Cheltenham Town Golf Club was formed in 1902, changing its name two years later to Cotswold Hills Golf Club. The club played on the public Cleeve Hill course up until the start of the 1970s, when a decision was made to relocate to a new 157-acre site on the other side of Cheltenham.
Designed by club member Morris Little, the layout at Ullenwood opened for play in May 1976. The course extends to just under 6,900 yards from the back tees, playing to a par of 72, and holes are arranged as two returning nines, each of which is configured with two par threes and two par fives.
Feature holes include the shortest of the four par threes at the 159-yard 9th (which plays to a two-tiered green), the short par four 12th (doglegging slightly right to a sand-protected green), and the signature par five 16th which, at 597 yards from the tips, rarely offers a birdie chance.
The club was honoured to host the English Ladies Amateur Championship in 1981, only five years after the course was first brought into play.
My second visit to this course and it was as good as I remembered it being. A fantastic welcome from a very friendly team in the pro shop who clearly know and get on with their members.
After a couple of "straight holes" the 3rd is a real test of golf. A long par 4 off the back tees, with an uphill stretch to a narrow green with great big run off areas to the left and well protected by bunkers front right and left.
A lovely par 3 follows and then to the long par 5 stroke index one that is a real test protected by trees, bunkers and a narrow green.
My personal favourites are the par 3, 9th hole back to the clubhouse and par 3 11th downhill to a big but very well protected green DO NOT go long, you will regret it!!
As other reviewers say, just one hole that is "odd" with a tree to defeat anyone trying to play in with a draw. A fade is great, but can I play one to order. Mmmmm?
Others comment on the par 5 16th. I thought this was a great hole. We played it off the blue tees and at 633 yards into the wind it was a true test, with bunkers ready to catch over adventurous attempts with your first and second shots.
The other thing I loved was the bar staff. The bar manager (Tom??) and catering manager (Janet, I think) were amazing. Such friendly folk who made us feel very welcome and clearly loved by the members.
I will definitely be back to play it again!
Last played Cotswold Hills in October 2018. A good welcome and good facilities, with range and delightful external balconies/seating areas. Course was in good condition (including the greens) and the surrounding countryside is very nice, although there is some road noise. The course itself is fairly undulating but fairly open so plenty of room for those golfers who like to open their shoulders; I would say driving areas are fairly generous with the fairway slopes being the main concern. I had only played Cotswold Hills a couple of times before and I always think the course has much promise but never quite delivers and I'm not too sure why. I quite like a lot of the holes (not sure I have a favourite, but maybe 10 with the second shot having to be threaded through the trees to the green) but conversely I find a good number of holes bland (for example the long 598 yards 16th) There is also one hole I have always disliked, the 15th a par 3 with a big tree located right in line of a tee shot for anyone playing with a touch of draw .. just don't get this design !. So overall, worth a visit, but for me lacking a bit of something.