With only 23 affiliated golf clubs, the Bedfordshire County Golf Union is one of the smallest counties in the English Golf Union but its foundation dates back to 1923. Bedfordshire, Dunstable Downs, South Beds and Mid Beds (now Bedford & County) were the four founding Bedfordshire clubs and each of these golf courses feature prominently in our Best in County rankings.
The Bedfordshire Golf Club is now 120 years old and it’s the oldest club in the county but its course is one of the county’s newest – opening for play in 2000. The renowned British golf writer, Henry Longhurst, was an active member of the Bedfordshire Golf Club in the 1930s.
According to Wikipedia, the traditional nickname for the people from Bedfordshire is “Clangers”. The name is not derived from the cult BBC children’s TV series of the same name, but a local dish comprising a suet crust dumpling filled with meat or jam or both. Sounds Yummy?
John O'Gaunt (John O'Gaunt)
The John O'Gaunt course at John O'Gaunt Golf Club is a magnificent parkland course with majestic specimen trees lining the lush fairways.
Dunstable Downs Golf Club is set spectacularly on high ground with holes routed over free-draining, chalky ground. Renowned for its hard and fast greens this golf course is indeed “A Breath of Fresh Air”.
Cameron Sinclair designed the new course at the centurion Bedfordshire Golf Club and it opened in 2000 to rapturous applause. The course may be young, but it’s already one of the finest in the region.
South Beds (Galley Hill)
The Galley Hill course at South Beds Golf Club is an established County Championship layout which measures a testing 6,401 yards from the back markers. Harry Vardon once described it as “Bedfordshire’s hidden gem”.
Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands
Sandy Herd’s 1914 parkland design at Aspley Guise & Woburn Sands Golf Club was extended from 9 to 18 holes in the 1970s. It’s not the longest course in the region but it hosted the 2009 County Championships.
Bedford & County
Bedford & County Golf Club is set in mature woodland and is routed across undulating ground. Established in 1912 it’s one of the finest courses in the county.
Opened in 1999, the course of the Bedford Golf Club is at the heart of the “golf village” of Great Denham. The links-like layout, built to USGA specifications, hosted the 2010 Bedfordshire County Championships.
Millbrook Golf Club
Formerly known as Lyshott Heath, Millbrook Golf Club is one of the region’s longest courses, which stretches out to 6,884 yards from the blue tees. This fast running, free draining course plays in an inland links style.
John O’Gaunt (Carthagena)
The Carthagena may be the 2nd course at John O’Gaunt Golf Club but its signature 16th is the most memorable hole of all. The split fairway plunges down to a double-tiered green surrounded by trees and bunkers.
An exhibition match between Ian Poulter and Justin Rose marked the opening of Pavenham Park Golf Club in 1994. Five par fives and five par threes break the mould at this undulating parkland golf course.