One of the best parkland golf courses in the country

Little Aston

Little Aston Golf Club

Date Reviewed
July 11, 2014
Reviewed by Ed Battye
Little Aston is a traditional golf club that exudes excellence both on and off the course.

It has a distinguished history and is widely regarded as the best in the West Midlands whilst also receiving recognition from much farther afield too. There’s no denying that playing here is a highly pleasurable experience and a lovely place to enjoy a round of golf.

The course itself, hidden away through an exclusive and private residential area, is a beautiful parkland layout played through some amazing woodland; predominantly oak, beech and elm, in a surprisingly peaceful setting based on its proximity to Birmingham City Centre and other suburbia.

There are several bunkers strategically placed throughout the 18 holes. I didn’t count them all but I suspect it will be close to 100 in total. You may think this is a bit excessive but virtually everyone helps dictate play to all standards of player. Add to this generous fairways, with varying degrees of width, and it means there is usually an option to bypass the hazards if you so wish albeit, and as it should be, making your next shot much harder than if you tackled the hazards head on.

As a result of the numerous sand traps, both fairway and greenside, placement is often crucial from the tee and missing the green on the wrong side is usually damaging for your scorecard. There is a nice variety of holes and thus you are asked to work the ball both ways from tee and fairway.

Driving the ball well at Little Aston is only one piece of the jigsaw but probably the most important. If you find a bunker from the tee-shot it is unlikely you will be able to reach the green in regulation as they are quite deep and many have high lips.

Meanwhile the putting surfaces are large and although they do have some significant breaks and borrows it often doesn’t feel that way due to their size and the gradual nature of the slopes.

There are many fine holes but amongst the ones I enjoyed the most were the 317 yard par four fourth that has a long angled bunker at the start of the fairway, which creates indecision, and a green that falls steeply from front to back that is ideal for a hole of this length. An approach from the right, thanks to a greenside bunker front left, is usually preferred but that requires the longest carry over the fairway trap.

The seventh is also a very good hole where the fairway narrows the further you drive, a theme repeated many times throughout the round, and the par three ninth, played through a corridor of tall trees, is a stunning looking hole.

The back nine is strong too with the snaking 10th and tempting 14th my personal highlights. Water features are used to good effect at the par five 12th and penultimate 17th whilst the 11th has a fantastic view of the hole from its elevated tee.

Having played most of the top courses in the West Midlands I would personally place Little Aston behind Beau Desert but just ahead of Enville and Blackwell. One thing for certain is that if you like high quality, well-manicured parkland golf in a tranquil setting with lots of strategic options you will love Little Aston.

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