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Mike Harris pays a return visit to this beautiful Wiltshire golf resort
Bowood Stay And Play Review
Par 72, 6,878 yards
Greenfee: £35-£75 per round
This Dave Thomas layout is less than 20 years old but feels a lot more established.
The natural design rolls beautifully over undulating parkland that was landscaped by the famed Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the latter part of the 18th century.
From the tips it’s only for the bombers – European Tour pro Jordan Smith plays here – but further forward it’s playable for all, with course management the key.
There’s an eclectic mix of holes to examine all parts of your game, from the sprawling opening par 5 – a true three-shotter – to shorter par 4s like the 14th that require careful strategy and precision.
Ben Emerson, one of the UK’s most cutting-edge coaches, runs a fine academy here using the latest game-improvement technology, such as Trackman and K-Vest.
Also play… Marlborough (marlboroughgolfclub.co.uk) is an excellent downland course with fine views across Wiltshire.
The Marchioness of Lansdowne designed the interiors of the 43-bedroom hotel, opened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall in 2009.
The rooms and public areas blend modern styling with the heritage and tradition of the estate.
The rooms and suites are spacious and beautifully finished, with marvellous views over the countryside and golf course.
Fine dining, drawing on ingredients sourced from the estate, can be enjoyed in the hotel’s Shelburne Restaurant, while the Clubhouse Brasserie offers a more informal dining experience.
The excellent spa offers a range of treatments as well as an infinity pool, steam room and rock sauna – perfect for unwinding after golf.
Accommodation for up to eight is also available in Queenwood, a unique and stunning Georgian lodge set in its own enchanting gardens from where you can watch fellow golfers play adjacent holes.
Where else… Bowood House and Gardens is a great day out on your doorstep. You can explore the house with its rich history; the kids will love the adventure playground.
Stay and play from just £95pppn (based on two sharing) to include one round of golf each, full use of the spa, three-course dinner in the Shelburne Restaurant and a full English breakfast (from £125pppn with a second round of golf).
Between Calne and Chippenham on the A342, just eight miles from J17 of the M4.
Buggy hire: £35 per round Trolley hire: £5 per round Power trolley hire: £12 per round Club hire: £25 per round Driving range: Yes Putting green: Yes Short-game/bunker area: Yes, plus three-hole academy course Pro shop: Yes, large shop Changing rooms: Yes Sky TV: Yes, in Clubhouse Brasserie Wi-Fi: Yes, free throughout Price of a pint: From £4.25
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Mike has been a journalist all his working life, starting out as a football writer with Goal magazine in the 1990s before moving into men’s and women’s lifestyle magazines including Men's Health, In 2003 he joined Golf Monthly and in 2006 he became only the eighth editor in Golf Monthly’s 100-plus year history. His two main passions in golf are courses, having played over 400 courses worldwide, and shoes; he owns over 40 pairs.
Mike’s handicap index hovers at around 10 and he is a member of four clubs: Hartley Wintney, Royal Liverpool, Royal North Devon and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.
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