By Rob Smith published
Paultons Golf Centre Course Review
GF £30-£35wd, £40-£45we
Par 71, 6,238 yards
GM Verdict An entertaining and pretty course at a well-equipped and welcoming facility
Favourite Hole The short 15th which calls for an aerial approach over a very attractive lily pond
Paultons Golf Centre in Hampshire is a modern, informal, friendly and welcoming golf development that features a full-length par-71 course, a 6-hole par-3 academy course, a state-of-the-art driving range and more. Just minutes from the M27, it is situated in attractive parkland that was laid out in the 1770s by Capability Brown.
The course opens with a gentle par 4, slightly left-to-right, and then a 536-yard three-shotter where big-hitters will have hopes of getting home in two as it follows the prevailing breeze.
Through the trees, you come to the first par 3, a mid-iron to a receptive green. This is followed by two strong par 4s at 4 and 5, separated by a lake that ought not to come into play, but which frequently does! Back through the trees, and the next three holes run parallel to the well-screened theme park that borders to the south.
The 7th is the longest hole on the course from the back tee with its only bunker beckoning to you from the tee on the right. Up by the green, you will see the short 8th and then the Academy course beyond. The front nine concludes with another par 5, up the slope to the clubhouse.
Suitably refreshed, the back nine opens with an almost 90-degree right-to-left par 4 where it pays to be as close to the trees as possible as this dramatically shortens your approach.
It’s easy to be blocked out on the right at the 11th, while too far that side and you encounter out-of-bounds. The 12th is a tiny par 3 to a sloping green in the trees, while the next two - the final par 5 and a strong par 4 - are tree-lined meaning that positioning from the tee is vital.
Most will probably think of the final par 3 as the signature hole; a scenic flight of 161 yards where it looks as though there is water everywhere but where happily there is some safety short of the green.
The 16th and 17th are two very strong par 4s that will keep you on your toes almost to the end of the round, while the closing hole may be drivable by some but has a deep bunker crossing at the front. This attractive course is generally lightly bunkered, but it calls for a strategic approach and so is capable of challenging the better golfer while still welcoming the higher handicapper.
The 18-bay driving range is fitted with the latest equipment, there are plenty of teaching options, and the clubhouse is informal and relaxing. The centre is family-focussed and unfussy, and the reasonable green fee is reduced by 50% for juniors. Not far away and under the same ownership, the Bell Inn at Bramshaw is an excellent place to stay. There, Bramshaw Golf Club has two very enjoyable and contrasting courses, the Manor Course and the Forest Course.
Hampshire has many very enjoyable and attractive courses, and Paultons Golf Centre has all the ingredients for a well-priced, welcoming and enjoyable day out for golfers of all standards.
Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played well over 1,100 courses in almost 50 countries. Since travel restarted in May 2021, he has played around 80 different courses, more than 40 for the first time. This includes 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of his main roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but 10. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org