Many people go to Castle Combe for the motor sport. It’s one of the longest established circuits in the UK where, in 1950, a young Stirling Moss won the 2.5 litre race. But the 13th century village of Castle Combe is something entirely different and light years away in feel and pace to the race circuit. The village is simply gorgeous and undoubtedly one of the prettiest, most beautiful in England. In fact, it was recently voted the most picturesque village by English Heritage Magazine.
Situated on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, the Manor House Hotel and Golf Club is set magnificently in 365 acres of rolling countryside. The course is a relative youngster, opening for play in 1992 and Peter Alliss and Clive Clark designed it. The maturity of the setting makes the course seem much older, where stately oak and beech trees line the magnificent fairways. Alliss and Clark made the most of the undulating terrain and they’ve fitted the course into its surroundings like a silk glove. The River Bybrook punctuates the layout bringing its share of beauty and drama, especially at “Burton Brook” the 17th, one of the best and most exciting par threes you’ll find anywhere.
Today’s Manor House course stretches out to around 6,500 yards. It’s no championship layout but it will provide an enjoyable test for most golfers and real challenge from the tiger tees.
We’ve already mentioned one par three, but there are four other excellent one-shot holes on this unusual but dramatic par 72 layout. With five modest length par fives, birdie opportunities are there for the taking. The par five 3rd, called “Doolittle”, is perhaps the exception. This is the stoke index one and it’s a corker, where the land tumbles downhill and a valley requires negotiation before the sanctuary of the green is reached. The 7th, another par five, is a strategic test with its curving doglegged shape, which is further defined by an avenue of trees.
Just like the village of Castle Combe, the closing hole is one of the prettiest finishes in England. The green on this par four is guarded jealousy by numerous bunkers and a series of interconnecting ponds. A par here will be a fitting end to one of the most enjoyable and exciting rounds of golf you’re likely to experience in the whole of the British Isles.
I returned to the Manor House last week after a six-year gap and thoroughly enjoyed the round in breezy but dry conditions. We took a buggy as my playing partner was nursing a leg injury and can confirm that the rule is still to keep buggies on the paths despite the dry weather. I’m not a lover of buggies, less so when they have to be kept on the paths, but I certainly wasn’t complaining when we were whizzing along, making short work of the very long walks between some greens and tees. For me, the routing is the biggest issue at the Manor; the course itself is varied and at times very exciting. One or two holes could at best be described as barely average but the majority are decent golf holes. It’s the routing that lets it down and will always prevent the course from being top class in my opinion. The course was in excellent shape and the greens were running at a slippery 10.5 on the stimp according the guys in the pro shop. These were some of the slipperiest greens I’ve played on this year, so well done to the green keepers. Service, as has already been mentioned in reviews below, is exceptional and this improves the overall experience. The Manor House is an above average golf course at a facility where the service is excellent and this is a great mix for a short break and one that I’ve enjoyed.
The Manor House Golf Course is simply Stunning. Myself and a ground of friends went on a very good deal to stay at the new Waterful lodge which is superbly placed next to the 18th green. The course was just magical with my favourite being the 17th (Par 3). The guys in the pro shop were extremely helpful and i definatl recomend a bite to eat in the woodbury restaurant. Cant wait to go back!
I visited the Manor House Golf club with a few of my friends and we were welcomed by the most friendly staff. They looked after us for the duration of the day and every request was met with a smile. The Course itself was truly beautiful but challenging. If you do go to this wonderful club house i would definitely recommend having a bite to eat in the Woodbury, the food here is delicious and the service is fantastic! I will definitely be returning in the near future.
This is one special venue...Played it a couple of years ago and loved it then...but after recent visit felt compelled to share with the rest of the golfing world. Stunning holes, stunning views and in amazing condition...undoubtably the best golf course in the West/South West. No wonder they have a membership waiting list!