12 reviews of Theale Golf Centre
A distinctly average course that now has the distinction of making into my top 3 crap courses. A welcome by a barmaid, whio also acts as pro and starter does not fill you with confidence, and the course follows in the same vein.
Very poor quality tee boxes and poor, small greens on every hole. Lots of blind doglegs, which with no maps, plans guides available made it very difficult to plot your way around for the first time. Lots of samey, dull holes with only 2 that remain in the memory as vaguely interesting. Given that the course was mainly populated by higher handicappers, the rough was very penal.
Add to this a 5 hour round, and there you have a waste of £27. One to miss.
The last time I played Theale was some 10 years ago around the time the course was first opened. I am surprised how little development has gone into the course since.
The condition of the course is very rough and ready, generally having a rather unkempt feel.
This is a shame as with a bit more investment this could be quite a tidy little course as it has a good variety of par 3s, 4s and 5s with a fair amount of space and numerous mature trees and challenging water features.
As others have commented the greens are very small for a full sized golf course, though I did notice work extending a couple of them. Although small the greens were in good condition.
A couple of the holes run alongside the M4, and although not visible the road noise is overpowering.
Reasonable value on discount offers, but in its current condition a bit pricey at standard green fee rates.
I have played Theale on a few occassions now as a friend enjoys it and lives locally. It very much has the feeling of a good course being held back by some significant faults.
The condition of the course on the times I played seemed to be a little poor. The, mostly postage stamp sized, greens felt they belonged more to a pitch and putt course rather than a full 18.
That said, there are some very entertaining hole layouts which vary from fairly straightforward to very tough for the higher handicappers. Some neat shortcuts offering risk vs reward opportunities make you think about many of your shots.
The clubhouse is purely servicable although they do a pretty good toasted sandwich!
Hopefully the summer has been kind to the course and improved the quality (I played in May), but as it stands it seems to be happy to be a potentially enjoyable round ruined somewhat.
I have played this course twice now... and on both occations I felt that I'd payed over the odds for a poor quality, neglegted course... with so much competition from other courses of similar and lower green fees, i'm surprised that so many people still go to this course. Unsure if I'd return back to Theale
After making a return visit this week I have to say after my last experience this was a great disappointment. The greens were quite poor, muddy and very sandy and the whole course felt a little neglected. Bins, seats, etc all look like they need a little love and affection (i.e. investment)
Theale has the potential to be a very fine course - but wasn't in my opinion this week.
Hidden away somewhat (although well signposted)you approach the Theale Golf Centre along a narrow strip of tarmac between the local recreation ground and open fields with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
Upon entering the spacious car park immediately in front of you is a modern clubhouse and to your right a small driving range.
You pay your green fees at the bar where the welcome is average. The bar looks inviting enough and also has a small selection of clubs, shoes, balls etc for sale.
Onto the course and it does look in fine shape (especially given the recent dry weather we have been having), very green and well-cut. There are all the customary markers on the tees including a plan of each hole (something so often missing on the cheaper pay & plays).
The course is parkland and nestles nicely between the quaint hamlet of North Street and the M4 motorway, the noise from which on one or two holes could be a little off-putting for some.
As I have said the course is in fine shape with well-cut fairways, well-kept bunkers and green that are springy and well-maintained. There is a good selection of mature trees of different types and sizes as well as a number of small streams and even the odd pylon or two. There are also a few original artefacts dotted around the course that pay testimony to the courses history. There is also a decent amount of shade should the sun beat down as it did on me today.
Overall this is a well-designed course that makes the most of this most pleasant piece of rural Berkshire. Challenging enough for the better golfer (although maybe not for the lowest handicappers) yet forgiving enough for the less able.
As for value-for-money, at £18 for 18 holes (£12 for 9) weekdays and £25 at weekends it is not the cheapest around. It is a great days golf so therefore the price is probably justified although it is competing with other clubs offering the same standards at a lower cost. These prices are also per round not per day as is becoming the fashion.
Interestingly enough (in this day and age) Theale Golf Centre does NOT have a web presence!
Overall a highly recommended course.
According to this web site you are not allowed to make derogerative comments about a course unless you take your complaints to the Management, needless to say there has been no such compaints from Paul George 24/06/02, and as Mr George tells us he has played the course for a couple of years, i am sure he had plenty of time to do so. But i dont know who to blame the most, this web site or Mr George for the damage his comments have made to Theale G.C, and believe me they have. Thankfully my wife and myself had the pleasure of joining Theale in March 04 and cannot praise the condition of the course enough after playing here for a year before hand. I cant comment what the course was like beforehand but i can say for a newish course i have found a golf course thats constantly improving, and having been a B.B.& O COUNTY PLAYER i do know a wee bit about the game Mr George.
Play this golf course and find out for yourself a course that will test you, i promise.
p.s. Mr George just to let u know, most of our top golfers came from municipal and pay & play golf courses.
I played this course recently for the first time as it is municipal and very near my place of work. My overall impression was that the layout and quality of the grass was good with well places hazards making a potentially ordinary course interesting. However this was let down somewhat with the lack of maintenance in certain areas. Some of the tees were scruffy and the bunkers in particular needed attention with long grass growing around the fringes. The green fees at £16 during the week and £23 at weekends seem reasonable but the lack of maintenance lets down an otherwise promising venue.
I played this course a couple of weeks ago and found it a very pleasant experience, the fairways were nice and wide(good job too) and the greens were immaculate, although the tee boxes were starting to cut up a little.
It was very quiet too, this is quite a find and i will be going back there very soo, overall a nice course to play.
I played the front 9 of the Theale course yesterday evening. As a realtive newcomer to the game I found the course challenging, but not impossible. A number of the holes were very attractive, but this was spoiled by the lack of maintenance of the greens and water hazards. Most of the water hazards are stagnant, which with the high temperatures of the last few weeks, means that they are smelly and disgusting. The greens are in poor condition with many brown patches and weeds. Fairways are reasonable and the rough is quite playable.
All together it was a mixed experience with a number of lost balls in the water hazards (I really didn't want to look too hard in those).
I wouldn't choose to play this course again.
I nearly did not play Theale today (7th August 2003) having read the comments of Mr George.
However, I spoke to the pro shop on the 'phone, and I was assured that the description I had read did not have any substance in fact. I found the course truly delightful, with well-managed tees, fairways, greens and rough. Sure, it was possible to discover rough if you were miles off course, but otherwise there was little danger of losing ones ball, except in the water hazards - as I did twice.
The greens were well maintained, and no weeds were growing thereon, but they are tricky for one who putts as badly as I do! To describe them as "cabbage patches" was grossly innacurate, and has no substance whatsoever in fact.
I shall certainly go back to the quiet, uncrowded, peacefulness of this lovely course. The few players I met were properly dressed, the bunkers were properly raked, and I saw no sign of poor etiquette at any time. Delightful staff in the clubhouse, too.
I have just played Theale Golf course for another of my many ventures into our lovely world of golf.
When i first started to play this course a couple of years ago it promised much and provided a testing yet fair experience to all levels. However, it saddens me to have to comment in the negative vein on its current state.
Many of the greens have weeds bordering on cabbage patches on them, with others having bare dry patches,,even after all of the recent rain. The fairways are, on a positive note, excellent, but any errant shots into light rough/or slightly heavier rough are punished with a lost ball 8 times out of ten. Not hitting into ponds or wooded areas, merely rough. Surely the idea of rough is to provide a testing shot to return to fairway play, not pulling another ball from the bag?
The opening hole gives a good overall impression of the course to come, but is then setback by an overly tight second par 3. This then continues throughout the course,,nice open holes followed by a lack of thought of design on the next. The greens are also on the small side throughout.
I do not wish to give the impression that i dislike the course, quite the contrary, i like it immensely. It does though give conflicting impressions of the standard of course it strives to be. Green fees are fair enough, a tiny putting green is not big enough, the driving range also needs attention. The tee boxes also leave something to be desired.
The dress code stated at the entrance clearly counts for nothing, as tracksuit bottoms, jeans and training shoes can all be viewed on the course complete with the hackers wearing them, playing loudly and slowly with no courtesy or any concept of etiquette.
Some might argue that if this sort of thing is to be avoided then i should play elsewhere,,but,, this course apparently encourages membership, and if i were a member i would not be at all impressed with the state of things.
In summary,,,Theale Golf Club needs to decide on where it is aiming to be..municipal council style course or private,,and stick to it. It is currently pretending to be something it clearly isn't. A few tweaks here and there, and some careful thought regarding design would improve this promising course beyond recognition and elevate it into the 'must play' courses in Berkshire as a minimum.
I seriously wish it all the best.
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