Tadmarton Heath - Oxfordshire - England

Tadmarton Heath Golf Club,
OX15 5HL,

  • +44 (0) 1608 737278

  • Golf Club Website

  • 26 miles N of Oxford

  • By prior arrangement, handicap certificate required

Tadmarton Heath Golf Club is a pretty little course sited close to the small market town of Banbury and its charming old Cotswold stone clubhouse (converted from a farmhouse) is very much in keeping with its rustic surroundings. You could say that it’s a course for the connoisseur who appreciates traditional golfing challenges.

According to Frank Pennink's Choice of Golf Courses: "One of the most delightful of the smaller, more remote clubs to be found anywhere in England – moreover, situated in an area sparsely provided with golf courses. It is one of the favourite courses of Roger Wethered, who used to return to it year after year when the Oxford University Divots played against the club – an outing which they enjoyed as much as any, as I can vouch."

Donald Steel is also an admirer of the course, opining that “it has what may conveniently be described as a split personality, the first nine holes being fairly open and the second nine possessing a characteristic commonly associated with heathland golf – a profusion of gorse which makes some of the fairways alarmingly narrow.”

With only one par five – the 484-yard 5th – on the scorecard, Tadmarton Heath’s 6,043-yard length may be short by modern standards but discerning golfers know only too well what a delightful 18-hole layout it is to play.

The 139-yard 7th is probably the pick of the four par three holes here, with the tee shot played across Holy Well on its way to the green. The short par four 15th is another interesting hole on the inward half but visitors should take note that both nines end with lengthy two-shotters that might just catch them unawares.

In 2013, as the club nears its centenary in 2022, Ken Moodie was commissioned as part of a 5-year plan to oversee a renovation programme, which included the remodelling of all 69 bunkers and the rebuilding of greens – the project completed in early 2018. The club is now concentrating on restoring the layout's heathland characteristics by removing trees, managing gorse and introducing finer grasses.

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Description: Tadmarton Heath Golf Club is a pretty little course sited close to the small market town of Banbury and its charming old Cotswold stone clubhouse is very much in keeping with its rustic surroundings. Rating: 4.7 out of 10 Reviews: 3
David Baxter

After a pleasant drive into the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside, Tadmarton Heath just oozes traditional golfing charm with it's stone buildings and setting. Delightful views from the carpark and range greet you, although sadly very few views from the course itself. The course was in reasonable condition although the greens were on the slow side, but playing in October one can only imagine that the gorse in full bloom would be quite a picture as it lines many of the fairways and green surrounds. I thought the course started promisingly enough with 2-4 nice holes and the only par 5 at the 5th and a nice looking short par 3 at 7. Thereafter I'm not sure the course built on it's early promise, not helped by close incidence of tees and greens on the back nine which did slow play down; the par 3 greens at 10 and 16 sat next to each other was unusual. Not a long course but it did have some long par 4's including at 9 and 18, neither of which stirred the juices. My favourite hole was the 14th, a dog-leg par 4 of around 375 yards requiring an accurate tee shot and a well struck second; a real nice looking hole that would fit beautifully into the red course at Frilford. Overall by the end of the round I was left a bit undecided on how much I enjoyed the course and think I'd like to return when the gorse is in full bloom for a second go.

October 07, 2017
4 / 10
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Ed Battye

Situated a short drive from the town of Banbury this delightful fast running course was a joy to play in mid-May when the plentiful gorse was in full canary-yellow bloom.

The Club itself is delectable with the olde-worlde buildings comprising of a pro-shop, changing rooms, clubhouse and offices. The courtyard layout creates a lovely atmosphere as you arrive at the club.

At less than 6,000 yards this is not a long golf course but is unlikely to be overpowered. There are times when you are able to open your shoulders but for the majority of the time accuracy from the tee is the most important element, especially on the much tighter (and better) back nine.

If I had to pick a favourite hole on the course it would be the short 10th. It is played over a mass of heather, gorse and sand with a really sneaky green. It sums up the best of Tadmarton Heath in its 114 yards; fun, tricky and gloriously beautiful.

Admittedly I wouldn’t want to play all my golf at Tadmarton but I thoroughly enjoyed a round here and would return because it’s such a lovely place to play.

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

February 26, 2017
4 / 10
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Carl Tushingham
This is a lovely traditional course that eases you gently in to your round with two short 4's and a par 3, take advantage of these as it toughens up, particularly on the back 9. The 7th is the pick of a great collection of par 3's, and the 6th is the pick of the short par 4's with a huge bunker to the right of the green, stay out of there at all costs. A low score is there for the taking on this course, but don't underestimate the challenge of the tight gorse lined back 9!! If you like traditional golf, play here you won't be disappointed. You always find the course in excellent condition.
May 17, 2011
6 / 10
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December 12, 2012
THGC is one of my favourite golf courses anywhere. The course might not be long on the card, partly due to the very short length of some of the par-3's, but you need to treat it with respect for it's a well designed heathland cracker with lots of gorse, especially on the back-9. It always seems to be in splendid condition with speedy greens, many of which have wicked contours that are not apparent from the fairway (eg the 2nd, 8th, 9th). As the round progresses so the course becomes more challenging - you'd better make your score on the first 8 holes because after that its hang-on time. There are many notable holes including the 6th with a head high sleeper faced bunker in front of the green, the tiny par-3 7th (stroke index 7) with it's OB surrounded minuscule size green, the long par-4 9th wheere laying up in two is better than being brave, the 110 yd par-3 10th where all you can see from the tee is gorse and the fluttering top of a flagstick. The 11th has an evil green, the 12th has a blind drive, the 13th and 14th are not to be underestimated and then you come to the 15th, only about 290 yds but like the 10th, all you can see from the tee is gorse everywhere and a fluttering flag tucked behind a bunker in the far distance. It's narrow, very narrow. Think you've missed the fairway? Hit a provisional, maybe even two provisionals. The 16th is a nice par-3 and then it's the 17th, a mid-length dog-leg right par-4 with gorse on both sides of the narrow fairway. It's a fiendish lay-up off the tee but just how much do you bite off and will you even find your tee-ball if you're overly ambitious? To finish is the tree and gorse lined longer par-4 18th with a green that runs away from you. Because of it's length there is potentially a really good score to be made at Tadmarton, potentially that is, for if you're on your game and your course management is good you can score very well, but if you get cleaver or overly ambitious or hit a few offline, especially on the last 10 holes, then beware as the course will bite you and bite you again and again and you'll walk off the 18th feeling really, really frustrated. I have, several times! Oh, one other thing, the clubhouse is a wonderful old farmhouse with antique furniture in the 'posh' lounge. Lovely food as well, served through a wide hatch. Treat yourself here as the cakes, fruit pies etc are wonderful yummy. Tadmarton is terrific, I cannot recommend it highly enough.