Course/Club Recommendations Near Ampthill (Bedfordshire)

Orikoru

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My parents have moved to Ampthill, so next year I think my dad might be on the look-out for a club up there. I was hoping some of you know the area and might be able to recommend a nice one for him? Criteria would be:
  • not too long or difficult a course, as he does tend to tire a lot by the end of 18 otherwise.
  • not too expensive - he'd be looking for a cheap 5-day membership or something like that as he doesn't play that often.
  • relaxed atmosphere - if he had a handicap it would probably be in the low 40s somewhere right now, so anywhere too posh or stuck-up wouldn't be for him I don't think.
  • easy for me to drive up to to give him a game ??

Any suggestions welcome and he can check them out over winter. Cheers. (y)
 

fundy

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Ampthill is lovely, some nice places to eat out etc, not the best of locations for golf clubs though!

Been a while since I played any but those to consider I guess are:

Nearest course would be Millbrook, that fails on your first criteria to some degree though
Heading back towards Milton Keynes is Aspley Guise which is short enough but might fail points 2/3
What was Beadlow Manor (now Cainhoe Wood I think) is the other side of Clophill on the A507, has 2 courses and a range, used to be very run down but has changed hands and theyve put some money in, not played since but maybe worth a look
Down below Henlow at Lower Stondon is Mount Pleasant, used to be 9 holes now 18, again not played it since it was extended but seems a friendly enough place and they seem to be spending money. Decent Sunday Roast too lol
South Beds down the A6 just as you get to Luton is OK, short enough main course and also has a shorter par 3/4 course
The Bedfordshire may not be too bad a journey and was an improving course last time I played it
 

need_my_wedge

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Ampthill is lovely, some nice places to eat out etc, not the best of locations for golf clubs though!

Been a while since I played any but those to consider I guess are:

Nearest course would be Millbrook, that fails on your first criteria to some degree though
Heading back towards Milton Keynes is Aspley Guise which is short enough but might fail points 2/3
What was Beadlow Manor (now Cainhoe Wood I think) is the other side of Clophill on the A507, has 2 courses and a range, used to be very run down but has changed hands and theyve put some money in, not played since but maybe worth a look
Down below Henlow at Lower Stondon is Mount Pleasant, used to be 9 holes now 18, again not played it since it was extended but seems a friendly enough place and they seem to be spending money. Decent Sunday Roast too lol
South Beds down the A6 just as you get to Luton is OK, short enough main course and also has a shorter par 3/4 course
The Bedfordshire may not be too bad a journey and was an improving course last time I played it

I'd add Leighton Buzzard GC to that list. Happy to sign you in as a guest to try it. It's relatively short, but does have a couple of walks between holes on the back 9.

Not a fan of Milbrook, Aspley is nice but I don't think as good as Leighton. Wouldn't recommend Beadlow, although I haven't been there for a while. Mount Pleasant is ok, being extended to 18 I think.
 

Biggleswade Blue

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My parents have moved to Ampthill, so next year I think my dad might be on the look-out for a club up there. I was hoping some of you know the area and might be able to recommend a nice one for him? Criteria would be:
  • not too long or difficult a course, as he does tend to tire a lot by the end of 18 otherwise.
  • not too expensive - he'd be looking for a cheap 5-day membership or something like that as he doesn't play that often.
  • relaxed atmosphere - if he had a handicap it would probably be in the low 40s somewhere right now, so anywhere too posh or stuck-up wouldn't be for him I don't think.
  • easy for me to drive up to to give him a game ??

Any suggestions welcome and he can check them out over winter. Cheers. (y)

I'm not far from there in location or in terms of handicap (I'm HI 30), and relatively new to club golf after a few years of nomadic games, so similar in outlook (though I do play quite often)
  • Millbrook - very close, I always find it a bit of a slog when I've play there
  • Cainhoe Manor (formerly Beadlow) - I've never played there but rumours are that an recent change of ownership has seen steady improvements. Two courses.
  • Woburn - Might fall over on the "cost" criteria you mentioned!!!
  • Aspley Guise - Never played
  • RAF Henlow - Local reputation is that it is not the most interesting place to play, but it is cheap. Plans are afoot to close the base, so not sure how much longer it'll be around for
  • Mount Pleasant - This is a traditionally well maintained, not overly tough 9 green/18 tee course. This year opened a further 9 holes so is now a full 18. I've played here quite a bit, and I reckon it is a good fit on the basis of what you've said you are looking for - see below.
  • John O'Gaunt - Two courses, but perhaps fails the cost test.
  • Mowsbury Park - Council course north of Bedford. It's ok. I've suffered some very slow rounds there!
  • Leighton Buzzard - Don't know, never played, ask LiverpoolPhil
  • Colmworth, Pavenham, Bedfordshire, South Beds, Caddington, Stockwood Park, Luton Hoo - Never played, no real idea, may be a bit further away depening on exactly where he is based.
So I'd suggest Mount Pleasant based on what you said you are looking for. They offer three tiers of memberships - Gold is full 7 day membership, Silver is a 5 day membership, and Bronze allows you handicap management and to play in competitions, but you pay a discounted green fee every time you play. I've played a lot with high handicap (even higher than me) golfers it's been good. Last time I played there in my view the course was looking a bit rough around the edges compared to their usual high standards, but they are doing a lot of work and investing sigificant effort in the place. Clubhouse is smashing as well.
 
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Ross61

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I agree with most of the comments so far. Problem as far as getting membership is that after a couple of courses closed and the COVID factor of people wanting club membership, most clubs have waiting lists. I think Cainhoe wood would fit the bill as I’ve heard that improvements have been made by the new owners. The Castle course is the better and hilly course, but the Manor course is virtualy flat the whole way round. 5 day membership is currently £575, which is cheap around these parts. Apart from The Millbrook, that is definately long and difficult, Cainhoe Wood is next nearest and easiest to get to.
 

batchworth

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Might also be worth looking at South Beds golf club, just north off Luton.

Played in a mixed open there about a month ago and was very impressed with the course, food and the relaxed and friendly members.
 

Orikoru

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Thanks for all this feedback guys. We've ruled out Millbrook as it does look a bit long and tough for him. I think he's going to have a look at Cainhoe first - it's cheap and only a short drive for him. (y)
 

peld

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I used to live not far away many moons ago and used to play Beadlow quite often, seemed fairly good at the time.
Used to play Chesfield Downs in that area which was good too - however i was only a part time summer golfer back then (15yrs ago)!
 

r0wly86

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Thanks for all this feedback guys. We've ruled out Millbrook as it does look a bit long and tough for him. I think he's going to have a look at Cainhoe first - it's cheap and only a short drive for him. (y)

Hi Orikoru, what did he think about Cainhoe? I am starting a new job next week which is pretty much next door, so would be interested in what it is like, have heard wildly differing reviews
 

Orikoru

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Hi Orikoru, what did he think about Cainhoe? I am starting a new job next week which is pretty much next door, so would be interested in what it is like, have heard wildly differing reviews
I'm not sure he's actually got off his arse and tried it yet to be honest with you. :LOL:
 

Orikoru

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Hi Orikoru, what did he think about Cainhoe? I am starting a new job next week which is pretty much next door, so would be interested in what it is like, have heard wildly differing reviews
We played there today. It's very flat, no hills or elevation to speak of at all really. There was an awful smell of bins wafting across the course, possibly they were digging up landfill nearby. Greens were a bit bobbly. I liked some of the layout though, quite a few shorter par 4 doglegs which I'm a fan of. A few water hazards dotted around too.
 

fundy

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We played there today. It's very flat, no hills or elevation to speak of at all really. There was an awful smell of bins wafting across the course, possibly they were digging up landfill nearby. Greens were a bit bobbly. I liked some of the layout though, quite a few shorter par 4 doglegs which I'm a fan of. A few water hazards dotted around too.

which course did you play?
 
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