Bath Golf Club Course Review

Enjoying a peaceful hilltop location, Bath Golf Club pleases greatly with its pastoral, Harry Colt design

Bath Golf Club - Hole 17
The seventeenth follows the curve of a drystone wall and is protected by pronounced humps and bumps
(Image credit: Bath Golf Club)

Bath Golf Club Course Review
GF
Round: £50 Sun-Fri, £60 Sat
Par 71, 6,464 yards
Slope 122
GM Verdict An attractive parkland/downland hybrid peacefully located high in the hills above the historic city
Favourite Hole The drive-and-pitch par-4 17th played alongside a drystone wall and over a collection of dips that will gather anything short

Bath Golf Club was once actually Bath & Kingsdown, but the two split in 1890 with the latter remaining at its own fine course three miles further east and Bath developing its site closer to the city. Bath’s excellent course at Sham Castle typifies the term hidden gem as it is unassuming, largely unheralded and comparatively little-known. It is a friendly club with a charming course that is great fun from your initial blows up the hill to the welcoming descent back down the 18th to the clubhouse. Located just outside the historic city, high up on Bathampton Down, there are panoramic views down over Bath and across the Avon Valley.

Bath Golf Club - Hole 2

Looking back from behind the second green

(Image credit: Bath Golf Club)

The course has benefited from the design genius of Tom Dunn, JH Taylor, James Braid and most significantly Harry Colt. It is one of strength in depth with typically interesting Colt signature features such as visual deceptions and subtly contoured greens. It opens with a pair of short par 4s to ease you into the round.

Batch Golf Club - Hole 5

The fifth green looks down over the valley and to Bannerdown Common

(Image credit: Bath Golf Club)

The 3rd is a lovely right-to-left two-shotter along the side of the hill, and this is followed by the first of just three short holes. The 5th is a super-tough par 4, maximum distance and with rewarding views once you reach the green.

Bath Golf Club - Hole 14

It’s all carry over an old quarry at the par-3 fourteenth

(Image credit: Bath Golf Club)

The next two return you to close by the opening green at which point you head up onto the top of the downs. Up on more level ground, the 9th, 10th, 12th and 13th are all strong par 4s, and they lead you to the most unusual hole on the course, the short 14th. Just 150 yards from the back tee, you play over an ancient quarry and slightly uphill to a deceptively elusive green protected by sand.

Batch Golf Club - Hole 15

A trio of bunkers protect the approach to the second of just two par 5s at the fifteenth hole

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

You now head for home from the 15th, a three-shotter that eases you gently round to the left.

Bath Golf Club - Hole 16

Precision is required at the entrance to the sixteenth green

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The 16th is a par 4 that is all about the approach as the green is protected by overhanging trees and a bunker either side.

Bath Golf Club - Hole 18

The final green with the welcoming clubhouse waiting just below

(Image credit: Bath Golf Club)

The penultimate hole is a short dog-leg to the right that has a beautifully maintained drystone wall marking the boundary of the course. This also acts as a very strong magnet to many golfers. The closing hole works gently back down the slope and plays a little shorter than its yardage.

The peaceful setting at Bath Golf Club (opens in new tab) helps it to be among the best golf courses in Somerset. It is a lovely place for a tranquil, away-from-it-all game. It also offers fine value and is a hidden gem that deserves to be revealed.

Rob Smith
Rob Smith

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played 1,150 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions last year, he still managed to play 80 different courses during 2021, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.