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Delapre Golf Complex (Northampton)

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1 Review

Address: Eagle Drive / Nene Valley Way / Northampton / NN4 7DU

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      19.01.2013 16:15
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      Golf is fun

      As the lads will know its expensive to play a round of golf these days and mostly private clubs providing the facilities now, a real hassle to even get on a decent private course as you have to be sponsored by a member and wear all the proper kit and stuff. Why there is so much snobbery around golf remains a mystery as its essentially hitting a ball with a stick like most sports. Women, of course, have even more prejudices around golf and lucky to even get in the bar, let alone on the course. Private courses are stacked full of committees to make the more self-important members feel involved with the running of the club so they keep paying their expensive subs (and drinking the said bar dry) and so they have nothing better to do but come up with silly rules like banning women. God forbid if you sit in the captain's chair!

      To counter this snobbery the local council normally provides at least one public golf course in the bigger towns, Delapre for Northampton. It has a main 18-hole course and a decent nine-hole course and then a lengthy par 3 and a smaller par-3 and then the kid's pitch n putt to hone those junior skills. They do corporate and golf society events and prices and there is also a reasonable 40 bay driving range - open from 7am - 9-30pm and floodlit - and full club and buggy hire and coaching courses and sessions. The buggy hire is crazily priced and more than the actually round of golf for the pensioners who may need them. Pull trolleys are the best option, which you can also hire for two or three quid a round.

      Even on a council course there is still that air of snobbery to the place and plenty of rules to adhere to, the clunk of proper golf shoes and expensive kit everywhere, slightly intimidating. Studs and Pringle sweaters are not compulsory though. Again, I can understand that sniffyness at the local tennis club as the tennis club is designed so the middle-class can distance themselves from the working-class but municipal courses are for the people and so should be more relaxed to encourage inclusiveness. You can only put it down to the fact that golf remains a middle-class game, wherever you play it. I know some women took a couple of private local Northamptonshire courses to court over not allowing them to become full members so to play the course at anytime but turned out that the girls were actually paying half fees for half memberships, the reason why they couldn't play the full course as and when. They could pay full fees and become full members so to play all hours but played the gender card to make it look prejudice, which it clearly wasn't in this case. But I do think most private courses are essentially men's clubs and very prejudice although social class the driver of that. Saying that, under current segregation law, women can join men's council owned gyms but men can't join a women's council owned gym.

      The course is parked just to the south of the town and easy to get to in your car. It's not great for buses though, although few venture to a golf course without a car, not the best sporting kit to carry around with you, a certain embarrassment attached if you are seen walking to a golf course or clunking clubs on the bus. Maybe the need for a car to get to golf is one of the big restrictions with the sports accessibility.

      Price wise its fair, for a subsidized council course. You can be a member to get priority discounts and book up to two weeks ahead for 18 holes, useful for weekends, although if your not that good you don't really want to be playing when its busy, a nasty out of bounds on the left at Delapre on the first tee, dumping you into the par three course, very embarrassing when there's a queue on the tee. Trust me I have done it before - and wearing a golf glove.

      Top price is 18 holes on Sunday morning and bank holidays, coming in at twenty quid. But for four hours of traditional British weather, banter and frustration I suppose it's worth it. There's an old boy there in a shed to stop you going on course tipsy or your glove pocket in your bag full of booze. I have done that before too. There are no age or junior concessions at Weekends /Bank Holidays. Off peak times are when the unemployed get up and go to bed.

      = = = = = =
      = Prices =
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      -The Oaks 18 Hole-

      Monday - Thursday £15.50
      Friday - £17.00

      Off Peak weekdays £12.00
      Off Peak Weekend £14.00

      Over 60* £12.00

      Weekend / Bank Hol. £19.50

      Under 16 Weekday £12.00
      Under 16 Weekend £14.00



      ---Hardingstone 9 Hole---


      Adults £8.00
      Over 60's / Under 16's £6.00


      ---9 Hole Jacks Par 3---

      Monday - Friday £7.00
      Weekend / Bank Hol. £7.50
      Under 16 £5.00


      ---9 Hole Abbey Par 3--

      Monday - Friday £7.00
      Weekend / Bank Hol. £7.50
      Under 16 £5.00
      Play both Par 3 Courses ONLY £12.00
      Junior Golf


      = = = = = = = = =
      Playing a Round!
      = = = = = = = = =

      The 18 hole is mostly straight drives and then one or two dog legs here and there. The course is not challenging with minimal water and few testing bunkers. A top pro would go under 60 here. I usually shoot 90 plus and more bogeys than birdies, one under the par once or twice all I hope for. The greens are good in the summer season and poor in the winter, as are the bunkers, this time of the year not unusual for the green to be closed so it can recover for early spring and a temporary flag stuck in the fairway and you putt there mate! But as long as you hit it straight at Delapre you should do ok. The key to good golf is not whether you can cane it 300 years but can you keep it straight, a slower and lower swing the way to do that, so I was told by a man in the pub! I can't and naturally slice and so always scrambling. I have tried standing on bricks in the garden to correct it (his tip but I can see my sexy next door neighbor over the fence so working) but no luck. I just can't get the shoulders right! Any tips welcome. At £15 for a 30 minute lesson at Delapre I prefer your help.

      On a quiet winters day you can breeze round in three hours as there's barely ten groups or singles out here, the best time to play. I hate queuing at tees with my cheap kit and flimsy golf bag from Argos so I play the odd midweek and hit a couple of balls on each tee. The course edges a valley and so the 18 and 9 are hilly and chilly in the wind and wet in the rain. It's a long walk back to the car to get your wets. One tee on the return nine is elevated and dead straight with rollers down below and makes you feel like you have hit it miles if you do keep it straight. It's a par five and you still have miles to go on your second shot. I prefer the Hardingstone 9 though as its great value at £8 per round and more picturesque with more challenging holes and angles. It also has a tricky over the water par three like they have on televised tournaments. I dred to think how many balls are in there!

      So if you live in the country and fancy a round or two it's worth a trip down, if just to hit on the range after work. You have the run of the place this time of year and can work on your game. If you turn up in the week in the winter you wont have to wait long to book an off. Members can book a slot through the website. If you want to do the full works with cart and clubs then bring your chequebook. Its not the most challenging course but long enough at nearly 6,000 yards for hackers like me and you. The chips are lovely in the clubhouse public/cafe resturant though.

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