Time for tee?

Boasting numerous benefits, not least the opportunity it brings to spend social time outside, golf is even more popular now than it has ever been. According to England Golf, the governing body for the game, the activity associated with playing a round of golf can help mental wellbeing by raising mood and lowering anxiety. It’s perhaps not surprising then that last year, in the months when activity was permitted, golf saw a huge upswing in those taking up the sport.

Here in the Nene Valley, we’re lucky to have some fabulous golf courses with scenery so stunning that you might even be distracted from your game! So now that the warmer months stretch ahead of us and Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, what better time to plan a break a way and focus on your favourite hobby?

Why not book yourself in for a golf break and a stay in one of the Elton Furze Golf Club’s luxury cedar wood lodges ­– they even have hot tubs to relax in and the end of an enjoyable day. Set in and around approximately 20 acres of mature woodland near to the village of Elton, between Peterborough and Oundle, Elton Furze Golf Club offers an ideal escape for golf lovers. It has an18 hole course designed as two loops of nine. Plus, there are extensive practice facilities to help you improve your game, including a driving range, a chipping green and a putting green.

Closer to Northampton, there’s a choice of historic golf courses to challenge yourself on, each one located in a beautiful setting easily accessible from a range of nearby quality hotels and b&bs. Northamptonshire County Golf Club, for example, is ranked in the top 100 golf courses in the UK. It is a traditional heathland golf course with undulating woodland, gorse, heather and pine woods and is one of the country’s most prestigious too – it first opened for play over 100 years ago. The original 18 holes were designed by the distinguished golf course architect, Harry S Colt, who also designed the Wentworth and Sunningdale courses. It has stood the test of time as relatively few major alterations have been made to it since. Nearby Kingsthorpe Golf Course with its traditional parkland layout, is also more than 100 years old.

At the family-run business, Brampton Heath Golf Centre the owners of this 18-hole golf course, plus a par 3 course and driving range, pride themselves in their hospitality. Their clubhouse has recently seen a big investment and offers a selection of home-cooked meals. It also boasts an on-site yoga studio and a health and beauty salon. The 5-star Brampton Grange B&B Cottages are just across the road if you fancy staying close by.

To the east, Wellingborough Golf Club is a private members Club situated in the grounds of picturesque Harrowden Hall. It offers a magnificent golf course set in 160 acres of fine rolling parkland and has a long tradition of welcoming visitors to play the par 72, 6721-yard course, and regularly hosts regional, county and open competitions.

New to the game?

Thorpe Wood Golf Academy based at Peterborough Thorpe Wood Golf Course, overlooks the River Nene and is a great place to perfect your skills. They offer golf coaching to all abilities, from total beginners to experienced players. Thorpe Wood Golf Academy is open to all, including Nene Golf members, non-members, corporate groups, golf schools, hotel guests and anyone else who simply wants to learn and enjoy the game. The resident golf instructors here make use performance technology in a modern and open environment.

The city has a good choice of places to stay, but the most convenient for the Thorpe Wood Golf Course is the Holiday Inn Hotel Peterborough West, just a short walk away.

Fancy a change? Give Footgolf a go!

Brampton Heath Golf Club and Rushden Golf Centre both offer the opportunity to play FootGolf, a sport that combines the rules of golf with the skills and fun of football! You play with a standard size football and keep score like golf – the lowest number of kicks into the hole wins! This family friendly sport is easy to learn and fun for all groups of ages and skill levels.