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Tony Rowen discovers a Northamptonshire gem is in sparkling form

FINE wine is reputed to improve with age, and the same can be said of golf courses, coupled with some tender loving care provided by a dedicated greenkeeping team. It is certainly the case at Overstone Park Resort – a hidden gem of the county.

Back in 1992, I attended the launch event at the venue, which is just five miles from Northampton town centre, and over the past 27 years have visited it on numerous occasions and can vouch that the course originally designed by Donald Steel has, indeed, matured magnificently.

Since new owners took over last year, a lot of work has taken place on the 18-hole championship course. At this time of year the greenkeeping team, which is equipped with a fleet of specialist machines, works on the course from 5am to 3pm to ensure it is in pristine condition. More than 100 new trees have been planted alongside original and previously planted ones and a lot of money has been spent on filling bunkers with the best type of sand, while some have been filled in altogether.

Now that the warmer weather is here, all the encouragement I needed to get my golf clubs out of their winter hibernation was an invitation to play the course, which is set in 193 acres of some of the best Northamptonshire countryside.

Knowing I would be a bit rusty from my winter lay-off, I thought it prudent to invite my friend Martin, an all-year-round golfer and a former Northamptonshire Seniors captain, to provide a more accurate evaluation of the course.

As we stood in sunshine on the first tee, it didn’t need Martin’s expertise to see that the course was in magnificent condition. Looking to our left, the tenth and ninth fairways were immaculately cut, defining the ideal route to take towards the greens.

I got a very early chance to discover that the money for sand for the bunkers has been well spent, having to play my third shot out of the trap to the right on the first green. The sand was deep and soft allowing me to get good contact and land on the green.

Not even a sharp shower as we played the third and fourth holes could dampen our spirits and we continued to admire the scenery and superb condition of the course.

Cedar Pass, the par five eleventh, is a feature hole on the course. At 570 yards off the yellow tees (603 yards off the whites) it is one of the longest holes in the county with an uphill drive to the magnificent ancient cedar tree, followed by a sharp dogleg right to the green.

As we reached the 17th tee, we caught up with three members waiting to take their drives at the Par 3, 144 yards hole across water – always a bit of a challenge for me. Watching one of them put two balls into the water eased my embarrassment when I followed suit minutes later, while the 18th (490 yards, Par 5) is a superb finishing hole right in front of the clubhouse.

Martin and I agreed that the course has developed into one of the best in the county.

During our round we had the added bonus – a viewing of a training flight by The Blades aerobatic team from nearby Sywell Aerodrome.


There is much more to Overstone Park than just the golf course. There is a 31-bedroom three-star hotel, while the gym features an impressive collection of cardio equipment, strength and conditioning machines as well as weights. Potential members receive an initial fitness assessment and induction by the experienced and professional fitness advisers leading to individual tailored fitness programmes and ongoing assessments.

There is also a 17-metre swimming pool alongside a steam room and saunas and Jacuzzis, while the sudio, located next to the beauty spa is where yoga and pilates classes are staged.

The Terrace Restaurant offers a formal dining experience, while the Clubhouse Bar has a range drinks and full food menu, while the Cedars Bar and its patio area provides an informal bar and dining venue on the lower ground floor. Weddings, christenings, birthday parties or any special events for up to 200 people can be held at the venue, while the Woodlands Conference Suite can cater for up to 35 delegates.

There is also a regular programme of entertainments.

All areas of Overstone Park Resort have been upgraded recently.

For further information contact Overstone Park Resort, Billing Lane, Overstone, Northampton, NN6 0AS. Telephone 01604 492471 or visit the website www.overstonepark.com

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