77. Golf in the Cotswolds
There are some beautiful golf courses in the Cotswolds, from 18-hole championship courses to pay and play. Here's the Loving the Cotswolds' round-up of the best courses in the area:
Minchinhampton Golf Club, near Stroud, was founded in 1889 and is one of the oldest clubs in the Cotswolds. It now comprises three golf courses, each of quite different character.
Way "up north" in the Cotswolds is Broadway Golf Club, another long-established club, having been founded in 1895. Situated at Willersey Hill, the course offers superb views over the Vale of Evesham. The course's undulating fairways are sometimes intersected by dry stone walls that provide a testing hazard.
There are magnificent views to be had too at Cleeve Hill Golf Club, near Cheltenham, a heathland course set in 1,000 acres of Cleeve Common which offers golfers breathtaking views of the Forest of Dean, Severn Vale, the Malverns and beyond to the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons.
Cotswold Hills Golf Club also used to play at Cleeve Common until in 1976 the club moved to a new course created on former farmland at Ullenwood, near Cheltenham. In the years since, the course has matured and is now considered one of the best in Gloucestershire. Cotswold Hills has hosted many prestigious events, including the English Ladies’ Amateur Championship, and in 2012 it hosted the England Golf County Boys’ finals.
Among the newer golf courses in the Cotswolds is Naunton Downs Golf Club, near Stow-on-the-Wold, which is situated in a beautiful area of outstanding countryside and known for its charm and tranquillity.
Cirencester Golf Club, situated not far from the town at Bagendon, offers a traditional, welcoming atmosphere and a picturesque and interesting course kept in wonderful condition throughout the year. Many of the holes are virtually unchanged from their original design and offer wonderful views over the surrounding countryside.
Not far away, another 18-hole course that offers great views across the Cotswolds is South Cerney Golf Course. Situated on the edge of the Cotswold Water Park, the course is said to offer "a challenging, yet rewarding experience". Practice facilities include an eight-bay full length driving range.
Westonbirt Golf Course is set within the grounds of the historic Westonbirt House, near Tetbury. This nine-hole course provides a memorable location for beginners and the more experienced golfer.
Across the Oxfordshire border, the Cotswolds Club Chipping Norton also offers golfers plenty of challenges and was chosen as one of the top three courses in Oxfordshire by National Club Golfer magazine.
Burford Golf Club was opened in 1936 and has steadily evolved into a first-class parkland layout that offers a challenging yet rewarding test of golf in beautiful natural surroundings.
Painswick Golf Club, founded in 1891, is a ridge-top course with an out and back format. And even if you're having a bad day with the clubs, the course offers fine views of the Severn Valley and to the Malvern Hills, Brecon Beacons and Slad Valley of the Cotswolds.
Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club, Dursley, which dates back to 1889, is a picturesque and challenging golf course set on the southern edge of the Cotswold escarpment above the Severn Valley. The late Henry Longhurst, the renowned British golf writer and commentator, rated Stinchcombe Hill among the most scenic courses in Europe.
Cotswold Edge Golf Club is located on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment with views over the market town of Wotton-Under-Edge to the Severn Vale, the Brecon Beacons, the Malvern Hills and to Wales and beyond. It is one of the most stunning picturesque golf clubs in the South West of England.
Minchinhampton Golf Club
Broadway Golf Club
Burford Golf Club
Cirencester Golf Club
Cleeve Hill Golf Club
Cotswold Club Chipping Norton
Cotswold Edge Golf Club
Naunton Downs Golf Club
Painswick Golf Club
South Cerney Golf Course
Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club
Westonbirt Golf Club