Stapleford Park, the country house hotel and sporting estate near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire is preparing to open its new golf course in 500 acres of Capability Brown parkland. The private “Carnegie” championship golf course will be ready for play from 1st July 2000.
Donald Steel, who designed the course with Tom MacKenzie, has described the project as follows. “Of all the courses in the world, very few are free from intrusion whether it be housing or a road. The course at Stapleford Park is a rare exception, being in the delightfully pure setting of a Capability Brown landscape with ever changing views of Stapleford’s stately home, its lake and eight hundred acre park. This is classic English countryside at its very best.
“The course wraps around the heart of the parkland in two extended loops, never being more than two holes wide, making it unusually spacious and peaceful. This configuration is reminiscent of the great links courses such as the Old Course at St Andrews, and provide continuing variety in the direction of the holes as well as producing a series of stunning views. Woods, ponds and streams all teaming with wildlife, feature on many holes, although the meandering River Eye perhaps adds greatest strategic interest to the golf, coming into play on four holes.
“At 6,957 yards from the back tees and with a par of 73, the course will challenge the best, whilst forward tees present mere mortals with a more enjoyable test. Enjoyment is the crucial factor with the course and, on every hole, all standards of player are given a fair crack of the whip, with approaches on which the ball can be run onto the green.
Particular care has been taken during the design of the course to ensure that this exceptional historic landscape remains pristine. The distinctive Scottish-style revetted bunkers have been used to exert maximum influence on the play of the better golfer who is tempted to flirt with them to gain the advantage of being in pole position for the next shot. Grassy humps and hollows have also been used to shape the holes because they are less intimidating for the higher handicap golfer and the scratch player knows all too well the hazards that such features present.
“This quintessential English golfing experience will enthral golfers from all over the world. Stapleford Park is an enchanting place. There are few nicer places to play golf.”