Tidworth Garrison sounds like an old-style army barracks, but instead is the unusual name for a delightful place to play golf. Tidworth still houses part of the reduced British Armed Forces, and seems strangely separated from the rest of the England, situated as it is on the eastern edge of the vast Salisbury Plain.
Tidworth Garrison was built for Army Officers back in 1907, but years of peacetime means it is now the place where locals come to play. It is a well maintained golf course with excellent greens, only slightly let down by stony bankers, where placing of the ball would seem essential. The sloping site, tree-lined fairways and glorious views can best be described as ‘downland splendour’.
Harry Colt worked his magic on the par 3s which are protected by bunkers and fast undulating greens where for the average golfer it is difficult to pitch on and stay on, and yet playing short causes different problems. The two par 5s and most of the par 4s are good, the longer two at 4 and 12 presenting doughty yet interesting challenges. I also enjoyed the two par 4s at 8 and 9, the first an exciting downhill drive and the second back uphill to a raised green.
My main adverse comment relates to the layout. In my view, the long downhill 14th which finishes in front of the clubhouse would make an ideal finishing hole. Instead of this, the golfer is then subjected to a 500 yard trek around the clubhouse and through the car park to reach the 15th tee and a slightly low-key ending to the round. There must be reasons for this, but to a first-time player at Tidworth Garrison, it makes the course feel disjointed. The obvious answer would be for the course to start at the 15th, play through to 18, and then continue from the current 1st hole. If any member or official of the Club reads this Report, an explanation would be much appreciated.
Despite the above, all golfers will enjoy a great day out on this tranquil and beautiful golf course, and surely, like us, look forward to returning.
Date: June 15, 2021