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 was 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.
In 2016 the club added a James Edwards-designed par three course, becoming Wiltshire's only 45-hole golf facility.
Pleasantly surprised by Cumberwell Park when we teed it up here last Friday. It’s a popular facility that was bustling even at 7 am and was positively kicking at 3 pm when we got tangled up in a wedding party.
There are definite similarities between Bowood and Cumberwell and I’d contest that there’s not much to choose between the two. In fact I’d say the one-shot holes on the Red and Yellow loops are stronger than what’s on offer at Bowood.
Adrian Stiff has a number of West Country layouts in his portfolio. By a whisker, this is my favourite, although the Blue and Orange loops are hardly inferior – actually the Blue and Orange course is perhaps more dramatic and it’s a glaring omission from our current Wiltshire Best in County rankings.
I’m not a big fan of some design traits from the 1990s where lateral mounding flanks the fairways – a few holes on the Red and Yellow course feature these rather unnatural humps. But apart from that minor gripe, there’s not a lot not to like. The greensites are well done and the bunkering, while not exceptional, is good enough… I liked the shaggy look on the top side of the traps down #15 for example.
I’ve yet to play a course in Wiltshire which has really got my golfing juices flowing (Tidworth Garrison in part came closest) but if you’re looking for a solid 36-hole golfing outing, then Cumberwell should tick enough boxes to keep most golfers happy all day long.
Red and yellow are the best although i like blue too ....and orange has two great par fives. Only played these 4 x 9's not any of the other courses.
On the positive there are some very good golf holes at this large multi course golf venue and in good condition.
Less keen on the fact that there are not just simply two established 18 hole courses to choose from as both times I have visited there has been there to play the main 36 confusion over which permutation of which nines I have been playing. Obviously this set up maximises capacity. On a plus for the members this gives them flexabilty although I am suspicious of how well this fixed 2 hours per nine holes system actually works from my brief experience although I have ben lucky playing one my own when the course was quiet so didnt have any delays ?
The par 3 course looks interesting too.
Overall, a resort definitely well worth a visit.
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.
Since the last review noted in 2005, Cumberwell Park has basically become probably the best "new" course for many many miles. At the moment, it has 27 holes, the latest nine being a superb undulating layout with no two holes being the same, but work is afoot on yet another nine that will thence make it one of the the best 36 holers in the West. On top of the superb course, the owners have very sensibly kept their feet on the ground and despite having an enormous and very attractive local stone clubhouse, they have kept the prices to a very re-alistic leval. Given a few years, I would imagine that this club could be worthy of a shout for the top 100 - the course, the ambiance, the welcome, all combine to make it a very enjoyable visit