Last year Brocket Hall Golf Club in Welwyn, Hertfordshire celebrated the opening of the first nine holes of its new Palmerston Course in memorable style. The architect, Donald Steel, hit the first shot. Playing in a nine ball he teed off at nine minutes past nine on the ninth day of the ninth month of 1999.
The second nine holes of the Donald Steel designed Palmerston course at Brocket Hall have now opened for play. This time the occasion was made memorable by the presence of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa – probably the best singing golfer in the world.
This is the 15th course in the portfolio of Country Clubs of Asia, the operators of Brocket Hall who took over the club in 1996 and soon afterwards started the expansion to 36 holes. Construction of the second nine holes, undertaken by J & Ely of Reading, was completed in spring last year. The dramatic rolling landform and some lovely trees give the course its own unique character with no two holes the same.
Donald Steel has been responsible for designing several celebrated courses around the world and believes that the Palmerston will quickly join this elite group. “Designing the Palmerston gave me a wonderful opportunity to produce an inland course as testing as anything I’ve ever come up with,” he said. “The contours and the large area which the course covers were particularly challenging.”
The academy executive course, designed by Donald Steel, is a challenging six-hole par 3 course laid out through mature woodland which offers a test for the experienced golfer as well as providing an interesting introduction for the beginner. The short game area comprises two pitching greens surrounded by a variety of bunkers and hollows and an expansive three-tier putting green offering flat, undulating and contoured conditions.
Tailored courses will be offered to meet all skill levels with packages ranging from a half-day corporate event through to a three-day residential break, making use of accommodation in Brocket Hall itself or the nearby Melbourne Lodge. The academy will also offer an ideal venue for corporate events and allow organisers to include clients who are less experienced golfers.
The academy will be of huge benefit to local youngsters offering them access to first class facilities and expert tuition, whilst executives will have the opportunity to sample the delights of the historic game in surroundings usually reserved for members of exclusive clubs.
Country Clubs of Asia is said to be keen to add more properties in Europe and to have already looked at sites in Moscow, Berlin, Warsaw, Florence, London and Malta.