To quote William Shakespeare, “Can one desire too much of a good thing?” Maybe one can, but if one does, one can always find it on a golfing break at Morley Hayes.
Nestled between the villages of Smalley and Morley on the A608 north of Derby, the entrance to Morley Hayes is difficult to miss. The drive down to the hotel (built since our last visit there) takes you past the substantial driving range and the 9-hole golf course that are integral parts of a golfing, hotel and restaurant complex that gave my wife and me a most enjoyable golf break last week.
Arriving early, as we often do, we found our room wasn’t ready, but reception asked housekeeping to make it a priority. In the interim we snuck over to Rooster’s Bar for a coffee, and then made our way down to the golf pavilion to have a gander in the pro shop. It was very well stocked, though much to my wife’s dismay there were no women’s clothes at all!
Our return to the hotel found our room ready: the emperor bed, sofa, flat screen TV and very well equipped bathroom were topped off with a view of the 4th green from our Juliette balcony. Unpacked, we sojourned to Spike’s Bar, a first floor establishment in the golf pavilion overlooking the verdant 18-hole golf course that we were about to play that afternoon. A bowl of soup and a sandwich later and we were ready to hit the fairways.
We’ve played Morley Hayes a few times and it has never failed to impress. The course is well managed: fairways are generous, bunkers well stocked with good sand and the rough (semi really – it’s a bit like Augusta in that respect) is deceptive as it does snag when trying to play out of it. The greens are in excellent condition and run consistently, though they are by no means quick.
The course offers a good assortment of holes: dog legs, short par 4s, deceptively long uphill 4s playing into the wind (especially the 18th), a variety of par 3 and 5 holes and the odd surreptitiously encroaching patch of water. It is a strong test of golf no matter what your standard. One day I’ll play it well!
Our meal in the evening was served in the Dovecote Restaurant, above Rooster’s Bar. The service was excellent as was the food. I’m often a bit wary of eating steak in pubs and restaurants as they don’t realise what a pernickety so-and-so I can be, but I chanced one here and it was cooked to perfection. Breakfast was served in a downstairs breakfast room in the hotel. Again there was an excellent choice of delicious, well cooked and beautifully presented food. (I can recommend the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs.)
All in all this was a first-class midweek treat of a golf break, made even more so by the staff at Morley Hayes and Your Golf Travel who had to change our dates at the last minute thanks to another golfing break, this time my wife breaking a rib playing out of a bunker!
This was an excellent, top-value, golfing holiday. I’d recommend the course, the hotel and the restaurants – and the service from Your Golf Travel – without hesitation.