The Golf World Top 100 panel selects the best golf courses in Hertfordshire, a county blessed with top-quality historic and modern courses.
Braid, MacKenzie, Colt, Morris, Cotton, Park, Steel, Ebert, Phillips… Hertfordshire has been touched by most of the great golf course architects to have worked in England.
They have left an impressive legacy, whether their work was 100 years ago or 10. That manifests itself in an incredibly competitive top five where The Grove leads the way as our No.1 – but only just.
Why should you trust our ranking of the best golf courses in Hertfordshire? Well, the Golf World Top 100 panel has been ranking the finest courses in England for decades and has the most comprehensive knowledge in the game.
We welcome your feedback on all of our rankings and know that everyone will have an opinion on their favourite course’s position. We’d love to hear from you via email, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Chris Bertram, Golf World Top 100 Editor
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What are the best golf courses in Hertfordshire?
1. The Grove
This Kyle Phillips design is routinely in magnificent condition and offers a tranquil, playable experience.
If you relish putting on speedy, true greens, you’ll love The Grove.
It’s an interesting, modern parkland where the cunning angling of the greens, with their multitude of surrounding slopes and run-off areas, rewards accurate approach play. It’s only two decades old, but The Grove has already built itself a reputation for being one of the best golf venues in the London area. Everything about the place oozes class – from the guys at the bag drop who get your bag out of the car and clean your clubs, to the beautiful, ring-bound yardage books.
The Grove is everything a British inland course should be: it’s always in great condition and the tests include subtle bunkering, undulating greens, lakes, streams, and mature woods. And when you put that lot together it makes for 18 holes that are distinctly individual yet fit together as an extremely impressive whole.
2. Ashridge Golf Club
Ashridge has changed precious little down the years and, in fact, has retained virtually all of its original bunkers – though one or two, I suppose, are a bit closer to the tee than they ought to be. It’s a classic tree-lined layout on heathland and provides a wonderful challenge for all levels of golfer. The star hole is the 14th, a longish par 4 with a narrow green and a big pot bunker front left, calling for a very accurate approach shot.
Established in 1932, Ashridge Golf Club, situated under 40 miles from London, is an 18-hole course set in acres of parkland, featuring fairways lined with mature trees, along with well-placed bunkers. The course, originally designed by C K Hutchinson, Sir Guy Campbell, and S V Hotchkin, was designed to be sympathetic to the naturally occurring woodland surrounding.
3. Hadley Wood Golf Club
Hadley Wood offers a similar vibe to Ashridge. It’s an elegant parkland with classic Alister MacKenzie greens – tiered and with plenty of movement in them. It plays up and down stout hills near Barnet.
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4. Berkhamsted Golf Club
Berkhamsted Golf Club doesn’t feature a single bunker, but it’s still good enough to test elite amateurs every year in its famous 72-hole Berkhamsted Trophy. Instead, gorse, heather, and trees flank the fairways, while hollows, mounds, gullies, and ridges make things awkward whether chipping around the green or on approaches. Terrific fun, wonderful condition.
5. Centurion Club
A relatively new layout, having opened in 2013, Centurion Club is the best course to open in the south-east of England for some time.
Made up of holes through pines and others on rolling terrain, this venue is already one of the best-conditioned courses in the country.
The challenging course layout, which meanders over spectacular topography, features some 80 bunkers, four major water features, and undulating bent grass greens.
Centurion Club had the golf world’s attention when it hosted the inaugural LIV Golf event in June 2022.
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6. Essendon Country Club (Old Course)
A mature Fred Hawtree parkland from 1976 that is plotted within a picturesque 400-acre estate. Overlooked by a striking clubhouse, it has benefited from investment under new ownership. A splendid affair.
7. Moor Park (High Course)
Moor Park’s High Course is a Harry Colt parkland, laid down on a stunning parcel of land in the early 1920s. A regular Carris Trophy venue with a tough closing stretch. Overlooked by a sublime mansion clubhouse.
8. Brocket Hall (Palmerston Course)
The Palmerston at Brocket Hall is an undulating course within 543 acres of historic 18th-century parkland. The Donald Steel/Martin Ebert-designed Palmerston weaves between mature woodland with rare Hornbeam, Scots and Corsican pine, alongside 300-year-old oaks.
9. South Herts (Vardon Course)
South Herts’ Vardon Course is a historic Willie Park Jnr layout that has staged Open regional qualifying 14 times. Established in 1899, it stretches across 150 acres of prime parkland. Harry Vardon was professional and greenkeeper for 37 years.
10. Moor Park (West Course)
It may play second fiddle to the neighbouring High Course, but we suggest you make a day of it and get to grips with Moor Park’s short-but-testing (just under 6,000 yards) West as well.
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11. Essendon (New Course)
This par-73 parkland is more than 6,700 yards off the tips and gets underway with a scenic par 4, with new bunkers guarding the right of the green.
12. Aldwickbury Park
The maturing course at Aldwickbury Park, the 1995 work of Ken Brown and Martin Gillett, is a gently undulating woodland with a good combination of holes, a stirring risk-reward par-4 finale, and some exquisite views over the Lea Valley.
13. Brickendon Grange
Designed by C.K. Cotton, Brickendon Grange recently celebrated its golden jubilee. The award-winning par-4 17th is an absolute cracker.
14. Sandy Lodge
Harry Vardon’s 1910 layout takes full advantage of the area’s natural rolling terrain, boasting firm and fast fairways, strategic bunkering (some sleepered) and a pacy set of greens. An Open regional qualifying venue with six par 3s, including the downhill 7th and uphill 18th.
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15. Brocket Hall (Melbourne Course)
The older of the two courses at Brocket Hall (the Melbourne Course opened in 1992) and, like its Palmerston neighbour, it’s named after a prime minister who once resided there – William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne. Peter Alliss and Clive Clark’s design crosses Broadwater Lake four times before a memorable finish in front of the mansion hall.
16. West Herts
Originally created by Old Tom Morris, but comprehensively reworked by Alister MacKenzie in 1922, this rolling parkland has changed very little since. Plotted on gravel and chalk, West Herts is always in supreme condition.
17. Mid Herts
Founded in 1892, but Mid Hets really came to the fore when James Braid extended the layout to 18 holes in 1923. Plotted on heathland terrain, a variety of wildlife keeps you company.
18. Old Fold Manor
An intriguing,century-old Harry Colt layout sitting atop a gently undulating sand-and-gravel site and offering a heathland-style experience. It’s a very high-class affair, with quick greens and its last flanked by an ancient moat on three sides.
Well-established parkland that has been on its present site (the club was founded in 1894) for more than 90 years, having been created in 150 acres of rolling Hertfordshire countryside by Fred Hawtree and J.H. Taylor.
20. Welwyn Garden City
This undulating parkland is the home club of Sir Nick Faldo and certainly offers a good test with the 600-yards par 5 penultimate hole and tough uphill par 3 climax guaranteeing a stiff finish.
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