It’s called ‘The Majors Course’ and that’s a fair enough claim. Six of the nine holes represented at this facility in Northwick Park, Harrow, just northwest of London, have staged major championships. There are two holes featured from Augusta National and one each from Royal Birkdale, Royal Troon, Oak Hill and Riviera. The development is actually called Playgolf London and while I’m not going to pretend one gets a sense or scent of the Irish Sea when playing the Birkdale or Troon holes – it is way too close to the North Circular Road for that – the quality of the reproduction has been accomplished with some aplomb. Chief credit for that goes to Peter McEvoy, whose design this was, and whose efforts also to create facsimiles of holes at The Belfry, Ganton and Walton Heath need to be applauded, too. (Since those latter three courses have all staged the Ryder Cup, I guess we can understand why the owners have felt entitled, if strictly not accurately so, to grandstand about all their holes being based on originals from ‘major’ courses.)


The Harrow version of the par-three 12th and 16th at Augusta National…it works better from the ground! (I downloaded the image from the Playgolf site and I’m afraid I can’t make it get any bigger than this)

Some holes offer more than one pin placement (as with the rather murky photograph of the opener below) but the chief effect is to get a genuine sense of what the real thing is about. Troon’s ‘Postage Stamp’ 8th appears here as the 6th, but the similarities are marked, even the deep bunker to the left being in place. The 12th at Birkdale (the 5th at Northwick) is also an excellent remodel. Space is at a serious premium, which is why seven of the nine holes are par-threes, but property can be expensive in and around the capital. The 16th and 12th at Augusta (the 7th and 9th here) are also reproduced with appropriate respect for their masters, albeit in Georgia they are separated by two par-fives rather than sharing the same green à la the Old Course at St Andrews, which is the case in Greater London.


The opener at Northwick Park is a 158-yard version of the 6th hole at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles; there’s a bunker in the middle of the green…an intriguing notion to brighten a gloomily dark day

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. It’s a hugely enjoyable way to play golf in an hour or less. You can get more details from the Playgolf website, but as to cost it’s £10 for nine holes in the week and £15 at weekends.

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