes is a bit of a misnomer. There are lots of lakes but only 2 actually come into play. What's the point of lots of lakes like this.
Other points. The practice facilities are non existant and the bar prices are on the high side (£3.20 for a pint of coke)
On the plus side, the locker rooms are good and the food was okay.
I'm sure it's much better in the summer but this is definitely no good in the winter.
Played Hellidon Lakes for a second time on a corporate golf day this week and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm a very high handicapper and found that some of the fairways were quite tight, but still fair and challenging. Some really tough holes, especially the 11th, involving a blind tee shot, avoiding the lake and then steep uphill to the green. The 18th is a great little hole, par 3, over a lake, about 150 yards, in full display of the club house and bar, very nerve racking for a high handicapper (who thankfully found the green!). This is a VERY hilly course, so if fitness is any kind of an issue, I would recommend taking out one of the buggies available to hire. Well looked after by the club/hotel staff there, so would recommend to both individuals and society/corporate golf days.
I played all 27 holes at Hellidon Lakes on a society golf day. The Red and Blue nines are fairly typical of parkland courses, with some tough holes. The green nine is where most of the lakes are, if you can avoid them you should be ok. There isn't much rough on this nine so it looks a little bland. The par 3 second is the exception with a lake front right and a tree and long rough capturing anything pin high and left, I wish I had laid up...
The course is well away from any main roads in the rolling Northamptonshire hills, the views are great and the layout mostly avoids slopes across the fairways. There are plenty of slopes on the greens so you will need to putt well to score. A bad day with the putter when the greens are fast would be a real struggle.
All in all our group scored slightly more points than usual and had a good day out. The food and service were good if a little clinical.
Just returned from 3 days/2 nights of golf at Hellidon with a party of 7 and the general impression was OK.
The hotel is excellent with very good food (some of our party thought the lakes restaurant was a bit OTT and preferred the Terrace for eating; more like pub grub) The service in the hotel was excellent and the rooms gave no cause for complaint. The only complaint our group had was £4.50 for a G&T! Beer was pub prices though.
The golf had mixed reactions, it is very hilly and as most of our party were in their 60's buggies were a must, even the 23 year old barman said he never walked it! It could be better signed around the course and the greens were "very challenging" (any downhill putt was almost impossible and the uphill putts were very slow. The greens were also very difficult to read. We played the Red/Blue course all three days which is now the standard 18. The Green course is apparently much flatter but also much easier and according to one member we spoke to equates to a long pitch and put. The pro was very helpful although the shop is quite small and if you are going for several days you might want to take your own supply of balls as it is easy to lose them on this course. One comment from one of our group on the 8th tee was that he had lost more balls than he had scored points. He had 9 points at that stage!
All in all a good course but be prepared to add £20 per round for a buggy and beware the cost of corporate priced G&T's
After reading some of the reviews on here I wasnt particularly looking forward to playing at HL. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The course is very unusual in its style and layout but if you go with an open mind (and a course planner) then you will enjoy the experience. There are several good holes, including the 18th over water to a small green in front of the terrace bar area. There is also a dogleg with a difference. You have to hit your tee shot to the corner and then almost come back on your self. The green must be about 80 yds from the tee but is guarded by tall trees so a short cut is impossible. Some of the greens are tricky, mainly due to some tough gradients, but they were never unplayable. Some thought has to be put in on most holes and, quite often, the driver needs to be left in the bag. On our first round, I screamed a drive over the fairway marker post only to find a large pond 30 yards further on! There are a number of these blind holes and so a course planner is advised. At £11 a round with 2-fore-1 vouchers I would highly recommend this course as it is a bit different to the norm.
A special mention goes to the friendly staff in the hotel who, on the whole, are prepared to go the extra mile.
Four of us visited the course at the end of April. The course is in a super setting with fine veiws and we enjoyed a tough competitive game which went to the last hole, a challenging part 3 over water from an elevated tee.
Whilst there are a couple of holes that could be improved, the overall impression is of a good driving course which needs good approach work to get the better of the small greens.
The couse was in reasonable nick but there was evidence of "society outings" with too many unrepaired pitch marks.
Lastly, a lot of comments concern the hotel accommodation. We stayed at the Holly Bush Inn at Priors Marston, just 2 miles down the road (tel 01327 260934). The food and service was excellent and the price very reasonable. Would recommend!
I have to echo the thoughts of the last contributor. Played 36 holes through Sunday and Monday after booking through Golfbreaks.com on the main course and was left feeling cheated. Everything points to a good weekend when you turn up but we were left disappointed. Yes, there are very good holes, but half the time I felt I was playing a giant crazy golfcourse. One hole had a green which would have graced this years US Open. We had 10ft gimmes on the second day because you just had to touch it and it rolled off the green.
The 17th doesn't seem to have a fairway until 200 yards and that was not very wide.
The course seemed to be so unforgiving for even a slightly errant shot and unless you are a very low handicapper that doesn't seem fair for the majority of us.
Again we had terrible service for dinner, so much so that they gave us all a free drink and a few bottles of wine to compensate. So not so bad after all!
Some of our group enjoyed it, but I just assume they don't play on many nice courses!
Have just recovered after playing, or attempting to play, 36 holes here in the 1 day. We played the green then blue then red then blue. The whole day was very tiring. I thought the courses required a lot of thinking about shots you wished to play. Some holes were somewhat less than you would expect on a golf complex. I think however the centre is set up more for conferences than golf. Would not return. Stayed within the course hotel and the food was ish, cold starters that should have been hot, slow service because the hotel was full - surely not everyone arrived unexpectedly!!! Can the management and staff not plan for this happening with no detriment to the guest? Very expensive bar costs. 3 days later I still await some more tea bags and milk to the room!!! As per a previous poster, I am not writing sour grapes text, I won bits and pieces within our group and if any of you are reading this thinking you have made a mistake in booking to go, remember - these thoughts are subjective and my thoughts alone. Thanks for reading.
We have just had a party of 8 mixed golfers play this course (handicaps 0-11, with one 36). Hotel and food good; other non-golf facilities good, although no driving range. The higher single figure players found some of the holes interesting enough, although the design quality of many holes was generally felt to be somewhat unfair and "Mickey Mouse". It is one of the worst courses I have personally played (out of over 350 worldwide) - mainly due to narrow landing areas, sideways slopes, blind shots, over-frequency of lay-ups required - all exacerbated by firm greens and bouncy conditions. The 3rd nine (Green) is particularly poor in condition and in playability, both for low and high handicappers, with very badly positioned lakes!
Have just returned from a two day golfing event held at this course and have to admit it is one of the worse courses I have ever played. And it is not sour grapes either as I played quite well! In the two days I was there I did'nt see one member of green staff and the condition of the course leaves me wondering if they actually HAVE any green staff. The layout of the course also beggers belief with par 4's that you can drive together with a par 5 that even for an "average" driver of the ball is a 3 wood and a wedge to the green! I have posted many times on the site and have ALWAYS commented favourably when I can, but this course has no redeeming features at all to make me want to return. To be fair, the front 9 has two or three good golfing holes but the back 9 is an absolute joke. The tee's are scruffy, and the greens hadn't been cut for at least three days, which bearinig in mind our competition had 160 players entered is a disgrace. Very little sand in the bunkers, I could go on....
Sorry to post such a scathing report.
I hope the site keep this report posted as I feel bad courses should be reported as freely as good ones.
Course isn't the longest, but it is quite a challenge, as previously mentioned, some very undulating fairways and rock solid greens (which are lightning fast!) make for very difficult approach shots as nothing sticks on the greens... Course is in good nick and the 18th hole (now a short par 3 over water), is a great signature hole to finish with - added pressure from the terrace bar above the green. Hotel is good, nice variety of bars, restaurant is good quality (not enough food after a round of golf!) and rooms are ok.
Really liked this course which is, as the name suggests, not short of the odd spot of the wet stuff! One or two difficult holes and rather undulating fairways in places. The 8th is an abolute nightmare if you mis-hit off the tee as you only have around a 10 foot landing area for 100 or so yards before it opens out. The rest of the course is tight in places but wide and open in others and so will provide a good round for most standards. Currently undergoing some building work so might be worth checking up on the state of this before going there. Final point is that the 18th is the signature hole on this course and features a 456 yard par 4 which doglegs around a large lake. Very tough to make par by going around and so most people attempt to drive direct to the green which is a 230 yard carry over the water! Unfortunately this hole is being modified into a par 3 by changes to the 17th & 18th which is a real shame as this hole makes the course.
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