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2-fore!-1 Golf in England: West Midlands

7 Courses in Shropshire, Bransford, Staffordshire

The West Midlands, one of nine English regions, covers the western half of the Midlands area. It is comprised of five counties and includes the cities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, as well as the more rural areas of Shropshire and Herefordshire, bordering Wales. The River Severn crosses through West Midlands and the Staffordshire Moorlands are here, as are parts of the Cotswolds. There are five designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the region, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage site, Ironbridge Gorge, and also Stratford on Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. And, about 170 golf clubs are in West Midlands.

Just outside of Birmingham is the "spiritual home of the Ryder cup", the Brabazon course at The Belfry. The Belfry has hosted the Ryder Cup four times, as well as hosting many European Tour events. Apart from the Brabazon, the two other courses at The Belfry are the PGA National and The Derby. The Belfry includes a four star hotel, complete with meeting rooms, leisure spa and more. The headquarters of the Professional Golf Association is here.

Another noteworthy course in West Midlands is the Marriott Forest of Arden Golf Club, in Warwickshire. Some of the international tournaments they have hosted include the English Open, the British Masters, and the One-2-One British Masters. There are two 18 hole courses, the Aylesford as well as the championship Arden course.

Two Standout Courses

Llanymynech Golf Club

Llanymnech Golf Club near Oswestry in Shropshire, is a rare find. Play here once and you will never forget it. Nested on the Welsh border atop Llanymynech Hill, an ancient limestone tabletop formation with sheer cliff faces, the club has fifteen of its course holes actually in Wales. The views from the golf course are mesmerizing, and you can feel as though you're on top of the world (literally). From the course you can see across a dozen 'shire counties', spreading out below you. The location is also extraordinarily rich in history, dating back to Bronze Age copper mining, with layers of historical episodes since then. Golf history is also here, for it is at Llanymynech Golf Club that Ian Woosnam first began playing golf. Ian was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2017. Llanymnech golf course is the full 18 holes and just over 6,000 yards, with a par of 70. There is tremendous variation throughout the course, from nerve-tingling edge-of-the cliff shots to serene park-like areas, and astonishing views: this is a golf course like no other. Where else can you find yourself teeing off in one country and putting out in another?

Beau Desert Golf Club

The Beau Desert Golf Club, located at Hazel Slade in Staffordshire, is about 25 miles from Birmingham. The course was originally within the grounds of the estate of Lord Anglesey, who was himself a keen golfer. When the club formed in 1911, he offered them use of the site and accepted the role of first club president. Immediately after the first club meeting he began building the course, which was designed and laid out by the renowned Herbert Fowler. It opened to local golfers in 1912 with the full 18 holes completed by 1914. Today Beau Desert is a superb heathland/ woodland championship golf course, where the regional qualifying rounds for The Open are frequently held. It has also hosted England Golf's County Championships. The course recently had new tees added and is now 6,458 yards. It is set in beautiful, thick woodlands and every fairway is well tree-lined. This gives a wonderful sense of privacy and serenity while you play (not easy to find, these days). Beau Desert Golf Club also offers a quality Golf Academy, with coaching and tuition for all ages and abilities, from small children through to professional players.