Golfing in Kent at Marriott Tudor Park Hotel & Country Club

Published 20/08/2013 18:35:34

With a luxury four star hotel on site and acres of Kent's glorious countryside on its doorstep, Marriott Tudor Park is the perfect place for a weekend golfing break for two or two hundred


Set in 200 acres of a former deerpark just east of Maidstone, Marriott Tudor Park Hotel and Country Club has a style all its own. Just 45 minutes from London and within easy reach of the Channel ports, it offers a peaceful base for relaxing in the club's luxurious facilities and sightseeing in the county known as the 'Garden of England'. Opened 15 years ago, the hotel and country club boasts an impressive array of golf and leisure facilities for the casual visitor, the club member and, of course, the resident guest.

With 120 bedrooms, 11 function rooms and two restaurants, it is not surprising that the venue is a big draw with local and national companies, as well as for large social functions such as weddings and christmas parties. Corporate golf days and golf societies are also a central part of the activities at the club. Lloyds, HSBC and Diners Card are just three of many global businesses to have held company golf days here in recent months.

The experienced golf team, led by Jason King, are well drilled in the art of ensuring such days run smoothly and each group or company is given a member of staff whose job it is to make sure everything runs like clockwork on the day, from getting everybody off the first tee on time, to providing prizes for the day's winners and offering a complete after-sales service.

The Course

9th hole tudor kent marriott The Milgate course is well marshalled to point newcomers in the right direction, as well as monitor pace of play. Golfers can keep thirst and hunger at bay with refreshments from the roving buggy that offers both hot and cold drinks and snacks, while bacon rolls and more substantial snacks are always on offer at the half-way house located back at the hotel between the 9th green and the 10th tee.

Practice facilities are handily placed alongside the first tee. The practice range, although only suitable for warming up with irons, is adjacent to the pro shop, while a practice putting green and a short game and bunker practice area are also close at hand.

Tudor Park's PGA-qualified head pro, Nick McNally, is available to give lessons for those looking to improve their game. Among his teaching aids is the popular Explanar swing trainer - which was designed by Woburn's teaching professional Luther Blacklock - which is now proving an easy way of grooving the correct swing for both beginners and experienced players.

With your swing sorted, now's the time to venture out onto the undulating parkland course which offers a unique challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Off the competition tees the Milgate measures 6,085 yards, while the yellows offer a more sedate 5,715 yards. The front nine follows the contours of a shallow valley, while the back nine offers a less strenuous stretch of holes that will nevertheless test your shot-making skills. The par 3 4th hole is widely regarded as the signature hole. Measuring 183 yards off the whites, it requires a pin-point long-iron to a small elevated green that closely resembles an up-turned saucer with water surrounding the green both front and back. Quite why it's stroke index 16 is beyond me, but the fact that the course record remains at 65 bears testimony to the strategic challenges that the layout poses.

The country's leading young pros will have the chance to better that record in May this year when the club once again plays host to a EuroPro Tour event.

After the overwhelming success of last year's event, with Tudor Park being recognised as one of the best venues on the EuroPro 2003 Tour schedule, the Milgate Course is once again set to host this prestigious tournament, when many of the leading young stars of tomorrow will be bidding for honours and a share of the generous prize fund. With a highlights package of the event due to be televised on Sky Sports, the tournament will be a valuable platform for both the players and Tudor Park. It will certainly be worth checking out sites like during the event to see who is tipped to impress!"

The Club

marriott tudor park golf club leeds castle Apart from the busy hotel business, it is easy to forget that Tudor Park is also a thriving club with over 700 golf members. The club enjoys an active competitive scene, with members competing in inter-club, county and national events. The social side is equally hectic, with members enjoying a busy social life within the confines of the hotel. Residential guests are set aside guaranteed tee times at weekends between 10am-noon, but the two sections appear to enjoy a healthy relationship which affords all groups the best opportunities to play the course and use the facilities.

Back inside the hotel the Long Weekend bar and restaurant provides a natural home for golfers looking for a bit of sustenance after a tiring round. Located on the first floor overlooking the course, it is an unpretentious yet comfortable place to enjoy a relaxing drink and a hearty meal after your round. Operating under normal pub licensing hours, the bar stays open until 11pm - long after the average golf club bar has closed up shop - while food is available from a wide and varied brasserie-style menu. The club hosts numerous themed social evenings, with the weekly curry night a particularly popular one.

Resident guests receive full access to Tudor Park's leisure club, with its state-of-the-art gym, spa bath, sauna, steamroom and indoor heated pool. There are additional charges for spa treatments and for use of the solarium. If you can bear to drag yourself away from the pool, the hotel is superbly placed to use as a base for exploring nearby attractions such as Leeds Castle, while the historic towns of Canterbury, Dover and Royal Tunbridge Wells are all just a short drive away.

The Verdict

Tudor Park is a real haven for anyone needing some time to concentrate on business or wanting a few days' relaxation, combined with, perhaps, a round or two of invigorating golf. Two-night weekend packages start from around £156 per person, but visitors should contact the hotel directly for details of all the latest offers.

Marriott Tudor Park Hotel & Country Club
Ashford Road, Bearsted, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 4NQ
Tel: 01622 734334 



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