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When it comes to adding their own touch to some of the best links courses in the UK, Tom Mackenzie and Martin Ebert have a CV that can only be described as other-worldly.

Mackenzie & Ebert – as they’re known professionally – have advised on eight of the ten current Open venues, while the Royals of County Down, Cinque Ports, Dornoch and Porthcawl, as well as Turnberry, St Andrews’ New course, Saunton, Askernish, Trevose and Skibo Castle have also seen the famed architects get involved in one way or another.

So when there were first rumblings that they would be involved with a “unique modern links” in London, there was plenty of intrigue.

Indeed, The Inspiration Club is named for that very reason. It’s a golf course which, despite being inside the M25, is inspired by many of the aforementioned.

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And it all came about from rather unique circumstances.

Speaking at a media launch a few days ahead of its opening, owner Tony Menai-Davis explained that due to the site’s proximity to RAF Northolt’s runway, they were restricted on the number of trees they were allowed to plant.

So the idea of an inland links was born.

And in terms of the course, it’s worked. The quirky hole designs, the long fairway run-outs, the expansive and vastly undulating greens with their punishing run-offs. It all adds up when you consider what a “modern links” is these days.

But that’s where the similarity ends – unless you can stretch your imagination far enough to replace the drone of the A40 traffic with the calm crashing of waves, and the smell of jet fuel with a fresh sea breeze.

The Inspiration Club review
Aviation fans will enjoy The Inspiration Club’s proximity to RAF Northolt. (Credit: Alex Perry/bunkered)

But that shouldn’t take away from what is a genuinely enjoyable course to play.

The Inspiration Club has four tee options, stretching from the blacks at 6,610 yards to the cerise tees at 5,440. In-between, there is an orange option, at 6,100 yards, or a combo option which sees you play nine holes off the black and nine off the orange. This comes in at 6,325.

The layout is intriguing. The opening half twists and turns in each and every direction before you return to the “clubhouse” – I’ll explain why I’ve put that in inverted commas shortly – before the back nine feels like a loop that sweeps round the outer edges of the entire course – which means you play almost the entire second half of your round taking on out-of-bounds to the right.

The Inspiration Club review
The bunkers at The Inspiration Club are suitably punishing. (Credit: Alex Perry/bunkered)

There are four par-5 holes – two of which bookend the round and the others sit either side of the turn – and four par-3s of varying length and challenge.

My favourite holes? The 2nd is a very cool 420-yard par-4 that sweeps down the hill and dog-legs to the right. Get your tee shot right and you’ll be taking aim at a raised green complex that, if you miss, will test your short game to its limit. The 10th, at 245 yards, is a driveable, risk-reward par-4 with absolutely no bail-out on either side. And the 13th is a par-3 that plays all of its 140 yards due to the burn that sweeps from the back-right corner of the green to the front-left.

The Inspiration Club review
It’s hard to imagine you’re just a few miles from central London. (Credit: The Inspiration Club)

Now, the “clubhouse”. Hear me out. It is currently a “temporary-temporary” structure. A marquee-style tent, essentially, serving food and drink and offering somewhere to sit. This, we’re told, will be replaced by a “slightly-less temporary” clubhouse until the final building is built and in place.

The plan is to keep the clubhouse small. The thought process at The Inspiration Club is to offer a modern approach to golf that involves catering for people who want a bite to eat either before or after their round, or those that just want to play.

The Inspiration Club review
The green complexes are inspired by some of the finest links courses around the world. (Credit: The Inspiration Club)

I know what you’re thinking. How much is this going to cost you? Well, prepare to set your faces to stunned. Green fees have initially been set at £70 for Monday to Wednesday, £80 for Thursday and Friday, and £90 over the weekend. That – particularly when you put that into context of some other clubs in the London area – is remarkable value for money, especially given that you’re playing an incredibly well thought-out and, more importantly, fun golf course, which is in excellent condition, and is a product of some of the finest architectural minds in the game.

So if you’re in the London area and looking for a round of golf, why not find a bit of Inspiration?

Tee times are available now on The Inspiration Club’s website.

author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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