Drayton Park Golf Club is situated on the same entrance lane in Tamworth, Staffordshire as Drayton Manor theme park. Turn right for the roller coasters, it’s left for a more subtle ride, costing less – rewarding more.
The club, then known as “Tamworth Golf Club”, was founded in October 1897 and its first home was at Glascote, Tamworth. Local residents protested at the fencing off of the land, over which they had previously had free access. The first subscription was ten shillings (50p) for gentlemen and nothing for ladies.
The club moved to land in Bonehill in 1912 and became a limited company in 1922. The number of members rapidly grew, requiring an increase in the number of holes from 9 to 18, and as the necessary land was not available at Bonehill, the club moved again to its present location in 1935/36.
Situated in parkland formerly part of the Drayton Manor estate, the seat of the Peel family – of which Sir Robert Peel, the founder of the police force, was the most famous – the course was designed and set out by James Braid, five times winner of the British Open Golf Championship.
There’s always a little bit of extra confidence in quality when you visit a James Braid designed course for the first time. They don’t normally alter much over their lifespan, maybe the odd tee goes back a little to counter the advances in modern technology but that’s generally about it. Braid layouts always stand the test of time, and this is a prime example.
Drayton Park, founded as ‘Tamworth Golf Club’ in 1897 had plenty of history before moving to the present location on the ex Drayton Manor estate in 1935 where Braid worked his magic on this piece of prime parkland.
Shane from The Wolves Supporters GS, having a round here for the first time was my playing partner and was suitably impressed. But his woes on the day epitomised what this course is all about, early generosity from the tee is soon replaced by a sterner examination as the ever tighter fairways and well placed bunkering which form the course’s best defences really can bite. But despite his struggles, he did manage to salvage himself some pride with a sharp short game and a few good putts that were rewarded on the smooth and true greens.
So keep it in check and nice and straight from the tee and a good score is achievable, and then you can fully appreciate the surroundings just that little bit more too. It’s a soothing environment, peaceful and serene with a different look for each passing season. Occasional water features are dotted about, look out for the well fed carp underneath the bridge that takes you from 10 to 11 looking for a morsel or two from a passing golfer.
Holes fluctuate in challenge, and there’s so much evidence of Braid’s influence here, and his liking for a tease, you’ll find that not everything is always quite as it seems. Some lovely short holes too which are well defended and present many club selection posers, choose wisely.
MG Pick – 17th 261 yards Par 4 (yellows)
When my inconsistent game epitomises exactly what a golf hole is all about, then we have an MG Pick! This is a gorgeous looking hole, very narrow from the tee and then it opens out towards the business end towards a bumpy, bunker clad putting surface with little run off areas and trouble spots all over the place. But it is driveable, no doubt about that and my first excitable effort was sliced into the trees left! The more controlled provisional though (pictured) was a beauty and reached the edge of the green. One up and down later and I walked off with a five – no problem. Just to prove that absolutely anything and any score is possible here.
Classic Art Deco styled clubhouse built in 1936. Single floor with large lounge/dining room with course views. Sports Bar and snooker table. Range of menus on offer.
Just arrived in the pro shop – GC2 Launch monitor. The most accurate high speed digital camera system available takes the guess work out of coaching and custom fitting.