Chris and Adrian James established the Cumberwell Park Golf Club after they decided to convert their former farmland into a golf course during the boom times of the heady early 1990s. They commissioned a little-known West Country architect called Adrian Stiff to design Cumberwell Park and it’s one of his earliest and finest creations.
The course opened for play in 1994 and it’s routed over undulating ground that includes a number of manmade lakes and natural ponds while skirting around more than 30 acres of ancient woodland.
A further nine holes were added in 1999 and a final nine were added in 2007. All four nine hole loops at Cumberwell Park return to the comfortable clubhouse which was built in the style of a traditional Wiltshire barn.
The original Cumberwell Park course comprises of the Red and Yellow nines while the newer loops are known as the Blue and the Orange.
Having read the reviews of Cumberwell Park on this website I though I'd take the opportunity to play it during this mild dry February period. Facilities include a driving range, good practice facilities, a par 3 course and a nice looking clubhouse overlooking 4 loops of 9 holes which all seem to finish back at the clubhouse. We played the Red and Yellow nines which both seemed to go down from the clubhouse, then have a few flatter holes at the bottom and then work their way up to the clubhouse again. There were some pleasant countryside views, although there was some road noise on the holes up by the clubhouse. Course condition was pretty good for the time of year, although I would guess by the amount of land drains it may get fairly wet in places; greens were reasonable although a tad slow and I was generally impressed with the general upkeep (no scruffy bunkers here !). The course is very much the modern style of the 1990's (obvious similarities to The Players), with noticeably large greens and bunkers and very generous fairways. Infact fairways were so wide it is difficult to think of any interesting/difficult driving holes; the fairway on the par 5 12th was so wide you may as well be on the range, and on the short 283 yard par 4 17th the fairway was about 50 yards wide ! I found the course fairly mundane and not too many holes grabbed my attention, but the short 3rd and 16th holes were both goodlooking downhill holes over ponds, the 8th stroke index 1 was a good par 4 at around 400 yards with a kink in the fairway and ditch and tall trees to negotiate, and the par 4 14th was nice looking with a picturesque lake surrounded by colourful dogwood (so I'm told !). I didn't think the course was as good as Tidworth in the Wiltshire rankings and for me the good quality greenkeeping was it's saving grace. In all honesty I do not see how can Cumberwell can be worth a five ball rating. I know ratings are personal but there has to be some realism and Cumberwell just cannot possibly have the same merit as for example courses such as West Hill, Beau Desert, Twenty Ten, and Little Aston to name a few, and surely it is not as good as the similar style Bowood or The Buckinghamshire for example.