Stapleford Abbotts, The Priors Course Reviews
Stapleford Abbotts, The Priors CourseBy: Rex Inego | May 04, 2008 07:00 PM
The Priors is the secondary course at the Stapleford Abbotts golf club. Although part of the same club, it is actually located a few hundred yards up the road with its own separate car park and shop. It is certainly the lesser course of the two, but thats not to say that it is a bad course. The quality is however reflected in the price of the green fees, averaging about ң15 depending on when you play, as opposed to the 35 green fee on the Abbotts course.
Because of this difference, most of the clientele are pay and play guests, as members tend to stay on the main Abbotts course. The shop is a portacabin with very limited facilities and a small amount of goods on sale. There are no practice facilities at all, as these are all located at the main club up the road.
Despite these minor downsides, the course is an interesting one that is well worth playing. The first hole is a tricky par 5 that requires a drive over a sizeable lake onto a fairway that then doglegs right. You then must clear another lake in order to land on the green. This theme of crossing lakes is a common one, with a significant amount of water hazards throughout the course. Not all require you to cross them, with many lying to the sides of the holes, awaiting stray drives. As well as lakes, the course also has its fair share of bunkers, and some trees scattered around.
Overall the course is very open, with only a few out of bounds areas, and few obstructions separating the holes. This does mean that you will frequently have people on your hole, attempting to play back to their own fairway.
This is what makes this course ideal for the beginner or high handicap golfer. You can hit stray balls without loosing them or being significantly punished on your scorecard. Many people have picked up on this, and as a result you will notice the average standard of play on the course to be quite poor. This can result in slow rounds at busy times, especially as there is no marshalling to overlook the course.
Despite this being the lesser and cheaper course, one thing that is always noticeable is the high standard the course is maintained to, which is not far behind the Abbotts. The greens are well kept (although sometimes suffer from unrepaired pitch marks). The bunkers are usually playable, aside from not always having been raked. Due to the well draining nature of the ground in the area, coupled with the high winds caused by the openness of the course, the course holds up very well to rain in the winter months.
What is also worth a mention, is the club is part of Crown Golf, which means a membership gives you access to many other courses through the UK, free of charge.
Pros: - Good value - Very forgiving - Well maintained - Interesting and diverse holes
cons: - Not as challenging as some might like - No practice facilities - Several holes run alongside the M25
conclusion: A great course for the beginner golfer, or those looking for a forgiving full size course.