Woburn Golf Club,
Little Brickhill, Milton Keynes,
Woburn is a home from home for me. It's been fantastic to have such a great club as Woburn to help develop my game. I truly don't think I would be where I am in the world right now, if not for Woburn being available to me.
Ian Poulter - Touring Professional Woburn Golf Club
The signature hole with its wonderful visual of a split fairway tee shot.
Depending on the how far you hit the ball you can use the left or right fairway options. The run-out on the right is about 300 yards, therefore shortening the hole slightly, leaving about 220 yards to the front of the green. A great opportunity to be aggressive and challenge the green, protected by some well-placed bunkers just short, which are about 8ft below the putting surface. Make sure you take enough club to carry the front and not get caught by the bunkers, or the fun begins. A miss to the right could result in a lost ball as it tends to kick down the hill into the bracken.
If you chose the left fairway or cannot reach the green, trouble still awaits as there is a tight lay-up to a small landing area where it is hard to see the ball land as the fairway drops downhill. Don’t be afraid to leave 100 yards to the front of the green as that’s the widest part of the fairway and on the flat. If you try to get closer the fairway pinches in very tightly and it is easy to make a mistake. The green will still be well above the fairway; account for about an extra 6 yards uphill from that layup position, so take extra club.
The green slopes slightly back to front with a little run-off on the middle-left half of the green. It’s a wonderful 'risk and reward par 5' that gets your attention on all shots. Enjoy one of the best visual holes you will ever play.
The 3rd hole on the Duke's course is one of my favourite Par 3’s in the world. It also happens to be my son, Joshua’s favourite.
Depending on the time of year and green firmness, the ideal shot is to leave an uphill putt as the green slopes heavily from back to front.
In the winter, when the greens are softer, the aggressive shot would be to land the ball just behind the pin allowing for it to spin back slightly leaving an uphill putt.
When the greens firm up, club selection is key to land the ball just short of the pin enabling the same up hill putt.
You can always favour the left half of the green as a well placed bunker covers the front right portion of the green. A wonderful down hill par 3 which plays about 10 yards less than the actual number so account for that when making club selection.
The 17th hole on the Duchess exemplifies what this course is all about, positional play.
Despite being just 344 yards this hole is far from an obvious birdie opportunity and there is no chance of overpowering the hole as driver is calling out for a lost ball.
The severe dog leg right to left requires a well placed tee shot, to leave you a second shot from the bottom of the hill. While you only need something like a 5 iron off the tee, hitting the fairway is no guarantee and ideally requires a little draw to be in the perfect position.
After a good tee shot you are left with around 130 yards to the green but the shot is severely uphill which adds about 15 yards to the length of shot, which also means stopping the ball quickly is tricky to say the least.
The green is relatively small so any shot ending up on the putting surface provides a decent birdie opportunity but I am always happy to walk off this hole with a 4.