The Old Course
The Old Course at Leckford, designed by the world renowned golf course architect Harry Shapland Colt, first opened its doors in 1929. Harry Colt was in his prime when he arrived at Leckford with over 20 years experience in designing golf courses including Wentworth, Muirfield, Royal Lytham and St Annes, Sunningdale and Trevose. The layout of the course has largely been preserved since 1929, with the exception of some remodeling or repositioning of bunkers and some tee extensions mainly due to the improvements in golf club technology.
The Old Course is reported to be one of the finest and most challenging 9 hole courses in the country, if not Europe.
The course climbs the chalky downland valley toward a high down plateau, which has three very good par fours before returning down to the clubhouse.
The first two holes are unusual, as both are par fives. It was a maxim of Colt that the first hole should not have too much difficulty, but many question whether he applied that principle in this case. For the first two holes bunkers await the opening drive, both right and left. The first fairway is flanked by a magnificent stand of beech trees, that continue almost to the green.
The third is a striking hole, a classic par 3, the green is elevated, and well contoured and bunkered. Following this there is a run of par fours, varying in length from 331 yards to 400 yards, all of which are good two shotters, with greens that need great care if three putting is not to be on the agenda.
It is a feature of the course that Colt used “key” bunkering. The fifth has a bunker situated on the approach line just short of the green, so careful club selection is demanded.
The finishing two holes are regular favorites; the 8th from an elevated tee to a hole running parallel to the first, with the beeches standing sentry on the right, and having a magnetic pull down the sloping fairway. The green is long and narrow and well bunkered, sitting tightly into the hillside, it will be a well-earned par here.
The finishing hole is a par three, back to the clubhouse. A downhill shot to a large but very well bunkered green, with the cosy little clubhouse looking down on it, and the beautiful thatched cottage sat majestically behind it, a superb picture and a tough finishing hole.
A demanding standard scratch of 71 (72 for ladies), when the course is played twice, and a double treat to play.