Stoke Park (Colt & Alison) - Buckinghamshire - England

Stoke Park Club,
Park Road,
Stoke Poges,
Buckinghamshire,
SL2 4PG,
England


  • +44 (0) 1753 717171

  • Stuart Collier

  • Harry Colt

  • Stuart Rank


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The Stoke Park Club is located at Stoke Poges, a charming leafy town situated on the fringe of the Chiltern Hundreds. A Hundred is a traditional name for the division of an English county and the wooded Chiltern Hills (which separate Buckinghamshire from Berkshire) were once a notorious hiding place where robbers would wait in ambush. These days things are more genteel.

In Bernard Darwin’s 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, he wrote: “Stoke Park is a beautiful spot, and there is very good golf to be played there; the club is an interesting one, moreover, as being one of the first and the most ambitious attempts in England at what is called in America a Country Club.”

Capability Brown originally landscaped the historic parkland in the late 18th century. Harry Colt then came along and designed the golf course, which opened for play in 1908. The signature hole, the 7th, the inspiration for Augusta National’s 16th, is considered to be one of Colt’s finest holes. The recently remodelled 7th now features a lake and a waterfall.

Stoke Park is surely one of the finest parkland golf courses in the South of England. There is no heather here (which is unusual for the location); the main line of defence is the abundance of huge stately trees and Colt’s clever design. The fairways appear wide and generous from the tees, but it's important to get the line and distance right, otherwise you will face challenging second shots.

More famous than the majestic parkland golf course is the 18th century mansion designed by James Wyatt (architect to George III), housing the clubhouse, hotel and restaurant. “The clubhouse is a gorgeous palace,” wrote Darwin, “a dazzling vision of white stone, of steps and terraces and cupolas, with a lake in front and imposing trees in every direction.”

Stoke Poges was also used as the setting for the golf scenes in the 1964 James Bond movie Goldfinger, in which 007 had his famous match with Goldfinger. The film featured the scene whereby Harold Sakata, as Oddjob, spun his steel-rimmed bowler hat at Sean Connery. It missed 007 but beheaded a statue! The clubhouse was also featured in the later Bond movie, Tomorrow Never Dies.

In 1999, the course was extended to 27 holes. Each of the three loops of nine is named: Colt, Alison and Lane Jackson. The original and best course is made up of the Colt and Alison nines.

In 2015, the Stoke Park Club commenced a bunker repositioning and renovation programme using the specialist golf course construction company, John Greasley Ltd. Reconstruction work was completed on the Colt nine in 2016 and modifications to the Alison and Lane Jackson loops will be finished by November 2017.

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Reviews for Stoke Park (Colt & Alison)

Av. Reviewers Score:

Style over substance. The clubhouse is magnificent, enhanced by the James Bond connection, the food and service excellent. The course is beautifully looked after, and the drive in as you wind past the lake to the clubhouse is wonderful. But that’s it for me: the actual course itself is nothing special. Colt was a genius but he could only do so much with the land he had. It’s a lovely place for a day out and ideal for societies, but I wouldn’t pay the premium green fees and I’m surprised to see the course in the top 100 for England.

September 27, 2016


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Have played Stoke Park for years and always thought of it as a nice, but not extraordinary course. Now the first 9 have been remodeled during the winter of 15/16. Bunkers much more challenging, giving the holes a fantastic optical impression and making the course a joy to play. For example 8th was a short par 4 average hole, now you are on the tee and seem to see only bunkers everywhere making this a fantastic hole. Of course 7th Par 3 is Augusta like. Renovation has moved course up a couple of notches, once the second 9 are remodeled winter of 16/17 it should be a wonderful course.

Course and greens generally in very good condition.

August 11, 2016


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A classy place where you are made to feel very welcome. The pro shop (Craig), halfway house (Ross) and clubhouse service is first class and friendly. Some reviews say this is an average course. However, if you appreciate Harry Colt and golf architecture you will enjoy the challenges that each shot presents. The condition of the course, in particular the greens was of a very high standard (even in December). The short 7th, the inspiration for Augusta National's 16th, is the highlight of the front nine. It will make you wonder why Augusta National ever changed the original design. The finishing stretch from 15 to 18 is very enjoyable. For travelling golfers the rental sets here were the latest TaylorMade clubs. If you have a late flight out of Heathrow, Stoke Park is an excellent place to relax before the long flight home.
January 05, 2013


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At Stoke Park I felt there was a lovely collection of holes rather than a course with many outstanding holes. The flow of holes is very good with two consecutive holes of the same par with the two par4s that close the Colt (front) nine. The arrow straight opening par5 offers a gentle start, as you can recover from a poor shot, but it does at least get groups away quickly from the clubhouse. It is not until the Alison back nine that you experience flat, straight holes again. I had expected a lush and soft course throughout but was pleased to find it reasonably firm, making tee shot distance no problem (even I had just a wedge into the 5th), but accuracy more of an issue. Harry Colt was clearly a genius in picking the best golfing terrain, as the Colt nine is more undulating and varied than the Alison nine. Holes 6-8 are very good especially with the standout par3 7th with its green sloping back to water making a precise approach vital, with little bail-out room. The 9th has a difficult looking tee shot but its approach is truly sneaky with dead ground fronting the green that was not shown on the complementary course planner I was kindly given.The Alison nine starts with some charming views and some more dead ground and clever bunkering to fool the eye, but after playing holes 10-13 I was struck by the feeling that I have certainly experienced much more difficult courses with less illustrious reputations. It begs the question of whether or not a course needs to be manifestly difficult to be considered good. If you like a course with pleasant views and the odd touch of subtle design then certainly Stoke Park will certainly fit the bill. However, the course then shifts up a gear for the last five holes with a long, gently-curving par4 followed by more undulations, and an excellent par4 17th of some 400 yards with a diagonal stream crossing the fairway in the last 100 yards. Strolling up the 18th fairway on a glorious evening in late summer, delighting in the serene surroundings, I felt glad I had played it but I doubt I would pay the full rack rate green fee for the privilege.
September 07, 2012


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The first time that I have played the course in some years, and Stoke Park was in terrific condition. The tees were an example to many much vaunted courses, and the greens were fast and immaculate. It is a fine place to play golf, majestic club house, very friendly pro-shop, excellent food and not at all snotty or pretentious. Although it is a decent layout, I don't think that it is in the first rank of Colt courses, nor is it that stiff a test. It is not long off the whites, the fairways are generous, and the greens are mostly receptive. In my opinion doesn't deserve to ranked quite so high, and I am not sure that it deserves to be ranked above Beaconsfield or Denham, two other Colt courses located nearby. Both are certainly cheaper and less busy than Stoke Park.
August 08, 2012


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This is a truly wonderful course presented in fantastic condition. However it does not take heavy rain very well so watch out for flooding. If it has rained overnight prior to arrival it might be worth a call. I don't think it has the wow factor of other courses. It's a pretty average piece of ground. Never the less it is jolly nice. The staff are very welcoming and the service is top class. The courses and facilities are fastidiously maintained. Fabulous practice areas. So go early!! JCB LAY
June 09, 2012


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Played here on Wednesday, was a beautiful day, a beautiful entrance. When we arrived the service was exceptional, the shop staff were ultra friendly, every member of staff was polite and made an effort to make us feel welcome. The practice areas were really good, as was the range, my friend and I could have spent hours practicing. When we got out on the course were were not dissapointed either, the tees, fairways and the greens were in fantastic condition. The layout is short but we did play from the yellows and it would have been a much better test from the backs which were a fair distance behind. In contary to previuos comments thought the last few holes were probably the best on the course. The greens fees are high but I believe value for money.
March 30, 2012


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I played Stoke Park (Colt/Alison loop) on 17th June on a reasonably windy day. First off the entrance up to the clubhouse is nothing short of majestic, the main clubhouse building is stunning and leaves you in no doubt you are playing somewhere a wee bit special. We had breakfast before venturing out and the service was excellent as was the food, the locker rooms are spacious and very welcoming, and they have a good range with free balls before you go out. The overall conditioning of the course was excellent, the greens in particular were extremely true and quick, if you putted badly you had no one to blame but yourself. The fairways were lush and the teeing areas were very good. The layout of the course is typical parkland really, plenty of timber to keep you focused and a few interestingly shaped holes but nothing too severe. The bunkering is very good indeed, I should know as I found about 10 during my round! The par 3 holes in particular stand out for me, the 7th and 11th are both over water and are very pretty holes indeed, I played both of these terribly but I still appreciated how good they were. The 18th hole is a terrific par 4 with excellent greenside bunkering. The 16th par 4 meanders along the river and is a reasonably tight hole, and this is followed by the 17th which is a great par 4 where you can take the tiger line over the trees to give you a short iron in to the green. The holes are treelined in many cases but you can still spray it about a bit without being punished too harshly. In summary I would rate Stoke Park as a very good golf course, it is very expensive to play and I was fortunate to play there for free through work, but I don't believe anyone would be disappointed playing here, the facilities are excellent as is the condition of the course.
June 20, 2011


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As written on here before the club seems to be lacking a bit of atmosphere, but all the staff are extremely helpful and friendly. The clubhouse is a sight to behold and stands proud over the course and it can be seen at many different points from the course. The course is good but no better than that. It starts with an average par 5 and the tee box seems to be cut out of a piece of the fairway, its a very ordinary start, however the next 3 holes are very interesting. The stand out holes are the par 3's 7th and 11th followed by 16 and 17. A lot of average holes with huge bunkers seemingly everywhere, doesn't look like a usual 100 year old Colt style in that sense. The condition of the course for January was very good. Nice to of played it, but way over priced for what it is.
January 20, 2011


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I played the course a couple of times and I really enjoy playing at Stoke Park. The staff is friendly and helpful. The club house is breathtaking and by its own worth a visit. The best holes from my perspective are 7, 9, 16, 17, 20, 27. The course is quite difficult and I have not managed to play my handicap yet. The greens are fast and difficult to read. Some holes are a little bit boring (e.g. 1, 6, 13, 15, 22, 23). The combination Colt & Allison (1-18) is the best, but Lane Jackson is not far off. The course is lacking a little bit the golf club atmosphere. 
August 05, 2010


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