9 reviews of Longcliffe Golf Club
I played Longcliffe for the fist time the other day with my son who has just gone up to Loughborough University and has joined Longcliffe (it's only a short way away). I think he has made a great choice - it's a lovely course with a great mix of holes winding in and out of some gloriously mature trees, and with the leaves all changing colour, it is a picture. There are a few lovely par 3s - like Huntercombe, Longcliffe starts off with a par 3, up a hill to a two tier green with a large tree on the left to keep you careful; and the signature hole, the 15th, is a short iron shot from a high tee down to a small green well guarded by water. There are a couple of long par 4s too (too long for me, but I am a short hitter) but some short ones too, and lots of dog-legs to stop the big hitters overwhelming the course. It was all in very good condition despite the huge amount of rain we have had recently - the bunkers were in excellent shape and the greens, though slow, were very true and smooth. I don't think it is too challenging a course - I play off 19 and I haven't played more than twice since the summer, so I was pretty rusty but still scored 19 stableford points in the first 9, but the back 9 seem a bit more challenging.
We had a fairly slow round - there was a slightly wayward pair in front of us and a fourball in front of them, so we had occasional stops. The pair behind us kept catching us up, but they were extremely good-humoured about it all, could see it was not our fault and just urged us to relax and enjoy the round. I can think of plenty of courses where that relaxed attitude would not have been the norm. And everyone else we spoke to - other members, the club secretary, the lady in the pro shop, the bar steward - were all very welcoming and cheerful.
The clubhouse looks a bit like an overgrown white bungalow from the outside, but inside it has been well-furnished and it was clearly much in demand as a lunch venue.
All in all, I am rather jealous of my son playing there regularly. I will certainly go back and play it again.
One word - WOW.
What an absolutely fantastic course. Prior to visiting on a society day I asked the Pro at my home course what I should expect from Longcliffe - in two words he had me sold - heathland and hilly. I always look forward to playing a heathland course mostly due to their fast and firm playing characteristics. Hilly, well yes, though not so much as to wear you out but enough undulation to give the course some interest, especially when the holes have been laid out to use the best of those undulations.
I arrived especially early and was warmly welcomed by the Steward who provided a coffee whilst I waited for the rest of the society to arrive. The clubhouse had a great feel about it - heritage and pedigree abound, the course opened in 1906 - but you never got the feeling of it being a look but don't touch affair and the few members I got to speak to were extremely friendly and informative.
The compact practice area was being well used and in conversation with a member he was keen to warn me about the rough. Long and thick costing a full shot penalty should you be unfortunate enough to find it.
So to the course - the first nine holes are well routed over the upper part of the course and are played across the slope giving you sidehill lies and plenty to think about when stood on the tee - the fairway's, due to the recent rainfall we had experienced, were still green and the ball sat on them lovely. The bunkers, mentioned in previous reviews were in great order - some seemed not to sit well with the holes due to their simplistic appearance and it looked as though form had won the battle over function.
The first hole is a lovely uphill par 3, with a large two tier green - the base of the pin is not visible from the tee - so you need to trust your yardage and commit to your shot. The second and third play out and back with the third having an especially lovely green complex with bunkers short, left and right. The fourth is a cheeky par 5, where your second shot is played around a right to left dog-leg - however the ground slopes to the right so you must flirt with the left edge of the hole if you are to finish on the fairway and not the rough on the right. The fifth is a short par 3 to a shallow benched green which slopes from front to back and left to right - above the hole is not good. A lovely short par 4 follows - an iron will find the corner of the dog-leg which slings the hole uphill and to the right to a heavily protected green with a large false front - an under hit pitch can quickly find its way back to your feet. Seven is a long par 4 - again the slope of the fairway is an important consideration when stood on the tee - a left to right pitch means anything pushed or worse still sliced is punished by the thick rough. The green is protected by two bunkers short and right and sits immediately next to the ninth green with only a steep rough covered bank separating the two. Your ideal shot into the seventh green is from the left as the fairway feeds into the green but OB lurks very close so be warned. The eighth is a fantastic downhill par 5 - reachable in two if you find the fairway which will propel your ball closer to the green - and definitely a birdie opportunity. Prepare yourself for the ninth by enjoying the walk down the eighth as it is back up the hill you go over an old stone wall to a tiny heart shaped green protected by a plethora of approach and green side bunkers.
The tenth and eleventh give a welcome breather as both are short par 4's - one dog-legging to the right and the other to the left - driver is not necessarily the best option from the tee as bunkers lie in wait for those trying to reach the green. Try and score on these two though as the twelfth is an absolute monster. The tee sits adjacent to the M1 and there is no getting away from the noise - but that it the only time you will really notice the sound of one of the world's busiest motorways when playing the course. The hole requires an accurate drive played over long fescue and a drainage ditch. Too short and you can be blocked out by trees as the hole bends to the right - too far left and any hope of reaching the green in two will be dashed.
The next three holes - thirteen thru' fifteen - give another opportunity to score, but only to those prepared to give them the respect they deserve. Thirteen dog-legs to the left but OB sits to the left and trees and heavy rough protect the right at the landing area. The green accepts shots from either side of the fairway and is another where the fairway rolls down to the green. The fourteenth plays right to left and is a hole where the big-hitter may be tempted to reach the green from the tee - the tiny, and I mean tiny green sits in a bowl no bigger than it's own footprint and has two huge bunkers protecting its front - the bunkers give the impression the green is bigger as I found to my cost - playing slightly over the right hand trap to find my ball above the green in rough that hampered my chip to the green and ultimately cost me a bogey. The fifteenth is the courses signature hole - a par 3 protected by a lovely water feature left and played to from a tee high up on a hill giving what is a commanding view of the green and also a great view of your ball finding the water. The sixteenth is another dog-leg left where again your drive will determine whether you can see the green with your second. Again, the green is fed by the fairway which slopes down toward it and can help bring your ball on to the green should you be too far left and blocked out.
Seventeen is a great par 5 - teeing off over a mound on the right of the fairway you are not immediately sure where your ball has finished up. A large bunker extends into the fairway around where your second may be aimed should you have found rough from the tee. The green is protected both left and right by bunkers and cross bunkers foreshorten the view and also catch out anyone misjudging their approach.
The home hole is a lovely mid-length par 4 - littered with bunkers your decision on the tee is whether to blast it off the tee and leave no more than a pitch or take an iron leaving a longer second but minimising the risk of finding sand from the tee.
I can't explain enough how much I thoroughly enjoyed Longcliffe - it has everything on offer - heathland, a great mix of short-mid and long par 4's, some lovely par 3's and par 5's - wonderfully undulating fairways and a fantastic use of bunkers.
The clubhouse, the members and staff I met are a credit to the club and make for certain that I will go out of my way to ensure a return visit.
Played longcliffe last week,course needs a serious shake up,the bunkers are impposible to play out off,all different levels of sand and ball gets stuck up the face.Greens were ok, a little bumpy in places.Tees uneven and covered in sand,shocking.Clubhouse was ok basic menu avalible.Pro shop friendly and pleasent.Overall a nice walk but in need of some serious attention to detail,can only say i was dissapointed with my visit,and wont be returning for a while,which is a shame as i had heard it was best in leicestershire,which im afraid on my visit it was not.
I'm a member so biased but the club have spent a lot of money in recent years on a new bunker programme; thinning out some of the trees to allow the course to return to it's parkland roots & improving general maintenance. There's a new Head Greenkeeper, too, who has done wonders. Well worth a visit; the course should be a treat this summer.
Lovely course in a beautiful wooded setting. I enjoyed my round of golf, however I got the distinct feeling that visitors are not overly welcome by the members.
Not what I would decsribe as a friendly club, but a nice course!
Mature trees, wide fairways and in excellent condition; this is a great course. All the staff were helpful and polite. You'll go a long way to get a better £15's worth, brilliant value.
We played the course for the first time yesterday. It was in excellent condition and therefore do not understand the previous comments.
The green speeds were variable but were generally pretty true. There is a very good variation of holes and plenty of areas where you can get into trouble. There are some excellent doglegs which test your shot making.
I am an everage high handicapper (19) and not playing very well at the moment but thoroughly enkoyed the day. The clubhouse is a bit tired but the service was very good and the welcome friendly.
Go and play it and check it out for yourself.
Another course played in the leicestershire area and another disapointing course, well actually the setting was wonderful, however the holes within the setting let the place down, the condition of the course was poor and in need of some serious TLC, has so much potential just is not showing it, clubhouse ok and staff friendly
A little bit of heaven on earth!
Longcliffe is a truely magnificent course. Set in forrested hills in Leicestershire. It was only just off the M1 but difficult to find. They could do with some sign posts!
Very difficult couse. Fairly long, narrow fairways, narrow semi and then mature forrest on practically every hole.
The semi is whispy grass that lets you find your ball, but still penalises you.
Generally very well maintained. Looking back down the 17th we could see three distinct cuts. We played the course in May, which is probably any courses best time, but the shrubs were out in bloom and it looked a picture.
Feature holes are probably the impossible 7th, followed by the most inviting par 5 8th - long, straight and down hill all the way. Also the 15th - downhill par 3 with a lake that cuts into the green.
Only criticisms were the greens were a bit too firm for my liking and there are a lot of unrepaired divots. I was told in the club house that the sub-soil is peat and the divots don't take very well.
Thoroughly enjoyed the day and I'll definitely return.
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