The Grove: A home away from home

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The Grove

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A ball striking paradise. The Grove is England’s number one golf resort and it’s easy to see why.

From the minute you arrive at the front door before your round, it’s all about you. A club with a huge reputation for welcoming the best but they are open to everyone.

Submerged in the Hertfordshire countryside as the Grand Union Canal runs through, the Grove feels like a world of its own.

When you exit the hustle and bustle of the M25 in London and head up the private road towards the resort you can easily mistake this ‘resort’ as an upmarket municipal for the elite.

Upon arrival, the golf clubs were taken away by the staff and brought to the Trackman driving range. The club also features a state of the art chipping area and practice putting green and you can’t get enough tees and ball markers from the starter!

The Grove has seen Tiger Woods win a World Golf Championship here in 2006 and has welcomed the DP World Tour’s British Masters event.

Whether they are welcoming the golfing elite or the casual golfer, you are treated the same. A pay and play experience not to be missed.

The attentive staff provide the professional experience.

As for the golf course itself. Despite an abusive spell of winter weather, the course was in excellent condition.

Carpet like fairways, a superb layout with some of the purest greens you will see anywhere.

This Kyle Phillips design – who reminds us of his Kingsbarns layout with pockets of fescue – is maturing beautifully in its 21st year.

The Grove caters to golfers of all ability, whether you are the cream of the crop or don’t even have a handicap, four large teeing areas accompany each hole depending on your level.

The course is also generous from each tee with wide fairways that are lush with grass so the ball sits proudly on top, easily hittable for any golfer.

The Grove opens with an index 17 par-4. A kind opener that is littered by bunkers meaning it isn’t drivable for the longer hitter.

However, it’s not long before this golf course shows its teeth with the par-4 3rd a stern test leaving you with a lengthy approach over the Grand Canal which is ready to gobble up any straying approach shots.

The Boathouse is the first par-3 of the golf course. This idyllic par-3 is a stiff challenge from the medal tees. Playing 167 yards it’s all carry to escape the burn that lies in wait at the front of the green.

An early indication that you must hit the greens as most of them are elevated and undulating but they are smooth as silk. If you miss the green, prepare for a stiff challenge of getting your ball up and down.

The Grove features a fabulous mix of holes ranging from long par-4s to holes that are potentially drivable for the longer hitter while two of the par fives are reachable at under 500 yards, but play uphill.

The par-3s range from 127-yards to 184 yards and your ball striking must be on point to avoid water and cleverly placed bunkers.

The Grove is a thoroughly enjoyable test of golf and is good enough to have hosted a World Golf Championship and British Masters.

Post round your clubs and shoes are cleaned by the staff and the great service continues in the Stables Bar.

At the Grove, the questions isn’t what to do but how to do everything.

This isn’t just a golfing paradise but a holiday for all the family.

Traditional outdoor activities like archery, laser clay pigeon shooting and horse riding are just some of the amenities on offer here.

Why not take in a hot air balloon ride and get a birds eye view of London or take an eye level view of some fabulous birds of prey with the Grove’s woodland hawking.

As an avid football fan and since the Grove is situated in Watford it only made sense to take a trip to see… Arsenal.

The Grove have a partnership with Arsenal Football Club but even if the Emirates Stadium doesn’t take your fancy there are plenty of football clubs nearby to fill the void if it’s a sporting getaway you are after.

Situated in the secluded countryside, this resort has something for everyone and with a residential summer green fee of £180 it’s great value to test yourself on a golf course where the elite have played.

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