Home Health and Fitness Spending the day at Centurion golf club St Albans

Spending the day at Centurion golf club St Albans

by Sarah Bridge
centurion golf club

Playing golf at the Centurion Golf Club

There are worse things to do on a Monday morning spending the day at Centurion golf club in St Albans in the glorious sunshine being taught how to play golf by a charming golf pro.

Thankfully, said pro – Nick Ansell – who worked at this impressive Hertfordshire golf club, did not seem to mind that almost all of my previous golfing experience had been on the crazy golf courses at British seaside resorts and several campsites in Northern France.

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In fact he could not have been more welcoming and friendly, which was just as well as the Centurion Club, one of the newest golf clubs in Hertfordshire, prides itself on being a female-friendly golf club, not to mention a golf club which welcomes beginners.

centurion golf club st albans

The Centurion golf club is one of Britain’s newest golf courses

While men-only golf clubs still exist (and many who have recently opened their doors to women only did so to qualify for National Lottery funding), the Centurion’s co-founder Scott Evans has said that he is keen for the sport to be far more welcoming to everyone, including families.

‘Sadly some sex discrimination exists in British golf as it is still steeped in historic tradition,’ he said at the opening of the Centurion Golf club St Albans. ‘The Open Championship continues to be held at male-only venues in the UK for example, whereas in Europe, where the game is so much younger, there’s no such thing as segregation between sexes and women and children are actively encouraged to play.  At Centurion Club we are proud to have several lady golfers as members, including those from overseas, and we look forward to welcoming many more.’

centurion golf club st albans

The golf course goes through varied terrain from woodland to more open ground

So being a lady, if not a golfer, I was invited to come up and take a look. I wasn’t going to turn down spending the day at Centurion Club St Albans as for once, the sun was shining.

Centurion Golf Club course

Tucked away in the corner formed by the M25 and the M1, Centurion’s 7,084 yard, 72-par, 18-hole course is surprisingly big, contains a huge amount of variety of landscape, so one moment you are playing in woodland and then you burst out onto more open terrain, and it is obvious that a lot of care and attention has gone into its construction.

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There are fives sets of tees on each hole too, so beginners can go round with the experts, such as a husband and wife team, or a group of friends.

centurion golf club clubhouse

The Centurion clubhouse – the place to eat or have a relaxing drink after those 7,000+ yards…

centurion golf club st albans outside terrace

The outdoor terrace is pleasant spot to have a morning coffee in the sun before heading out onto the course

There is a lot more to come too: while the clubhouse is smart but small – immaculate changing rooms, a golf shop and a bar which spills onto a smart terrace – Evans has big plans for the facilities which are already in evidence: a vast clubhouse building is being constructed next door which will hold a new restaurant and bar, conference facilities and health spa, all with a great view of the 18th hole and the lake.

There are also plans for a bar and restaurant halfway round the course, to provide a much-needed breather, or so you can play nine holes either side of a relaxing lunch.

second hole in the 18-hole golf course at centurion golf club Hertfordshire

The second hole in the 18-hole golf course

playing golf at the centurion golf club Hertfordshire

I’ve done this before, honest…but where is the windmill?

golf swing at centurion golf club Hertfordshire

I suspect I’m doing this all wrong…

Practising on the driving range

It was while out on the driving range being instructed by Nick I started to understand the appeal. The first time I hit a ball correctly and watched it soar off into the sky I felt so proud of myself – and watched the next one bobble pathetically away from the tee as I totally scuffed it. The desire to hit it perfectly and then repeat the ‘perfect’ shot pretty compelling.

golf pro at centurion golf club Hertfordshire

My golf pro instructor Nick Ansell shows me how it’s done

golf pro swing centurion golf club Hertfordshire

I looked almost as good as this by the end of my lesson…(that’s not actually true)

Out on the golf course

After a lengthy practice with both irons and drivers – first of all finding out what the difference is, such is my knowledge of golf – we headed out onto the golf course for a couple of holes. Nick teaches groups of women throughout the week – and guys too, and individual lessons – and says that more women are taking up the game, both so they can play with their partners but also because it’s a very sociable sport – you can get fit and then relax over lunch or a drink afterwards.

I was pretty pleased with my distances out on the fairway, but less so with my direction (hello bunker) but by the time I’d holed the ball on the 18th green I was ready to go and do the whole thing again. However lunch was calling… but I returned to London inspired to venture out with a set of clubs again soon – and not just wait until my next trip to the seaside.

The 18th hole centurion golf club Hertfordshire

The 18th is set on the side of a man-made lake – a magnet for golf balls

Heading back to the 19th...

Heading back to the 19th…

Getting to the Centurion Club St Albans golf course

Centurion Club is located at Hemel Hempstead road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire HP3 8LA.
Contact: 01442 510 520 and [email protected]

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