Not far from Stonehenge, the course at Tidworth Garrison is another fine and quite different Harry Colt creation…
Tidworth Garrison Course Review
Situated right next door to the military camp of the same name, the club at Tidworth Garrison was founded in 1908. Its lovely and quite varied course was designed by Harry Colt, the man responsible for many courses in the Golf Monthly Top 100 and Next 100, who had it in mind to keep it as natural and undeveloped as possible. As a result, it is not heavily bunkered and looks pretty much as it would have done at that time.
The first few holes head up the hill and then follow the western perimeter with the 4th a demanding par 4 before a lovely short hole back in the opposite direction. The 6th is the first of two long holes, and a good drive here presents the chance to get one back on the card.
There is a blind drive at the next which plays shorter than its yardage as it runs down the hill to a well-protected green at the far end of the course.
You now have the military training grounds on your left, and there is a terrific feeling of space out on this part of the course. The 8th is another challenging par 4, over 400 yards to a green flanked by sand.
The front nine finishes with an attractive approach to a raised green, and the halfway house here is well worth a visit.
Suitably refreshed, the return home starts with a short, undulating par 4 before a downhill par 3 where it’s important not to go left.
The 12th is justifiably stroke index one and it plays longer than its 417 yards up a valley to a raised and very well protected green.
Probably the hole that golfers remember the most easily is the 13th, the final par 3. There are a couple of tees offering different angles in, and its bunkering and natural green site are very attractive.
A long par 5 takes you back to base before a walk round the clubhouse takes you to the final loop of four testing par 4s, each with its own character and challenges. This is a very enjoyable course, quite difficult to categorise as it has elements of heathland, parkland, downland and even inland links about it. Something for everyone perhaps, and all the better for that.
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Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2022, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. 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 seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He is a member of Tandridge in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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