What do you think of The Belfry?

Thread starter #1

MarkT

GM Forum Editor
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
668
Next week we've got the British Masters there so will do something on the course.

I've never played it so can't say but have heard some say it's a bad waste of a potato field to how good it is. It's obviously got all the history and the show holes but what's it actually like to play as an experience? Cheers
 

Liverpoolphil

Grand Slam Winner
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
36,145
Location
Leighton Buzzard
It’s a good parkland stadium course , condition of it is always spot on but imo it lives of the Ryder Cup and way overpriced for the Brabazon - it does have a couple of very good holes

The PGA course there is decent the less said about the Derby the better

It’s the same as the likes of Celtic Manor , Hanbury Manor , Forest of Arden , Oxfordshire etc - just lack character
 

Pants

Challenge Tour Pro
Joined
Sep 4, 2009
Messages
749
Played the Brabazon twice in a fortnight 20 years ago and was glad that I hadn't paid the green fee (corporate events).

OK, there are a couple of "interesting" holes but I never found the need to rush back.
 
Thread starter #4

MarkT

GM Forum Editor
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
668
It’s a good parkland stadium course , condition of it is always spot on but imo it lives of the Ryder Cup and way overpriced for the Brabazon - it does have a couple of very good holes

The PGA course there is decent the less said about the Derby the better

It’s the same as the likes of Celtic Manor , Hanbury Manor , Forest of Arden , Oxfordshire etc - just lack character

When I finished my degree my dad took me to the Belfry as a treat. The Brabazon was £60 and the Derby £30, god rest his soul and all that but we ended up playing the Derby twice though we did discover roll mop herring which sort of made up for it
 

Bdill93

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
633
Its a very nice set up, you get treated very well on a visit to the belfry, no matter the course you are playing.

Thus far ive played the Derby and PGA national. I think the PGA is a good test for your average club golfer, very well maintained and a cut above the standards of courses locally. The Derby seems to get slated - its cheap and again, well maintained but its quite forgettable with regards to feature holes etc. Both are avaliable on 2fore1 so respectable green fees going that way.

The brab is currently £180 for a solo tee time - absolute joke levels of money that I wouldnt pay. Ill play it as part of a golf weekend one day maybe!
 

IanM

Journeyman Pro
Joined
May 18, 2009
Messages
6,336
Location
Monmouthshire, UK via Guildford!
Its a decent parkland course and they're keeping it in great condition these days.

It's not remarkable and it's not top 100.

But it has a proud Ryder Cup history.... cos the hotel cos divied up a heap of cash. Worth the visit for that alone. The other two courses didn't interest me at all.

But, I do hear of some plans they have... have you heard that Mark?
 
Thread starter #7

MarkT

GM Forum Editor
Joined
Sep 24, 2020
Messages
668
Its a decent parkland course and they're keeping it in great condition these days.

It's not remarkable and it's not top 100.

But it has a proud Ryder Cup history.... cos the hotel cos divied up a heap of cash. Worth the visit for that alone. The other two courses didn't interest me at all.

But, I do hear of some plans they have... have you heard that Mark?
Only thing I've heard is that they're going to open a new junior academy soonish - http://instagr.am/p/COJGCh4scFz/
 

Voyager EMH

Active member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
291
Played the Brabazon in 1991 when the reputation was riding high on the back of the Ryder Cup. Corporate invitation - was so glad it cost me nowt. About 40 of us from my club went to Forest of Arden in 2010 - lunch, golf (2nd course), evening meal, overnight, breakfast, golf (top course) - £99 a head. I think it might be £139 now - well worth it. Full use of swimming pool etc. - would happily go there again. I have no desire to return to The Belfry.
 

Ethan

Money List Winner
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
9,747
Location
Bearwood Lakes, Berks
I have never liked it, although I have played it a few times to test if I was being unfair. My mind was not changed.

The land was never likely to provide a great course, and the land-moving used to make it less featureless look artificial and contrived. Many of the holes are still forgettable and some of the more memorable holes are memorable for the wrong reasons. The 10th is a contrived feature hole and the 18th is a good hole for the Ryder Cup but a terrible hole for the waves of corporate outings. For me, too much of the golf there is a slogging match along anonymous fairways, too little character and no local quirk on a featureless canvas.

The Ryder Cups there have been great, but a Ryder Cup on the M42 would be great too. The Belfry's Ryder Cup history had an inauspicious start, not being ready for the 1981 event which had to be moved to Walton Heath, but then it gained legendary status after the 1985 win. I think too many people conflate the memory of the event with positive reactions to the course.
 

StuartH90

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2021
Messages
3
Have only played the Brabazon and paid a reduced rate and recall it being a 5h+ round. Happy to tick off the list golf wise but a very good setup for a night away and food/drinks.

Expect to pay a lot for F&B and a rowdy atmosphere. I recall one group badgering a waiter with questions around "what time do all the girls show up?"
 

DRW

Tour Rookie
Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
4,467
Location
UK
Superb condition, good welcome. Quite enjoyed the course, played in middle of summer time iirc. Only played once, never stayed.
 

Sats

Challenge Tour Pro
Joined
Dec 17, 2013
Messages
1,552
Location
Kent
Played and stayed there. Did Kings of Distance there with Todays Golfer (Sorry GM, another time I cheated.) Good venue, hotels nice, gym/sauna's good, foods good and the Courses are fine, Brabazon the best, then the PGA, the Derby is like a £30 course but hey 3 courses what more do you want. Practice facilities are decent and the mini golf course based upon famous holes is fun after a few.
Bel air club is naughty though, I went there when and got swamped by crazed drunk old single women that think because it's a golf club your rich - not my cup of tea, so swerve that.
 

Beedee

Assistant Pro
Joined
Jul 25, 2015
Messages
434
Location
Cheltenham
Only been there once on an overnight deal. Played the Brabazon and the Derby. I enjoyed it and would happily go back and play there again. Derby was a cheap simple "filler" course, and the Brabazon was fun, and in very good condition. However, not sure I would want to do the overnight thing again. The accomodation and food were ok, and the drinks were stupid expensive.
 

hovis

Tour Winner
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
5,601
Until covid hit I'd been a member for 7 years. The brabazon is always a joy to play but plays dreadful and long in the winter. The other two courses where always decent too. Condition for the most part was very good due to an army of green keepers. But then the changes started happening.
They where:
.Green keepers reduced buy a third and paid no attention the lesser courses. In the autumn they would actually blow the leaves off the brabazon onto the derby

.The organisation is shocking. Pin and tee possitions being moved mid comp for example

.The way they treat their staff is appalling. They only have one pro now as the other 4 left due to bad conditions

.They filled all the fairway bunkers on the Derby to save time on maintenance (killing the course)

.Dedicated members tee times filled with guests so making a 2.30 round 4 hours minimum

.Fitting staff are children with no experience

The belfry have been and always will be about the money. It's just now they've pushed it too far.
I visited the range last week. They've just fitted top tracer to the range. A basket of 90 balls was £4.50 is now £9.50 for 80. I couldn't use the putting green and short game area as they are "saving it" for the pro's in a few weeks.

The belfry has lost Alot of members. They all fled to the forest of arden
 

PieMan

Tour Winner
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
Messages
3,605
Location
Bushey, Hertfordshire
I've been a few times to the Belfry, playing the Brabazon every time. Only have positive things to say about the conditioning of the course - was always in fantastic condition.

Yes a fair few of the holes are not that memorable, but that can be said of a number of similar parkland courses.

Wouldn't ever turn down a game there.
 

rulefan

Tour Winner
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Messages
9,981
I took a Referees' course there some years ago. When walking the course we were shown real examples of 'How not to Mark a Course'. The parts we walked were in pretty good condition though.
 

rystaman

New member
Joined
May 4, 2021
Messages
4
Until covid hit I'd been a member for 7 years. The brabazon is always a joy to play but plays dreadful and long in the winter. The other two courses where always decent too. Condition for the most part was very good due to an army of green keepers. But then the changes started happening.
They where:
.Green keepers reduced buy a third and paid no attention the lesser courses. In the autumn they would actually blow the leaves off the brabazon onto the derby

.The organisation is shocking. Pin and tee possitions being moved mid comp for example

.The way they treat their staff is appalling. They only have one pro now as the other 4 left due to bad conditions

.They filled all the fairway bunkers on the Derby to save time on maintenance (killing the course)

.Dedicated members tee times filled with guests so making a 2.30 round 4 hours minimum

.Fitting staff are children with no experience

The belfry have been and always will be about the money. It's just now they've pushed it too far.
I visited the range last week. They've just fitted top tracer to the range. A basket of 90 balls was £4.50 is now £9.50 for 80. I couldn't use the putting green and short game area as they are "saving it" for the pro's in a few weeks.

The belfry has lost Alot of members. They all fled to the forest of arden
I was surprised when both Derek and Phil left and going back to see £9.50 for a bucket of 80 balls is ridiculous when places like Calderfields and the American Golf range in Wythall both have Toptracer but are not as expensive. I didn't know that was the reason for the putting green and short game area being closed, which is actually quite annoying.
 
Top