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
Contributing Editor

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. He is an expert on the Rules of Golf having qualified through an R&A course to become a golf referee. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played 1,000 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts. He reached the 1,000 mark on his 60th birthday in October 2023 on Vale do Lobo's Ocean course. Put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response