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Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club Course Review
GF £36 Mon-Fri, £40 Weekend
Par 68, 5,809 yards
GM Verdict A delightfully located and great-value course with plenty of variety and terrific views
Favourite Hole The par-4 5th, Ledge, played along the ridge to a beautifully-sited green cut into the hillside
Stinchcombe Hill is a friendly club situated in a delightfully rural location midway between Bristol and Gloucester. Its lovely course is probably best described as downland, and it sits way up high up at 700 feet above the Severn Valley. As a consequence, there are far-reaching views down over the river and across into Wales.
The original course was almost lost in WW1, and you now play over a design that involved input first from Hawtree and JH Taylor, and subsequently the ubiquitous James Braid. It is now one of the best golf courses in Gloucestershire.
The Front Nine
The round here begins with a gentle par 4 which takes you to the edge of the ridge, which you then follow for the next 5 holes. With each in excess of 400 yards, then depending on the wind, the next two holes are a far tougher proposition.
The 3rd is actually stroke index one, but the challenge doesn’t ease just yet as the 4th is the opening short hole and is over 200 yards, usually into the breeze.
As you play the holes along the ridge, it is easy to be distracted by the views away to your left, over the valley, across the river and as far as Wales.
The 5th is the first of back-to-back signature holes, a lovely par four played along the level before a slight rise to a green cut into the slope. Anything short or left is going to be in trouble.
This is followed by a lovely par 3, appropriately named Risky Ridge, played right along the edge of the hill and up to an elevated and well-bunkered green.
The next two, both par 4s, head in and then back out to the edge of the hill again, before the third short hole at the 9th which is played from an elevated tee offering far-reaching views behind the green.
The Back Nine
The back nine opens with a very strong par 4, albeit usually wind-assisted, before the shortest hole on the course at eleven.
Two mid-length par 4s punctuated by another long one at the 13th come next, and you make your final turn for home at the short 15th.
The 16th is an attractive drive-and-pitch par 4 which is all about the approach and where the wind may well have an effect that is difficult to anticipate from back in the fairway.
You finish with the only par 5 on the course, often into the breeze and with a tricky cross-bunker lurking in the lay-up area.
With two very memorable holes at five and six as well as plenty of interest elsewhere, the course at Stinchcombe Hill Golf Club (opens in new tab) is well worth seeking out. The green fee is modest, there is a relaxed and friendly welcome in the clubhouse, and even if your game is not behaving, the views over and away from the course will more than compensate.
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 email@example.com.
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