Weather & Course Condition
Another very hot day with the temperature well into the high 20’s, the course was in very good condition but the back nine take you up a high hill that overlooks Gloucester and even though I had plenty of liquids with me I had never felt so bad due to heat and the climb up this hill, if you do visit this course I suggest you hire a buggy.
I have a very good satnav that normally takes me to the front door of my destination, this time it took me to a hotel with a ski slope opposite, even asking a local where the club was he shrugged his shoulders. Eventually I found the driveway to the clubhouse it was another 750yds further on, now I do need to point out at this point that the whole area is built up and you will not expect to find a golf course here but once your driving up the driveway you will see the front nine on your left and it certainly whetted my appetite to play it. Parking in the good sized car park I made my way to the pro shop, now I need to point out that on this day the course was very quiet and the clubhouse was looking a little tired, I suspect in it’s day it was a wonderful clubhouse but now appears to be lacking something. The pro shop was very big but there was very little in it, the person in there (who was not the pro) seemed as though he wished he was anywhere else except there, showed no interest as to why I was there and seemed more interested in his phone. Made my way to the bar where there was a couple of members who made me very welcome and a young man who took my order for a bacon bap in a friendly professional manner, made up for the poor reception in the pro shop. By the first tee is a good driving range and putting area, the course itself was in excellent condition considering the heatwave we had endured and was a joy to play on, a big pat on the back to the greenstaff.
Hole by Hole Analysis
All yardage is from the yellow tee’s
Hole 1 – Par 4 – 426yds
From the tee box which is alongside the clubhouse on the right and has the driving range to the left which goes all the way down the left-hand side of the fairway almost to the green. The fairway slopes slightly right to left but it is wide, aiming down the right and with a few eyes watching my drive went straight (makes a change) but ended up just short of the bunker on the left of the fairway. From here the large green awaits and it was a good approach from this position, however to take advantage of it one has to hit a good second as off to the left of the green is a steep bank and as I pulled my second the ball it caught the bank and went well left but fortunately ended up just short of the unplayable rough. Once on the green the ball ran smooth and fast a credit to the club considering the conditions.
Hole 2 – Par 4 – 382yds
A straightforward downhill hole which big hitters may be able to reach, OOB runs down the right but the fairway is wide, not expecting to hit a good drive as I did on the first I decided the sensible option was a 3 wood just left of centre and it duly went exactly where I wanted, or so I thought because unbeknown to me from the tee a bunker had been placed on that line which I hadn’t noticed from the tee and my ball was duly sitting in the middle of it. The approach to the green can be done in two ways, if you are comfortable in your pitching then that’s the way to go as the green is large but there are bunkers to left and right of it, for me my pitching from this distance is not the best and I prefer to play short of the green and let the ball roll onto it. Good hole this one a good drive can make it seem easy but can also bite you.
Hole 3 – Par 3 – 150yds
The first of the par 3’s, slightly uphill so will play slightly longer than 150yds and with bunkers round the front and trees all around the back good club selection is vital to get on the green, as anyone who knows me will be aware I am not great on par3’s, so I decided to play short of the bunkers and playing a 8 iron ended up just short of the bunker, oh joy. The green is quite large and another one that is a pleasure to putt on.
Hole 4 – Par 4 – 411yds
A dog leg left with a couple of trees either side of the fairway just in front of the tee box makes this a good challenge for me, If your natural shot is right to left then you will enjoy your tee shot if it’s the other way it will make you think, for me the 3 wood came back out and sent it straight into the middle of the fairway on the dog leg, from here it’s straight up to the green with no real issues, for me I completely duffed my second and it only progressed about 75yds after doing a Sally Gunnell, however all was saved with my third which using my 65 degree wedge dropped and stopped about 2’ from the hole, no idea how that came about. Another large green that has been well cared for which was a joy to putt on even though it was only a short one.
Hole 5 – Par 4 – 375yds
With netting lining the righthand side protecting the houses it’s a simple tee shot to the green in the distance, a reasonable drive and the same for your second should leave you on or close to the green which like all the others are in great condition.
Hole 6 – Par 5 – 451yds
Returning back down alongside the 5th is the short par 5 with a slight dogleg right just short of the green, long drivers will easily get on the green in2 and even though my drives are only around 180-200yds and with a fair roll even I ended up just a few yards short of the green in two. Even though it is a short par 5 you still need to plan your shots as trees line all the way down the right hand side and around the large flat green.
Hole 7 – Par 4 - 345yds
Another simple looking hole, from the tee a reasonable straight drive is needed, as you can see in the photo trees/bushes line both sides for around the first 80yds. As long as you don’t stray into the trees you should be on the green in two and once again the greens are great to putt on.
Hole 8 – Par 5 – 475yds
Another shortish par5, Ideally your drive should be down the left of the fairway and not like me ending up on the right leaving the green blocked out by the large tree seen in the middle of the photo. Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to go over the tree I do have one shot that has got me out of many predicaments like this, using my 3 wood I hit a punch shot that only gets around 8ft off the ground but does roll a lot on landing and with todays hard ground meant the ball would roll even further than normal and as such I ended up just off the lefthand side of the green leaving a simple chip onto the large green but hate to say it I ended up 3 putting.
Hole 9 – Par 3 – 215yds
A long straight par3, fairway slopes right to left with the green built up on the left, ideally your drive down the right should give a good result, mine didn’t, aiming right I pulled it slightly left so the ball ended up going down the middle then rolling to the left leaving a uphill pitch of around 60 yds. Not being the best pitcher I did a couple of perfect practice swings but when actually hitting the ball I thinned it across the green but luck was on my side as the far side of the green is a steep bank that the ball raced up then gently rolled back down to the edge of the green.
Hole 10 – Par 4 – 389yds
As you can see from the photo if you haven’t played here before this is a drive into the unknown, looking from the tee it appears the fairway drops down to the right but in fact the green is down the left and behind the bushes on the left. Driving down the left just missing the bushes left me well down the fairway but due to the ground in the rough on the right of the fairway. Should you manage to be in a position to play to the green for your second a large green awaits but there are some large bunkers waiting for you around it.
Hole 11 – Par 4 – 329yds
Crossing the driveway that you came in on brings you to the 11th tee, another wide fairway awaits with the green awaiting for your approach shot, even though the fairway is wide enough to put a six lane motorway on I managed to put my drive down the right leaving a hack out before attempting the approach shot. There is a small ditch in front of the green but the green is large so as long as you don’t fly the green all should be good.
Hole 12 – Par 3 – 182yds
Standing on the tee looking at the green which is well above you will give you a clue as to what to expect for the rest of your round. I must point out it was at this point I realised my error in not getting a buggy on this boiling day also noted that those who were walking only played nine holes. Thinking I could reach the green with my 3 wood I ended up well short of the green leaving me in long rough which meant I ended up taking three just to get on the green. Once on the green like all the rest was reasonably flat and the ball ran true.
Hole 13 – Par 5 – 505yds
Walking through the trees upto this tee the heat was now starting to take effect so spent a few minutes in the shade trying to recover. From the tee the green is only around 250yds away but off to your right and over a farmers field, due to the trees down the right no one will be able to go for it. Driving uphill the majority of us will take two to get up there, from here the fairway does a large U turn to the right like a wall of death, I have never played a hole like this, at the time couldn’t make up my mind whether I liked this one or not but looking back would love to play it again but will use a buggy if I do. Once round the wall of death its only around 50yds to the green. From this point you are on the hill that overlooks Gloucester and when you are looking down you realise just how far you have climbed up on this course, but there is still more to come.
Hole 14 – Par 5 – 469yds
A wide fairway awaits your drive here, but I struggled to find the energy to swing the drive but somehow managed to find the middle of the fairway but some distance short to what I know I can do. Again this hole carries on up the hill and even though I had good contact with my 3 wood for my second only managed to progress 140yds up the fairway leaving a good 180yds to the green. Disappointingly but not surprisingly I ended up with a 8.
Hole 15 – Par 4 – 358yds
Walking off the 14th green I could see the 15th going downhill, at last I thought things are getting easier, no way, the tee was well up above me on the right. Eventually after lumbering my way up there I could look down at the wide fairway with the green in the distance. Normally I would have given it 110% as it looked as though even I could manage to get close to the green but feeling completely shattered a half slow swing was all I could manage but joy of joy’s the contact was good and the ball went gently sailing off straight too the green and as it was all downhill left me around 100yards to a large green with not much trouble at all around it. Now if I can manage a par feeling the way I did I’m sure there’s many of you who will easily birdie it.
Hole 16 – Par 3 – 120yds
A square green with a dry moat to the sides and front is the only way to describe this hole as you can see in the picture, bunker to the front and bunkers to the rear but as the green is large and it’s not to long this was one par 3 that I enjoyed playing even though the tee shot went just off the left hand side. The other most enjoyable thing for this hole was the fact I didn’t have to walk up a hill.
Hole 17 – Par 4 – 263yds
Having recuperated a little this hole was begging for the driver, a wide fairway with a brook running all the way down the left then turning left to the green. As you can see in the photo nothing to worry about from the tee but the bunker in the distance shouldn’t come into play, or so I thought, hitting a straight drive I luckily just missed the left of this bunker. From the bunker it is around 100yds to the green and the line I was on took the brook out of play but if you are still on the fairway it may well be a different story.
Hole 18 – Par 4 – 384yds
Once again from the 17th green it is around a 120yds hike uphill to the 18th tee but once there the view is one to take in and for me on this day I took a 10 minute break. Being a high handicapper I can now brag that my drive on a 380yd par 4 made the green in one and only with a 3 wood (Rory eat your heart out). Thanks to a rock hard undulating fairway and the fairway going steeply downhill helped, coupled with one of my better 3 wood drives I finished just on the left hand side of the green. Should you overhit the green there is long rough waiting and at the best a near impossible shot to the large flat green should you manage to find your ball.