Woburn Golf Club,
Little Brickhill, Milton Keynes,
The Duke's Course designed by Charles Lawrie, opened in 1976 and was the first of Woburn's three courses to be opened.
"Overjoyed to be back on one of three or possibly four of my favourite golf courses anywhere on the planet"
Tony Johnstone - 2009 Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters
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The Duke's course sports fairways lined with pine, silver birch and chestnut trees. Heather, bracken and gorse add to the charm of the course, as well as providing some of the natural hazards of each hole.
Part of its strength lies in the Par 4's, play these well and there is every chance you will play to your handicap but, the Par 5's are where good scores can be made.
This hole has been played in Professional Tournaments as the 18th. Lee Trevino once claimed that the best tournament shot he had played was a 3 wood he hit 253 yards to within inches for an eagle, to win the 1985 Dunhill British Masters.
A slight dog leg left. The fairway drops away into an inviting green which slopes to the front. Looks can be deceptive and it is easy to overclub!
Distance is the key on this hole as there are no putts to be given here. When the rhododendrons are in full bloom and all around there is a kaleidoscope of purple and pink bushes, there is no better time to remember Walter Hagen's plea for golfers "to stop off and smell the flowers as they go through life".
One of the most challenging holes. Efforts to cut the corner from the tee usually result in being unable to see the two tier McKenzie green. There is plenty of room for a drive to the right.
The combination of the natural ravine to the left and the position of the trees protecting the green made this hole the favourite of Nick Faldo when he won the British Masters in 1989.
Ladies appreciate the benefit of their forward tee position, nevertheless whichever tee is used under clubbing is simply not an option.
A church and its tiny cemetery lie beyond the two tiered green on this challenging Par 4. Many a good medal round has met its end on this hole. A par here feels like a birdie.
There is a feeling on this tee of having come inland, away from boundaries, ravines and forests. Now is the time to open the shoulders and enjoy the freedom.
A straightforward Par 3 and the final hole of the ‘easy nine’ with the back nine two shots harder!
This comparatively gentle hole is the last ‘breather’ so enjoy it. It is straight and you can once again open up with the driver.
Many suggest this is the easiest Par 5 on the course but the combination of strategically placed trees, a couple of bunkers and a fiercely sloping green suggest accuracy rather than power is the key.
It looks straightforward, but the combination of some ‘dead’ ground at the front of a green which slopes upwards finds most guilty of under clubbing.
The right side of the fairway should be favoured off the tee with the second shot played over a gully. The drop off from the right of the green naturally forces the player to aim left, bringing the left hand bunker into play. A great hole!
Ladies enjoy the benefit of a generous start at this long Par 5, a hole which Ian Woosnam once described as one of the finest Par 5’s in the country. You need to be long and straight.
The closing stretch begins to tighten. Nevertheless there is another opportunity to let fly. Seve thought so during his first British Masters win and found himself in the forest on the right, from where he made a birdie 3.
This hole requires a tee shot to be hit with a draw down the right hand side of the fairway to avoid the left hand bunkers, providing a clear shot into the green.
An accurate drive at this demanding hole is essential. On her way to victory in the Weetabix Women’s British Open, Karrie Webb pulled her drive behind a massive Pine on the left and then played one of the greatest shots of her illustrious career, through the fork to the green.
Bravado tempts many long hitters to drive over the trees on the right in an attempt to get the green, however more 6’s are scored that way. The wise often use a lesser club and plot a path up the left hand side.
Since the Dunlop British Masters in 1979 there have been forty five professional tournaments staged on the Duke's course.
The Duchess Course is a fine example of a course built for the thinking golfer, often referred to as a "Hidden Gem"
The Marquess course openend in June 2000 and was soon referred to as the "Jewel in the Crown"