Painswick - Gloucestershire - England

Painswick Golf Club,
Golf Course Road,
Painswick,
Gloucestershire,
GL6 6TL,
England


  • +44 (0)1452 812180

  • Golf Club Website

  • 5 miles SE of Gloucester

  • Welcome except on Sunday - contact in advance

  • Ann Smith

  • David Brown

  • None

Painswick sits atop Painswick Beacon and offers lovely views up and down the Cotswold escarpment. The course is on Trust land and as such the club must adhere to maintenance restrictions. Consequently, the player will not find a well-conditioned course. However, conditioning is not the reason why golfers should want to play Painswick. People should seek out Painswick purely for the joy of the game. 

Numbers don’t really describe Painswick very well, but I will offer them in the hope that any prospective visitor will be intrigued. The course measures less than 5,000 yards with a par of 67. Don’t let these numbers deceive you because Painswick epitomizes what golf is all about. A straightforward, most natural course in a terrific setting. The club is modest and welcoming. The fees are affordable.

Humps, hollows and hills abound. Painswick is much more akin to links than to parkland. In fact, I don’t know of a links which can match Painswick for outrageousness. There are several holes which can only be described as extreme, but they are generally all the better for it. There are no bunkers except the one near the practice green. The 17th has the forward markers one yard longer than the back markers. Among the several blind shots there are few into and out of a 3000-year-old hill fort. There are seven par 3s. There is a stretch of six straight holes without a two shotter amongst them. The 10th sports the smallest green I have ever seen and it is blind by the way. 

In short Painswick is quirky. If you are looking for some insight into how the game was played a century or so ago look no further. The turf isn’t brilliant and there are a few severe walks with dog walkers and folks in jeans are plentiful. But I promise you that a game at Painswick will not be forgotten. To stand on the 6th tee, take in the views and hit that shot is an experience not to be missed.

Painswick was nominated as a GEM by Sean Arble and Sean composed the above article.

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Reviews for Painswick

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Painswick is a unique course which pitches and rolls across an undulating Cotswold escarpment. It looks and feels just like a seaside links. Rating: 3.1428571428571 out of 6

On a recent drive from West Yorkshire to South Wales we decided to jump off the M5 and play a quick round at the highly unusual Painswick Golf Club. It proved to be one of the best decisions we’ve made.

With so many ordinary courses in the UK, serving up a full house of relatively mundane holes, Painswick should be applauded for the moments of brilliance and uniqueness that it shows during its 18.

It’s such an exciting course to play although perhaps not a great one for trying to keep a score on! At just 4,831 yards and with so many apparent birdie opportunities (on the scorecard at least) shooting a good total round here should be a doddle. This is certainly not the case and we quickly forgot about our tally and just enjoyed the course for what it is; sheer fun. The best example is perhaps the opening hole; the hardest 220 yard par four you will ever play. And, yes, that did say 220!

Admittedly, the course is fairly run of the mill for some holes, however, it still manages to engage the golfer with interesting green sites and various undulations in one form or another as it plays along a narrow ridge. So cramped in fact that several holes have a shared fairway on what is essentially an ‘out & back’ layout.

There are a number of varied short par fours during the round, seven all told, and a delightful par three towards the end with a green set deep in an amphitheatre of trees. Other things such as the cavernous grassy hollow on the first, the green location at the 4th, the excellently contoured putting surface of the 13th and the unusual drive at the 16th are all highlights on the course too.

However, these are not the moments why I will remember Painswick with great fondness. The real reason is for the run of holes between the 5th and the 11th where you play up to and then on top of a beacon that this section of the course is laid out over. Here you will discover four, arguably five holes, which are nothing short of sensational. Not necessarily great holes, with the exception of one, but they present challenges to the golfer that you will not easily find elsewhere.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

March 01, 2017


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As per the other reviews; quirky, an experience, shared fairways, views, cheap green fees, mats (played in february), lots of walkers, dogs, blind shots, etc. This was the second time I have played Painswick and to be honest I did not enjoy it as much as first time. Best holes for me were the 6th (par 3) and 2nd, but thought the blind uphill holes 5 and 10 were really poor par 3's. DB
March 01, 2013


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You don't play painswick for championship quality fairways or perfectly manicured greens - you play it because it is a golfing experience.
September 26, 2012


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If you are playing golf in the Cotswolds you will already have planned to play at Broadway, Lilley Brook, Cotswold Hills and both the courses at Minchinhampton New, but please, please, please do not miss out on Painswick, it has to be played twice, once, to know where you are going second time around, then you will enjoy all that is Great about Golf. You, club, ball, hole, now enjoy 7 great par 3's, 2 excellant par 5's and some of the craziest par 4's you will ever play, take the first hole, 224 yards par 4, you will be kicking yourself when you walk off here with a bogey, 3rd hole 280 par 4, driveable with a solid 3 iron , all downhill, mind the quarry, oh!, and don't go long left, if you do, and you can see your ball have the decency to complete the hole with the ball you teed off with, there's a good golfer. 4th, great looking hole , not out of place at Formby. Now then, the 5th, only 105 yards, makes the 17th at Sawgrass look like a cuddly little kitten (watch out for little boys running down to the green and putting all the balls in the hole, (sorry members in the mid 70's). 6th hole, 206 yards par 3, you could just pick this hole up and put it on any Open Championship course. 10th hole, the toughest 140 yards in all of golf when it's into the wind, bar none. 11th 257 yards, is the sort of hole which would give top Pro's nightmares if they wanted a birdie. 12th 250 par 3, don't go long. 14th, don't top it. 15th 160 par 3, you could put this hole at Sunningdale and nobody would know the difference. Another downhill 280 yarder, but you will work hard for your par. 18th, great par 3 to finish, with all your mates taking the mick from the balcony. Don't miss it, you will talk about it for the rest of your golfing days. If anybody writes a bad review about this Club, it is because they like to play 7,400 yard courses with a buggy in 5 1/2 hours and pay £150 for the experience. Or, you could pay around £20 and play 36 holes in the same time, with a small sandwich break in between, and have what is must play golfing time of your life, views to die for and many, many memorable golf shots, Good Luck.  
May 11, 2010


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First of all I should say that I did shoot over my handicap (12) at this track so I have to show it some respect. The plus points were the fantastic views of the surrounding Cotswold landscape making the short strolls from green to tee rather pleasant and the friendly members. However, there were a large number of negatives in my opinion: 90% of holes had no hole number on the tee. 12 holes cross each other/have shared fairways - I'm glad it was quiet. 55% of the par 4s are <300 yards of the back tee. I'd vote that this course doesn't go on this website, I've played other gems and really enjoyed them e.g. Lisburn GC on a recent trip to Ireland.
May 13, 2009


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A group of us played this based on a recommendation from a friend. I'm afraid I completely disagree that this course is a gem. The course plays off matts all year, they are not particularly good matts at that, very difficult to get your tee at the right height. The greens were also very slow and bumpy for the time of year. The one thing that bothered me above all else was the number of walkers on the course. The course has hundreds of footpaths and bridleways running across it which means that on most tees you're waiting for someone to walk, cycle or ride across. The dogs sniffing around your feet are also annoying. this got frustrating by the third hole.On the plus side, the members are very friendly and obviously very proud of their course and the course itself is different. It's very old fashioned, no fairways so to speak but shared pieces of land which you play over many times during the round. Best described as a very interesting undulating piece of lands with 18 tees and greens scattered around.
March 27, 2009


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Response
Sean Arble
January 14, 2010
I cannot refute anything you write except your belief that Painswick should not be included among the Gems of this site. It is a distressing indictment of modern golfer ideals when a course such as Painswick is not accepted for what it is; a completely natural course with very low maintenance costs (and green fees!) draped over the landscape in such a way to include an incredible number of memorable shots. If anything, Painswick should be embraced and celebrated if only for offering the rare glimpse into the past to remind us of how simple the game of golf can be.
Raindog
September 03, 2014
Whatever you think of Painswick, if you're with friends you will have great fun. Love the fact that there is a practice bunker by the clubhouse, and yet not one single bunker on the course - LMAO.. as you youngsters say today.
Simon Overthrow
April 03, 2017

The course plays off matts from October-March ! Then from April -September off the GRASS tees !

A great gem nomination. Played it 2 years ago and loved every minute of it. It is quirky beyond belief but not to the golfers frustration. Yes there are totally blind shots, including a par 3 over a huge mound where you can really only hit and hope over the marker post but the bounces are generally fair. Some great par 3's, driveable par 4's, shared fairways, great views - and great greens when I played it. The views are stunning and whilst you'll never put this top of your list you should feel all the better for having experienced it as there really is nothing else like it.
September 05, 2006


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