Delapre Golf Centre
Played 12.04.2021

Weather & Course Condition

A really crisp sunny day with light wind but the temperature was around 9 degrees so when the the sun went behind a cloud it felt a little chilly but overall a perfect day for playing. The course is very open and looks as though it was part of a large estate and as such the green’s staff have a lot of mowing to do and they certainly had been hard at work doing it, the fairways looked beautiful and a joy to play on. The greens were not quite the same but this was not because they are not maintained properly but that it appears that some of the greens had suffered from wild animal markings and the staff had been busy repairing them, those greens that did not suffer were great to putt on. Considering that Joe public and wild animals have access to the course the greens staff do a great job to keep the course well manicured and in a great playing condition.

Review

Delapre  was designed and constructed by the duo of John Jacobs and John Corby and is in Northampton and not very far from the centre of the town but apart from traffic passing alongside of it (there is a curtain of trees and bushes that line the roadway) and the view of the tall buildings in the centre you would never guess it. The current layout opened for play in 1976 and can boast that Charley Hull has played here when they opened their Top Tracer Bays.

Alongside the main 18 hole course is a par 3 course that has a variety of challenging holes and footgolf so it is an ideal venue for all the family to enjoy and with all the usual refreshments from the clubhouse why not spend the day here.

During the Spring/Summer the 5th hole is very pretty par 3 and could easily be their signature hole.

The course is easy to find being just off the A45 close to Brackmills Industrial Estate, leaving the A45 at the roundabout withing a couple of hundred yards you will drive through their gate and the drive will take you alongside the par 3 course, so be aware of players teeing off, follow the drive you will see the large clubhouse in front of you with a large car park on your right which on the day I visited had a security man who I found very helpful. A large patio area with seating is in front of the clubhouse and a putting green in front of that, at the time I was there I noticed quite a number of people and children around who, I assume were going to play on the par 3 course or footgolf but the atmosphere was so friendly and pleasant which you don’t find at some municipal courses. I certainly would say to any golfer looking for a enjoyable day’s golf at a reasonable price to pay Delapre a visit you will not be disappointed.

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All yardage is from the yellow tee’s
Hole 1 – 307yds – Par 4

A reachable green to start your round with, there is a slight raised bank around the back of the green and with bunkers on the front left and right of the green waiting for those that decide to let rip for it. For myself and I suspect many others the thought of going for the green never entered my head, so taking driver and taking an easy swing it was good to see the ball disappear towards the green and landing some 170yds away just off the righthand side of the fairway. With just a 90yd pitch to the large level green and as long as the bunkers are missed an easy par was achieved however on another day it could have been a different result.

Hole 2 – 401yds – Par 4

From a raised tee the fairway opens out ahead with it gently turning right some 160yds away, more confident players will take on the dog leg and go over the trees that line the right side, myself I ended up in the trees not because I tried to go over them my intention was to be in the middle of the fairway but made a right mess of it. Punching my way out of the trees with my 3 wood and making good progress up the fairway left me with a simple 120yd pitch to the large green. Having made a mess of the drive I managed to carry it on by being well short of the green and eventually recorded a double bogey, oh the shame, but still enjoyed playing this one.

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Hole 3 – 291yds – Par 4

Another short par 4 hole with a open fairway and a slightly raised bank around the back of the green it is another hole for the big hitters to attack. For myself having messed up my last drive I opted for a 4 iron which left me in the middle of the fairway around 125yds from the pin. A straightforward hole that most will par and many will birdie or even better.

Hole 4 – 358yds – Par 4

A straight hole with trees lining all along the right side but should not come into play, in the distance some 220yds from the tee a ditch crosses the fairway waiting for many a drive. Once again a 4 iron was my weapon of choice leaving me some 50yds short of the ditch, my second with a 5 iron left me about 15 yards short of the green, knew I should have played my 4 iron but changed my mind at the last minute, must remember to stick with my original choice. Another large green like all at this course, with bunkers that are waiting for the wayward pitch but the front of the green is open so will only come into play if your approach shot is a little wayward.

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Hole 5 – 153yds – Par 3

A nice par 3 with a bunker front left of the green and another off the the right of the green, crossing about 12yds in front of the green is a ditch which may not be noticeable from the tee so take enough club to reach the green, better to overshoot this green than land in the ditch. I selected the 8 iron as I didn’t realise the ditch was there and planned for it to land just short of the green and hop and roll up onto the green as the pin was at the front part of the green. A good strike left me watching the ball go high and straight to the front middle of the green, quickly bending down to pick up my tee I then looked again to see my ball descend to the ground but no bounce, you guessed it, straight into the ditch leaving me scoring a bogey whereby it should have been a par.

Hole 6 – 357yds – Par 4

There were two holes that I made a complete mess off and this was one of them, from the tee the green is hidden behind trees that run down the lefthand side of the fairway, the hole is a dogleg left with a large mature tree in the middle of the fairway at the dogleg. Once again the 4 iron came out of the bag and my drive ended up just right of middle some 25yds short of aforementioned tree, deciding to go with my 5 iron I let rip only to watch the ball hit the tree and shoot off into the trees on the left hand side. Eventually I ended up some 80yds short of the green, there is a ditch that crosses the fairway just short of the green and runs up the left side of it but barring this the green is open and welcoming.

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Hole 7 – 179yds – Par 3

As with most holes from the tee the fairway is wide and open with little problems from the tee, I selected my 5 iron as I had unusually been striking it well today and was more than pleased to see it sail straight to the pin and leave me around 5’ short of the front but with the pin only around 6’ further on a par was well received.

Hole 8 – 382yds – Par 4

Another wide open fairway awaits but this time there is a ditch that runs all the way down the right hand side. I had by this time closed in on a four ball who kindly invited me to take my drive. Normally I would have used my driver here, but as I was not striking it too I well decided to use my 4 iron and hope all goes well as there are 4 pairs of eyes watching what’s going to happen and the last thing I want is to look a complete numpty and end up holding them up due to making a right mess of it. Well on this occasion I needn’t had worried as the 4 iron sent the ball straight down the fairway ending up only some 20yds short of their drives, cannot say the same for my second to the large green as completely duffed it and sent the ball some 30yds skidding over the grass to the left hand rough. My 6 iron saved the day, it was the only time I used it all day from the rough and it didn’t let me down by putting me pin high just off the left side of the green and fortunately the bunker on that side didn’t interfere with my chip onto the green.

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Hole 9.JPG

Hole 9 – 322yds – Par 4

Yet another straight hole from the tee to green that is just a little lower in the distance and with a nice bank at the back of the green no trouble to worry about as long as you don’t overshoot the green and go past the bank. I was more than pleased with my 4 iron then a 7 iron that put me just off the rightside of the green and just past the bunker that protects the right front of the green. This should be an easy par for most of us although the better players will be expecting to birdie this and the less experienced should still be getting par or a bogey.

Hole 10 – 375yds – Par 4

Coming back in the opposite direction to the 9th this hole has a wide fairway, even though all down the left side of the fairway are trees and are outside the boundaries of the course they are far enough left to not cause any issues. The fairway rises gently from the tee straight to the green which can’t be seen, I was unable to see the flag but then again my eye’s are old. Once again a 4 iron from the tee followed by a 5 iron left me around 30yds short of the green, opting for a chip and run with a 8 iron as there was nothing but short grass between me and the pin I duly chipped but didn’t quite get it right as the ball ended up just left of the green pin high but in a bunker. Against all odds I got out of the bunker in one and one putted which made me feel better after the chip shot.

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Hole 11.JPG

Hole 11 – 153yds – Par 3

For me this was the best par 3 here even though I didn’t have the best of tee shots. From a raised tee there is a ditch that crosses in front of the green some 30yds in front of the large green that is also protected by 4 bunkers. Normally I would have taken an easy rescue wood as the distance would have been perfect for it but as I had been striking my irons well today I opted for a 6 iron, yes I did strike it well but pulled it slightly left and suspected I may have lost it in the trees which are O.O.B. The god’s were with me as the ball was found just inside the white posts and almost pin high and only around 20yds from the green, with virtually no backswing and the ball surrounded by twigs and bits I managed a chop at it with a 9 iron and was more than surprised to see it pop out and roll onto the green, I eventually walked off with a par which I didn’t really deserve after that tee shot.

Hole 12 – 297yds – Par 4

This was a testing hole for me, from the tee there is a ditch that runs across the hole around 170yds out, with the fairway turning left and going uphill just past it and with those trees once again lining the left and a large overhanging tree positioned just where the fairway starts to go left and steeply upto the green it did not suit me at all. Just lately my driver has been badly letting me down, I either drift it off to the right or when it does go reasonably straight I lose distance, wanting to take my 4 iron I knew the ditch was in the landing area of it so with that in mind I had to go with driver. Most of you will opt for driver as it is pretty much open and a big hitter will be left with a shortish uphill pitch to the green, with everything crossed I let rip then watch my ball heading off straight towards the large tree on the left, luckily I stayed just in bounds but with the low branches of the tree in my way the only option I could think off was to punch a 3 wood and hope I could progress up the hill enough to leave with me a chance. Unbelievable it did and I was left just short of the green, on this day it looked as though wild animals had been enjoying themselves on this green as the back half had been taped off and the front had been under a lot of repair which meant my chip and putt was in the lap of the gods again but it is what it is.

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Hole 13 – 410yds – Par 4

Wow what a view from this tee, in the distance is Northampton town and as you can see from the photo how close it is, with a wide open fairway and a elevated tee this is one hole to go for it, even I had no second thoughts about giving the driver a ripping. As can be seen in the photo there are two fairway bunkers on the right of the fairway waiting for you and I’m sure they have had one hell of a lot of visitors, my drive came up just short of the second one, from here there is a part ditch which crosses the right side of the fairway that may not be completely noticeable and further on a wide fairway bunker positioned in the centre of the fairway. As it was uphill to the large green I decided not to go for the green but play to clear the fairway bunker so taking the rescue wood I was more than happy to take that option as it easily cleared said bunker and left some 15yds short of green on the left, result.

Hole 14 – 171yds – Par 3

With the tee above the green and on the day I visited the pin protected by bunkers to the front of the green and the right club selection needs extra thought, if you have not played here before you will need to take into account the ditch that goes right across just in front of the green so your options are go for the green or play short of the ditch and then pitch on. With my new found confidence I played for the green with a 6 iron and was more than pleased to see it sail high and long but then when it came to earth I cursed as it was some 20yds right of the green in quite long grass and meant I had to play over the edge of the bunker with the pin not much further on, so even though I dropped a shot here it was still a most enjoyable hole.

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Hole 15.JPG

Hole 15 – 346yds – Par 4

For this one the line is straight at the group of large trees in the distance, the green is just to the left of them, even though I had a reasonable drive which left me just on the right edge of the fairway it was still a long way to the green which is slightly raised. For me my rescue wood followed by a chip with a 9 iron left me in the centre of the green but anyone that overshoots this one may be in trouble and if the rough has been left longer than when I was here it could be big trouble.

Hole 16 – 475yds – Par 5

From the tee this par 5 looks straightforward and open, the first thing to note is that the green is blocked by the trees that are to the right of the fairway and that pesky ditch once again crosses the hole some 330 or so yards in front of you. Looks an easy hole and a good drive and second shot may well prove that, but if like me tiredness is starting to take hold then anything can happen as it did to me. My drive went well left and not far leaving me taking my second from virtually bare hard ground with lots of impediments around. Taking a 8 iron with the intention of getting back on the fairway some 100+yds away I again messed up and ended back on the bare hard stuff but this time just under the large tree you can see in the photo on the left. With no shot, all I could do was knock it out sideways onto the fairway just short of the ditch, then came my only good shot on the hole when I pitched it up and over the corner of the trees and left me just off the front left edge of the green then out of the blue I managed a up and down meaning somehow I managed to get away with a bogey, it could have been a lot worse but at the same time it should have been a lot better.

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Hole 17 – 422yds – Par 4

A long par 4 which is open but be aware there is a ditch once again just in front of the green, depending on how well your tee shot has been you need to decide whether to lay up to the ditch or go for the green, I opted for the latter with a 8 iron which I knew was on my limit, looking back I should have gone with a easy 7 as I tried that little harder when I swung with the result the ball did go pin high but I pulled off to the left and only just managed to stay out of the ditch and trees so walking off with a bogey was a good result.

Hole 18 – 333yds – Par 4

Such a straight forward finishing hole, dead straight fairway to the large green and the only thing to beware of is overhitting the green, this should be a simple finishing hole after a most enjoyable round of golf.
It was on this tee that the golfer who had played the previous 17 holes decided to leave the course and 56 handicapper who has limited movement took over. I can’t described how I played this hole except to say for anyone watching it was like someone tacking into a gale force wind, so after 5 tacks I eventually arrived at the green and the only good thing left was that I did one putt. This was a great days golf and one that you will enjoy no matter what your abilities.

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