Stockcross, Newbury, RG20 8JS, England
Just off the A4, about 3 miles west of Newbury lies Deanwood Park Golf Club. As you turn off the B4000 and into the club driveway you are immediately advised to slow and look left as the drive crosses the 2nd fairway – a little hint of what is to come! Deanwood Park is a compact and fairly short 9-hole course situated on high ground looking out over scenic West Berkshire. There is a modern, well-equipped clubhouse containing bar, restaurant and small pro shop situated behind the small gravel car park. The grounds are immaculately maintained and this includes the 9-hole putting green and practice area (no woods allowed). There is evidence of continual improvement work and investment which is good to see.
Overall there is an air of high standards about the place however in a quaint sort of way it seems to think it is a slightly bigger and more prestigious club than it actually is. There is clearly an active club membership which is always a good sign and you could be forgiven for thinking you were playing a well-established 18 hole course of some prestige. The course itself is short at 2019yds (Yellow tees) but has well-maintained tees, fairways and bunkers and exceptionally good greens given the amount of use they were clearly getting. If I had to be critical I would say the fairways were rather narrow and slightly longer (grass) than I would have expected. The course whilst short is quite challenging (including not over-shooting the first green and hitting cars travelling along the B4000!) with numerous interesting bunkers, mounds and water hazards. The rough is also deceptively long in places and the mature woodland bordering the course in numerous locations does act as a magnet to modern golf balls! Wildlife is in abundance including some very tame squirrels. There is excellent signage throughout including tactful reminders about slow play and other interesting little facts to boot.
Overall a course well worth visiting however I’m not sure I would consider membership as I am sure one would quickly tame such a course and even get a little bored. It would really benefit from a par 5 and a couple of slightly longer par 4’s… or even another 9 holes! Another nine to this standard with the obligatory two or three par 5’s would make it a great course. But, saving the best to last is the price. £8.50 & £14.50 for 9 & 18 holes weekdays and £10.50 & £17.50 at weekends has to be a real bargain. At this price it is virtually in the hack-it and see pay & play league, something Deanwood Park clearly isn’t. It is refreshing to see a club adopting a sensible pricing structure and this is obviously paying dividends as weekends at least the course is very busy. 7 out of 10 purely for the fact it is only 9 holes.
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