Windermere Golf Club Course Review

Windermere Golf Club's delightful short course in the Lake District provides both enormous fun and a test that belies the scorecard

Windermere Golf Club - clubhouse
The glorious Lake District setting of Windermere Golf Club
(Image credit: Windermere Golf Club)

Windermere Golf Club Course Review

GF Round: £32-£45wd, £32-£50we; Day: £50-£80
Par 67, 5,122 yards
Slope 118
GM Verdict – A short but very pretty rollercoaster ride through narrow fairways and rocky outcrops accompanied by a glorious backdrop of the Lake District fells.
Favourite Hole – The par-4 4th, playing across a sideslope then up to a hidden green, is a serious test of your game despite its modest length. It’s not SI 1 for nothing!

Windermere Golf Club - 9th green

The 9th green, 10th tee and Lakeland fells beyond

(Image credit: Windermere Golf Club)

The diverse nature of Cumbria’s terrain means it has everything from fine links such as the Top-100 course at Silloth on Solway up in the top-left corner, to mature parkland layouts and wild moorland tests, often with the most stirring of backdrops. The best golf courses in Cumbria offer a bit of everything, including the delightful little course at Windermere, perhaps best described as short, sweet and very, very pretty. Don’t be fooled into thinking it can’t defend itself, though – it can do that in abundance as you negotiate its many climbs, falls and rocky outcrops.

Windermere Golf Club - 1st hole

The short par-4 opener plays over a blind crest

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Windermere is the expanse of water most associated with the Lake District and the golf club of the same name is situated up on nearby Cleabarrow Fells. From humble nine-hole beginnings in 1891, the club quickly extended to 18 and in the early part of the last century intriguingly boasted holes with pars of 4.5 and 3.5!

Windermere Golf Club - 3rd hole

The short par-4 3rd offers a real scoring chance, but OOB lurks on the left

(Image credit: Windermere Golf Club)

This modest 5,000-yarder is a joyous layout of meandering becks, sweeping descents, strenuous ascents, rocky outcrops, and swathes of luxuriant heather, especially on the front nine. You start off up and over a blind crest, which sets the Windermere tone, then duck and dive your way through a series of wondrous holes, all the while accompanied by stunning Lakeland backdrops. The par-4 249-yard 3rd offers an early chance, but OOB lurks on the left, while the 4th would be a strong contender for the hardest 380 yards you’ll ever encounter, playing across a sideslope to a blind green.

Windermere Golf Club - 17th hole

The uphill par-4 17th isn't long but it can be easy to get out of position

(Image credit: Windermere Golf Club)

And so it goes on! Total precision is the name of the game on the 5th, 6th and 7th, while the 8th tee serves up a glorious panorama from Coniston OId Man round to Red Screes. Having descended quite some way on the back nine, you then climb back via the closing trio – the only par 5, a demanding par 4 that doglegs against the camber and a testing 200-yarder to a two-tiered green that's likely to require one final well-struck long iron or hybrid.




Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...