Cainhoe Wood's premier course, a mature 18 hole course winding through scenic Bedfordshire woodlands.
The strategic placement of the water hazards means that this is the thinking golfer's course and club choice is vital to successfully navigating your way around.
The course measures 6,611 yards from the Men’s competition tees and 5,986 yards from the Ladies’ competition tees.
With large tee boxes and USGA specification greens this tight and compelling golf course provides a true test for the low handicap and competition golfer.
The Castle Course is currently only playable for members and their guests.
Castle Course map
Hole by hole
Hole 1: Pedley Wood
A straightforward tee shot to begin your round on Castle, with a couple of ditches to get over before a short, wide, fairway. Two bunkers and mounds are protecting the small green so accuracy is key; and with the putting surface being quite small, aim for the middle and be happy with two putts.
Hole 2: Lisle Green
With a relatively narrow exit from the tee, it's crucial to hit the fairway from the off. Because this tee faces east, you often have the wind against you, so keep straight. Great risk and reward hole with the green protected by a pond and trees for any wayward approach shots.
Hole 3: The Kilns
This is a slight dogleg left and plays longer than it looks. A well-placed tee shot slightly right will make for an easier approach to the green. But be careful, while the green is reachable in two for the bigger hitters, make sure your approach shot has enough to hold.
Hole 4: Keepers Drive
With a very long and narrow funnel out to the fairway, a straight tee shot could leave you in the two trees in the middle of the fairway. Slightly left or right will give you a clear second shot, but beware of the stream before the driveway to Keepers Cottage for landing. There are actually two bunkers by this big open green, one is hiding further back on the right.
Hole 5: Flit Flyer
Don’t be fooled, this is a tough par 3, and it is wise to play longer than you think. So take plenty of club to pass the old oak on the left, the ditch that goes across and the bunker on the right.
Hole 6: Alcatraz
Though only a par 4, this hole is technically one of the hardest holes on the course. Aiming along
the left-hand side of the fairway will allow you to play with the slight dogleg left, and will leave you with a shorter approach to an elevated green. Watch out for the other little bunker hidden on the right, same level as the green but just past the big bunker at the front. The green sits up on a big area but looks smaller on the approach so distance is vital.
Hole 7: Greensands
From the tee a drive down to the corner of the sharp right-hand dogleg is best to get past the pond on the left. Don’t try and go over the pond; be sensible. This gives you the best angle for a second shot uphill and a crack at the two-tier green. As you approach, watch out for the other pond on the left and a bunker on the right.
Hole 8: Henlow Heights
The shortest hole on the front nine is a real gem of a par 3. Take in the view when on the tee. Technically a tough hole over water, and being up high and exposed consider the wind, so demands precise shot selection.
Hole 9: Airfields
Standing on the elevated tee you will be encouraged to open your shoulders & the bunker you see from here is positioned for a reason. This hole has a long fairway curving round to the left with banks either side. A good long tee shot should give you a chance to go for the open green. Just watch the two bunkers either side to catch a wayward approach.
Hole 10: Highlands
Bigger hitters could take their tee shot over the trees to cut the corner of a sharp dogleg right. hugging the right of the fairway and past the trees will leave you with the perfect angle for a shot slightly downhill towards the trees behind the hidden two-tier green.
Hole 11: The Hills
Take time to take in and lap up the stunning views from this tee. This is a relatively straight hole, so your opening shot needs to be well struck but aim slightly right as the fairway gently falls away to the left. Around the 200 yard marker is a great position, and you’ll have a much easier approach to the green from the most level part of the fairway.
Hole 12: Gravenhursts
This is a long par 3, slightly uphill, where you are unable to see the bottom of the flag from the tee, making distance control tough. The green is also protected by partially hidden bunker at the front, so a longer club is wise.
Hole 13: Clifton
Don’t be fooled by the length of this hole as it disappears over the hill with a slight bend to the right. Accuracy over power is crucial here. Drive to left of centre of the fairway and your approach will open up the hole and allow longer hitters to have a crack at reaching the green in two.
Hole 14: Shillington Ends
A blind tee shot over the reeds needs to be hit down the left side of the fairway due to the dogleg. Once you have found the fairway you are left with a second shot that plays downhill to a flat and open green. Be aware of the two hidden ditches either side of the approach going down the hill.
Hole 15: Cain Hill
An uphill tee shot, where the big hitters have a chance to go for the green in two. If you lay up with your second, you face the tricky prospect of getting your ball past the oak tree on the right, but not too far as the reservoir awaits any slight hook. When approaching the green play wisely! With the bunker guarding the green narrowing the entrance makes for a precise pitch.
Hole 16: Little Ion
From an elevated tee you will shoot to a small green with bunkers surrounding the front, so distant control is vital if you are to secure par or better.
Hole 17: Park Wood
One of the toughest holes of the second nine with demanding driving conditions, with out of bounds left and a narrow fairway that falls gently to the right. Those good enough to find the fairway face a tough approach to hidden green surrounded by mounds and guarded by two bunkers.
Hole 18: The Range
For your last tee shot on castle, be sure to aim left side of the fairway to lay up near the ditch if you can. This will open up the green for an easier approach to another elevated green, with bunkers awaiting either side making this a tough finishing hole. Finish with a gross or nett par here and you will walk off the course happy.