This is a modern golf and leisure complex that doesn’t like to sit still and the steady growth in popularity of the club since its opening in 1995 has enabled the family ownership to put investment back into the course and facilities.
The introduction of innovative and flexible new membership packages has seen a huge rise in numbers to over 900 and counting. If there is a decline in participation across our sport, nobody told the good people of Gaudet Luce Golf Club in Droitwich.
They reached 25 years in existence in 2020 and despite the pandemic spoiling the celebrations, it didn’t put any spokes in the progress. If anything it just accelerated things even further.
27 holes of golf
Gaudet’s full size Phoenix course is fast maturing and has become a reliable Championship standard venue for local and national pro and amateur events in recent years .
The Phoenix is set out in two very contrasting halves, the opening nine presents a gently undulating parkland challenge with mature and newly planted trees making it a little tight in places. The opening quartet of holes, shortish and set on open ground offer the opportunity to get off to a good start, then across the road to the fifth, things do tighten up a little as the trees and changes of elevation become a concern.
The par five eighth sees Gaudet at its attractive peak, a stunning sight in full summer bloom, and a lovely driving hole from a raised tee all the way to a distant narrow green. Just don’t overdo the tee shot, the ditch may be a little closer than it seems!
The inward stretch
This is set on more wide open ground and is naturally more susceptible to the elements. It’s a fine looking panoramic sight from the highest points as each challenge more or less presents itself in its full glory. The various winding streams and ponds are very much in evidence, nowhere more so than at the signature 12th.
This tremendous picture book challenge of a long par three requires a big hit from the tee towards a tree flanked waterside target. A natural thought to fire a little left to take the pond out of the equation, but that can lead to a very slippery downhill putt or worse, a treacherous chip facing back to the hazard.
Save some energy too for a demanding uphill par five 17th, generous in width but a rare blind approach shot requires pinpoint accuracy to a table top green. The final hole is way friendlier, an attractive short par four, well bunkered with one final pond on the right hand side.
Consistently impressive is the superb conditioning of the Phoenix Course, beautifully manicured fairways leading to putting surfaces which are some of the very best around, quick, evenly paced and full of subtle borrows. As the images show, Gaudet is also a wild flower haven, a colourful feast to the eyes in the summer months.
An Extra Nine
The Par 3, Hadzor Course was designed in 2004 especially with junior and family friendly starter golf in mind, set around three small ponds and built to USGA specifications.
The Hadzor has proved invaluable in the steady progress and reputation of Gaudet Luce and its production line of young players who all benefit from their time at the Russell Adams Golf Academy, based at the club. And now The Hadzor offers FootGolf too, they’ve changed very little on The Hadzor to make it an ideal FootGolf test as well.
Further investment has enabled the club to offer custom fitting onsite in the indoor suite, in which head pro Russell and his team can offer golfers the best possible service using the latest GC2 launch monitor. The adjoining 13 bay floodlit range is over 300 yards in length and there’s a quality short game area as well. A well stocked pro-shop onsite displays a large variety of equipment and fashion.
2014’s investment in the club led to a major bar and restaurant refurbishment, giving golfers, both visitors and members extra space and a bright new area to enjoy the 19th hole fare in a relaxed and modern environment.
The addition of an raised outside seating area in front of the clubhouse will also allow golfers to sit and relax whilst watching play across much of the course.
Images by Carefree Photography