Astbury Hall Golf Course, England

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Astbury Hall Golf Course is located on 350 acres of rolling, wooded land in the heart of Shropshire west of Birmingham, England. The course opened initially with nine holes and inaugurated the remaining nine in the middle of September 2010, this is the first designed course by the world renowned heavy metal guitarist K.K Downing from Judas Priest. Troon Golf a worldwide management group, whose British portfolio includes Turnberry, Prince’s, Bearwood Lakes and The Grove, has established a partnership with Astbury Hall to manage the golf operations.

Astbury Hall is one of the most refreshing new golf developments in the UK, boasting superb championship conditioning and a spectacular stately home overlooking the golf course. The Georgian building has been transformed into a breathtaking clubhouse, from what was once Downing’s own residence. The ancient history of the original Hall was destroyed by the fire, it is believed that the original building was built in the reign of Henry the third.

Measuring over 6500 Yards this par 71 golf course combines excellent natural features with a tactical mix of strategically placed bunkering and beautifully manicured playing surfaces featuring the latest creeping bent grass greens built to USGA specifications. Stunning views of the rolling hills, synonymous with the English countryside, ensures that a visit to Astbury Hall will be a truly memorable experience. The course’s signature hole is the par-3 18th one of the most exciting finishing holes in the UK, measuring 200 yards from the championship tees, the hole is played across water to a tricky green, with bunkers left and right, testing both nerve and ability.

“Astbury Hall has been born from my experiences on golf courses from around the world. I am fortunate enough to have played some of the finest the world has to offer and I feel privileged to have been able to create a property that encompasses all my cherished experiences,” commented K.K. Downing. “I have been lucky to work in two industries that have allowed me to be so creative, especially golf course architecture, which has enabled the visions in my head to be transformed beautifully into a reality.”

KK Dowling was born on the 27th of October 1951 in West Bromwich, England, during his youth the young guitarist was captivated by the guitar sounds of the legendary players such as Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Eric Clapton. He has two passions in his life, the first is playing his guitar and the second is golf.  Whenever the opportunity arises even during his hectic schedule of playing on tour he always got out onto the golf course.  Astbury Hall further proved his passion for golf when he took it upon himself to design a golf course. KK and Judas Priest will begin their final world tour in June 2011 where they will travel to Scandinavia, USA and Japan to name but a few and from their a return to Astbury Hall to start playing what he loves most golf.

“I remember in about ’81 or ’82 being on tour in America with a young, up-and-coming band by the name of Def Leppard. We were tanking it up in a bar with them on a day off and the challenge went out for a golf match between Def Leppard and Priest. We kind of fancied ourselves more as tennis players, but we got on a tee the next day, hangovers and all, and they well and truly kicked our butts.” Despite the setback, he added, “From that point on it seemed to be a good thing to do on a day off. It helped me relax. The game cleanses your mind because all you are focusing on is hitting that bloody little ball and getting it to go in a straight line. Golf has helped me keep my sanity.” Dowling’s interview to The Shropshire Magazine.