The Shire London
The Shire London, Barnet, East of England, England, EN5 4RE
02084404120 | Golf course website
18 reviews of The Shire London
I haven't posted a review on here before but felt I should to respond to some of the previous comments.
The course is certianly not your standard layout but the even mix of par 3's, 4's and 5's makes for good variety and the holes are all fairly different. There is a lot of water and a number of other hazards but (the approach to the 18th aside), the course does not feel overly tricked up. It does require you to think your way round and choose your club and shot carefully which many courses don't - this is not a course where you can grip it and rip it on all the par 4's and 5's. If you do think your way round then you can combat the various hazards - I'm an 18 handicapper and I went round the 18 without losing a ball.
The greens are superb - very fast and true. They are also very tricky and if you put yourself in the wrong position then you can have a hard time of it getting the ball in the hole. I encountered a number of very tough downhill putts.
The clubhouse is nice and the food good.
I can't comment on value for money as I was playing on a corporate golf day but I can imagine that the full green fees may be steep for what you get. However, if you can play here on a deal or on a golf day then I would thoroughly recommend it
I fall into the "this course is brilliant fun" group and well worth playing..
I have played it 3 times now and enjoyed it every time and have never been bored.. I can't say the same for many other courses around this area and unless my green fees are paid those courses won't see me again.
This course is young and will grow into a superb challenge.. It is a challenge i think would be a pleasure to grow with..
Yes it has a few faults but i bet i can find some with St Andrews as well..
Will i play again... well i hope so. Actually i think i will actually join this course as that is how impressed i was with a new course that will only get better and better..
Played The Shire yesterday-course is in great condition for this time of year.Highly recommend it for a visit as the course is a real test.
Played here October ,2010 .
My overall impression of the course & surroundings was mundane.
There are several water hazards but very few risk & reward holes.The par 5's ,i thought, were long & tedious.
I didn't like the layout as there is a lot of walking between greens & tees ,so it became a trudge. Holes 9 & 10 go up & come back to the same point & it's tempting to miss these holes out (which we did).
Fairways were good & greens were o.k.
Very expensive for what it is (a revamped pay & play),i wouldn't choose to play here again.
with regards to the report below from Kevin B, I believe you are clinically insane. I have played this course since it has opened and witnessed its progression through the years into THE leading golf course in the area. As a local resident in barnet can you please tell me where the quarry is next to the shire, also you must have played from the championship tees as you have golfers syndrome believing you are better than you are. My friend is a member and tells me they only use these tees for club champs, with that in mind top professionals have played here and always rave about the facility. In comparison to other course which disintegrate through the hours in the winter the greens,tees,fairways are always in tremendous condition at teh shire and you must have been very lucky to get the reduced online green fee considering the disgraceful condition of surrounding golf courses who have numerous temporay tees and greens with buckets as holes, it must have been a privilige to get on a modern usga green with the ball roling properly to the hole.
Nice club house.
The course is decent enough, but not worth the money, re the other reports below, I fall into the underwelmed camp. It has a few nice holes but was wet and boggy when I played it.
Nearby Dyrham Park, Hadley Wood, Old Fold & South Herts are more traditional set ups and in my view superior courses.
I was just having my breakfast whilst reading the comments about the Shire London which i played a week ago and came accross the comment written on the 5th August 2010 whcih suggested that this golf course was poor!! Well once i had wiped the coffee up which i spat out whilst reading this statement i thought i better write something on here to defend The Shire.
I have been privileged to play some of the greatest golf courses around the world. I played the shire a week ago and was seriously impressed with a course of such youth. If the gentleman who played the shire and wrote the poor statement regularly plays at The Grove or Augusta i can understand his evaluation of the greens and fairways. On the day i played The Shire London the greens were rolling at 10.3 on the stimpmeter, i know this for a fact as i over heard the manager and the head greenkeeper discussing this in the reception on my way out to play golf.
The fairways considering the extremely hot and rain free weather which we have experienced in my opinion have stood up very well considering compared to the majority of other golf courses in the country who have had their fairways burnt and browned by the sun. The Shires fairways were still green and the semi was as lush as you could expect. The fringes and approaches to the greens showed evidence of constant watering as they were soft and lush with the ability to take a divot from.
The greens were running very fast on the day i played and true, the perfect combination. As a low handicapper i find it very annoying to hear it when players say that the greens are too hard and not receptive. If you hit a shot from the middle of the club face with a soft ball it will stop!!
On the whole The Shire London is well worth the £50 i paid to play it, i would seriously recommend it. It is not very often where you can play a golf course where the condition is good and the design of the course is such that every hole stands out!! The clubhouse and the general atmosphere around The Shire London is everything that golf clubs should be in the modern era. GO PLAY IT!!!!
Just played my practice round for the Jamega tour event which is being held at The Shire next week.
Felt i had to write a response to the review i have just read which i felt was wholly unfair.
Considering the dry summer conditions the fairways are pretty good,maybe not the best i have played this year but far from the worst.But the greens are probably some of the best, they are great surfaces.
It is a great challenge and i would recommend anyone in the area to give it a go,roll on next week .
Played on the 3/8/10 and was less than impressed. We booked through an on-line tee booking system which got us a reduced green fee(£35). Turned up in plenty of time to loosen the swing at the range (£4 - 50 balls). The chap working in the pro shop was polite and asked us if we had played the course before and gave us some directions etc. The mats at the range where very spongy and in poor condition, the balls where average range balls.
I had high hopes for the course and was intrigued as to how the mix of 6 par 3/4/5s was going to work. All the par 3s had their own character and I enjoyed them all. This is certainly not a grip it & rip it course. You have to plot your way around this course or you will pay the price. Personally I didnt think the 6 par fives worked. This is not to say that the par fives where not well thought out. The fairways are very poor and looked very unfinished. The fairways improved on the last couple of holes but generally they where very hard and scruffy. There was lots and lots of goose poo everywhere fairways & greens alike. There is also a very strong smell of the country in the air. My main gripe with this course is the greens shocking. The greens have nice contours and are large however they where very, very hard and had very wispy grass on them. They also looked like they had been suffering from some sort of disease. In all, this course could really be a gem however with very poor greens and a scruffy look about the place it is a real let down. I skipped the club house.
Having played a Seve designed course in Spain, I had high expectataions for the Shire and certainly wasn't disappointed. I was suspicious that the six par 5, six par 4, six par 3 combination might be a bit of a gimick but in fact it works very well. There is an excellent mix in terms of holes that require some thinking / strategy and those that allow you to have a rip. Having six par fives probably favours those that can send it out there, but even as someone who is not particularly long, you certainly have a chance to make a score round here. That said, having an off day will likely result in a big number due to the amount of water in play - the 18th in particular (with the 'S' shaped lake) is a tricky finishing hole.
The look and feel is a nice mix between a continental European style course with lots of water features and an English style parkland layout. The greens look and play like the smooth, continental type greens that you find on good Spanish courses and were running fast and true despite the recent rain.
The owners of the Shire have clearly recognised the additional revenue possibilities that a pleasant clubhouse environment (both in terms of staff attitude and surroundings) and decent food can bring to their business. Why do so few other golf clubs who allow visitors seem to understand this?
The comfortable surroundings, friendly staff and the quality of the pre-round bacon roll quickly made sure that a swift post round pint turned into a meal and a few drinks. The food was very good.
The experience was very positive. Look forward to returning when the weather is better.
The Shire is a fun golf course that could easily turn into a golfing nightmare if your iron play isn't going well.
Seve has adopted a novel design of 6 par 3s, 6 par 4s and 6 par 5s. The layout is a heathland/parkland style with lots, and I mean lots, of in play water features.
The course was well maintained with large well contoured greens; I found the bunkers particularly well maintained with a quality and quantity of sand that gave confidence on playing bunker shots. For me I thought the greens were not as fast as I would expect on a championship standard course.
The pro shop said we could play from any of the tees but recommended the sapphires for anyone over a single figure handicap. A reasonable suggestion to avoid too many disasters on what is a tricky course to plot your way around first time. Having played the course the diamonds look to add a bit more challenge but are quite playable, whereas the emeralds make it a 7,000 yard course.
I found the main challenge the par 3s where the 1st set the tone with water in front, water behind and water to the right. Choosing the right club when the wind was blowing, and striking it in exactly the way I wanted proved tricky.
I finished the round on a high note getting a birdie on the signature 18th with the S shaped water feature, which encouraged me to want to come back.
The club house is very plush and reminiscent of a design on up market courses I have seen in Spain.
Would definitely play again if I could find a reasonable deal on the green fee.
Played the shire yesterday - Friday 29th Aug.
Played off the emerald tee's @ 7000 yds
shot 10 over - handicap 12.
Had read the reports before playing the course and the first thing I would agree with is this, the first three holes are a little underwhelming, you read the reports at what a great course it is and feel a little let down.
However you reach the fourth and the course comes into its own.
from here on the course layout is great, very challenging and very very easy on the eye.
A good mix of holes to attack and holes to hold back on.
Well worth a visit - However.
We paid £50 each to play the course and the greens were shocking.
I really do mean shocking.
The course has clearly been over played due to the over exposure of such a course. There were a million and one old unrepaird pitch marks.
There was more sand on the greens than Bournemouth beach - though after speaking with the owner he says top dressing - but to you am me
This let the whole course down and when we spoke to reception we got a reply of "really".
That said the owner came to find us and asked us our opinion.
He said that the USPGA greens - bent grass - needed top dressing every week for the first two years, that it was a shame that we came just on a day when they had top dress 8 holes.
He also said it was to repair the pitch marks.
He offered to buy us a drink but that was it.
We felt that all the greens had been overly dressed - layered with sand, that in some areas on the same green there was more than
other areas and that it was not only 8 greens but all of them that had been over sanded and under such consideration that the green fee should have reflected this.
Now you may feel that this sounds like sour grapes but trust me they were so bad someone had written a four letter expletive on the 3 green in the sand with their putter head!
thats how poorly dressed or sanded they were.
It really spoilt what would have been a great day and what did eventually turn into a great track.
The guy running the bar and food area was a really pleasant guy and the food great.
The problem? a big ego owner who does not understand that what makes you return to a course is great greens and not a beach.
We played this course last month and enjoyed every minute. Between us, we lost more balls than usual, but this was primarily down to poor course management/macho tendencies.
As one of the earlier reports suggested, by the second or third time that you play this course, the scores will improve. Also, the choice of tees will make an impact on your card.
The course is well designed, never boring or tedious, and the mix of 6 par 3's, 6 par 4's and 6 par 5's works well.
What also makes it a day to remember is the start and finish - an island par 3 to start, and a par 4 with an 'S' shaped lake crossing the fairway twice and finishing behind the green! Not easy by far, but what a finish!
It does make me laugh, this course has not been open 6 months but people still moan about small detail whilst all of them say what a great course it is! The owner is a down to earth guy who wants people to play golf and then relax without any one telling them to tuck their shirt in or no phones allowed. This will be one of the best courses inside the M25 and unless you can 'think' your way around a golf course don't try and tame this beast.
At the end of the day you can walk up to the 15th hole with only 10 points on your card, but with a massive smile on your face looking over 3 lakes covered in wildlife thinking that this is what golf is about.
Or if you feel that women and people without a shirt and tie on shouldn't be allowed inside the golf club then stay away PLEASE STAY AWAY
A new edition to NW London tracks....and a welcome one.
They have taken their time to think this through and every hole is a challenge and being honest it would help to have played it before.The clubhouse is very modern but comfortable,the food was pretty good also.Lots of practice facilities and a new loop of nine looks imminent....be carefull on 18,there is a large S shaped lake surrounding the green,so pin point accuracy is required with your second shot
Quite simply awesome - as good a course in the South of England as there is with virtually every hole memorable. Although so new you only get that impression by the odd part of GUR that exists between some greens and the next tees. Fairways are stunning and undulating whilst the greens are smooth and true, although I found them (surprisingly) a little slow. Water hazards galore with beautifully crafted bunkers, it really is a course to think your way round, with good shots rewarded but poor shots punished - you can't duff one along the floor on par 3 and expect a simple chip on as you'll be in a pond!Equal amount of par 3's, 4's and 5's there is great variety, with almost every hole leaving you wanting to go back and try it again. None of this driver/wedge golf, you need to hit irons and fairway woods off many tees unless you really are a big hitter.
Excellent practice facilities - driving range, putting green and chipping/bunker zone all open to visitors.
The clubhouse still needs some finishing touches but was nice and modern; big leather couches and plasma screens made you feel like you were in a trendy wine bar and no stuffy rules - you can go in in jeans and trainers as long as they are "smart". Food was decent. Changing rooms were nicely laid out with day lockers in plentiful supply; also a sauna.
All in all I can barely fault it - looking forward to playing it again with a bit of course knowledge - it's one course you know that if you make a score you'll have really earned it.
As this is a new course to the area although built over the remains over a previous course which was rank bad they have done an excellent job.
Designed by Seve he has nad a good job of a bad one,it must have cost a fortune and the results are very pleaseing.Played in a Virtual Golf Society day and was impressed,they do have some bits to finish off in the clubhouse but that too will be impressive.The course varies betweeen links style on some holes and Amercian on other,quite a bit of water as you would expect,but this only comes into play if you are way off line,a course planner is a good investment.
I thought the greens were first class and have also to say the bunkers and sand were about as good as I have ever been in,like most courses it will take a few years to bed down and mature but will be a welcome addition to NW London golf.
Mention has also to be given to the staff who were attentive and courteous,we even had a chap collecting the nearest pin and longest drives as we finished,food was also pretty good
Paul @ Birkdale Golf Trophies
Played on Saturday 9th June for the first time.
Very tough course; good shots are punished and bad shots are somehow actually bailed out.
If you try and take the course on, it will burn you severely. Other than that it is a very enjoyable track. I will be back to try and tame it soon.
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