A fairly straightforward slightly dog leg hole to start your round. You will see a newly constructed full width bunker which is 44 yards to the centre of the green and would catch a very good drive. For most players a solid drive leaves just a short iron to the green, whilst the longer hitters may be tempted to clear the bunker and go for the green - but don't get caught up in the trees on either side of the fairway. The green, also guarded by a sneaky bunker at the front right, is 28 yards deep with a gradual slope from back to front.
The fairway doglegs right at 240yds to a well protected green. Accuracy off the tee is the key to this hole as it is better to be on the left hand side of the fairway to have a better view of the green but easy to get caught up in the trees there. For long hitters maybe a lesser club than a driver would pay dividends. As you will see from the tee, the copse of trees on the right is uncompromising and comes into play for any shot on the right of the fairway, but it is also very easy for a good but drawing drive to get tangled in the small trees on the left at the dog leg. The second shot is usually a long/mid iron to the green and a word of warning is that Out of Bounds awaits any shot that is slightly left of the green. The green itself is 31 yards deep and after a slight fall from the front then rises to the back. New for 2019 the green is now protected by 2 re-profiled bunkers. On completion follow the footbridge over the canal to the 3rd Tee.
This is the first Par 5 and although not long at 480 yards (476 yellows and 427 Ladies ) it's a risk/reward hole.Care is required on this hole as a good long tee shot to the right half of the fairway for the men or a good second from the ladies tee then leaves a make or break shot over a series of ponds known as Jones's Creek that lie in the gulley in the fairway. There is a 120 yard carry between the tops of the banks of the gully which really challenge the shot selection here. The hedge and trees on the left of the fairway is the boundary of the course and anything going over this is out of bounds.
A par 3 of 170 yards (163 yellow and 135 Ladies). This may look a simple par 3 with now only two reprofiled bunkers right and left and constructed in 2018, but most would be very pleased with a par here. The green slopes from back to front which becomes more pronounced on the right hand side. There is Out of Bounds on the right beyond the tree line and also the Canal behind the green for those prone to hit bunker shots a little thin !
This long par 4 (Par 5 Ladies) plays longer than its yardage as the fairway rises quite steeply for the last 80 yards to a long deep green. In recent times the Tee has been moved closer to the Canal and requires a fade (right handers) to keep away from the Lake. The hole requires two good shots and as the green is blind it is wise to make a note of the pin position. The lake on the left comes into play at about 207 yards. Out of bounds creeps towards the right side of the fairway to the right of this bunker. The two bunkers on the crest are well short of the green and have been remodelled in 2019. So too has the third bunker guarding the left of the green.
Rather like the previous hole it is on the boundary of the course, which again is the hedge on the right. The hole is a gentle Dog Leg which is enhanced from the back tee by a small copse planted in 2017 which guards the right side of the fairway and is 247 yards from the back tee. The fairway bunker at 200 yards has not been removed. The perfect shot favours the left of the fairway. A straight drive leaves a long to medium iron to a wide green which has two completely rebuilt bunkers (winter 2019) one the left and one right. The raising at the front of the green is a deceptive defence to any underhit shots.
The second Par 3. A deceiving hole with a kidney shaped green which always seems smaller than its yardage. The front of the green is not visible from the tee and anything short tends to kick left leaving a tricky chip or worse runs into the remodelled bunker at the front left of the green. This is one of the larger greens with a slight slope from front to back.
This is the longest Par 5 on the course and you need 3 good shots to reach this. From the Completely Rebuilt Tees (2018) for both Men and Ladies the best line is towards the water tower in the distance as this keeps you to the right of the large tree which appears to be in the centre of the fairway. The fairway narrows and turns left at about 150 yards to the green. Just short and right of the green is a large pond which captures any shots which are leaked to the right. At 26 yards this is one of the smaller greens with bunkers on both the left and short of the green to the right.
The final hole of the first nine - but a deceptive challenge for most. The crucial shot here is the drive from the reconstructed Teeing Area (2018) which needs to be placed between the two trees in order to have a clear shot to the green. Care also needs to be taken with the shot to the green as anything which misses either left, right or goes long can get into big trouble. Playing up short of the green and relying on your short game is probably the safest medal strategy here.
The test continues - a Par here is to be celebrated. The opening hole on the back nine curves and doglegs left with an internal Out of Bounds down the left. Care needs to be taken with the tee shot and without doubt a draw is the best shot if you can pull it off but the youthful and adventurous may try and go over the corner of the trees. The safe shot is down the middle which can leave a long to mid iron to the green. For the Ladies tee, the tree in the fairway presents a major challenge ( over or left ?).This is one of the smaller greens on the course with a bunker on the front left and two more on the right of the green which are hidden from view. Approach shots tend to move from right to left with the natural slope.
The hole tends to play slightly longer than it looks, mainly due to the fact it is set on a plateau, which blocks any shots that try to run up onto the green. There is a single newly constructed bunker (2018) on the right of the green replacing others which have been grassed in. Once on the green there are various borrows to consider and a steep front which can threaten downhill putts from the back of the green.
The last par 5 and perhaps what most would see as the signature hole of Astbury. The ladies and seniors get the bonus here of playing from the "safe" side of the ravine. It is most daunting from the men's tee in having to make the opening shot over the ravine with a carry of 160 yards for the men; but the challenge is between your ears far more than from absolute distance. However with a strong southerly wind into your face this can make even the best player's knees knock. Many a good card has come to grief on this hole and concentrating on making a good tee shot is the key as out of bounds lies to the right side of the fairway once you have carried the ravine. With two bunkers at 100 yards from the green the longer hitters may have to decide whether or not to lay up with their second shot and leave a short iron to a flat green but most mortals will lay up short and play a short/medium iron to the green. Cross over the Canal footbridge to gain access to the 13th hole.
A relatively short hole requiring a good drive to the right half of the fairway avoiding the deep hollow in the centre, which gives access to the green which lies in a drop in the fairway. The approach is typically hidden but is usually played with a short iron. Not to be underestimated for the ladies as the banks and drops in the fairway are really awkward. This is only a small green protected by another pair of redesigned bunkers (2017) .With a deep pot bunker short left and a long bunker on the right side. A pear tree on the left of the fairway at about 200 yards can tangle you but the main danger on this hole is on the left with the canal which is quite naturally Out of Bounds.
Yardage would suggest this is a straightforward hole but it is anything but...as the tee shot is vitally important. The two large trees in the fairway at 258 yards come into play and course management and positioning is the key. With Out of Bounds on the left and a grass ditch running across the fairway underneath the big tree 100 yards short of the green, positioning of the tee shot to allow a clear path to the green is crucial. The Stroke Index for men is undoubtedly a challenge to a good score and a par here feels like a birdy to most.
The finishing 4 holes can make or break your card at Astbury and it starts here for most golfers. This is a long par 3 to a sloping green back to front which is protected on the left by a large bunker. Into the wind, and especially from the ladies tee, seeing your ball come to rest on the green is deeply satisfying but don't count any chickens until you hear that welcoming plonk of the ball in the hole!
Three really strong Par 4's finish the round, with accuracy paramount here. A straight drive can leave a long to mid iron to a green protected by bunkers. Trees are the main obstacle here, but the tree on the right of the fairway had to be removed (autumn 2019) through disease. Completely redesigned bunkers (2018) have significantly enhanced the entry to the green. Big hitters from the tee should beware of the pond on the right.
A really tough par 4 (5 for Ladies) which plays every yard of its length. A testing hole and it is important that the drive finds the fairway to give any chance of reaching the green. The main danger on this hole is the pond on the right which is 208 yards from the tee. The green is protected by the large tree on the left and two small greenside bunkers on the right. A tricky green that slopes from back to front. A very satisfying par 4 ( or 5 ladies ) if you are lucky enough to grab it here.
A really great hole. This is a dogleg right to left with preferred tee shot to the middle of the 2 large tree in the centre of the fairway but that is a 200 yard plus drive. As for the 17th this is a par 4 for men and par 5 for ladies. This is a large green that is well protected by trees on the left and there is a noticeable ridge running along the front of the green. There is one bunker on the back left and Out of Bounds just beyond the green. The clubhouse awaits behind the green as does that rewarding tipple of whatever takes your fancy!