The Top 10 Golf Courses in Gloucestershire

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From city breaks to Cotswold tours

From north of Bristol, to South of Worcester, West of Oxford to the Welsh border. Gloucestershire covers quite some area, and houses a huge range of terrains and with it, a vast variety of golf courses. As the West Country golf travel specialists, we thought it our duty to bring you our top 10 Gloucestershire golf courses.

With 41 golf courses in the region, picking a top 10 is certainly not an easy task. With that in mind, we have included some noteworthy mentions at the end of this article.

Throughout the article are links to courses that form part of our extensive portfolio. As the region's leading golf tour operator, we bring these courses together in the form of bespoke golf tour packages.

So, with no more delay, from ten to one, here are the top golf courses in Gloucestershire.

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10. Henbury Golf Club

Henbury Golf Club is a parkland course set in the mature woodland just outside of Blaise Castle Estate, North West Bristol, a short drive from the M5.

At 6001 yards, par 69 (from the white tees) it is a true test for all abilities. The course has small greens that are often well protected by bunkers or steep run-off areas. Many golfers will find themselves short-sided and struggling to get up and down.

There’s a real range of holes, with the flatter, straight away holes around the clubhouse such as; 1st, 2nd and 10th to 13th, at the top of the hill. But much of the front nine has sloping fairways and plenty of elevation changes.

The 7th hole is often regarded as the feature hole, a 150-yard par 3 drop hole. Distance control is key as the green is protected with 'out of bounds' long and a thin water hazard short.

Henbury is a great addition to a Bristol package and can be paired with a range of nearby courses.

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Henbury Golf Club 1

9. Knowle Golf Club

Knowle GC is a proud members club located in the South East of Bristol. A JH Taylor design that flows through mature parkland.

Only 6047 yards which can be considered short by today’s standards. However, with some severe doglegs and elevation changes, the course plays a lot longer.

There aren’t many generous fairways on the front nine, you’re often forced into playing for position. This does change shortly on the back nine around the 11th & 13th where you can get away with a few loose tee shots.

Tough to choose a feature hole, but the 18th is regarded as one of the best finishing holes in the area. A sweeping par 5 that can be reached in two by the longer hitters although, a layup to an easy pitch/chip can at times be the best play. With the clubhouse and the 10th holes pond in the background, it is also very picturesque.

Due to location, Knowle can either be part of a Bristol or Bath-based package.

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Knowle Golf Club 1

8. Chipping Sodbury Golf Club

Chipping Sodbury Golf Club sits directly between Bristol and the Cotswolds and is a popular destination for golfers undertaking a tour in either area.

The club is member-owned and features 18 holes of great golf through the parkland layout. Certainly not an easy course, it is locally known for having greens with runoffs that have been described as "upturned saucers".

The course has been lengthened over the years and reaches nearly 7,000 yards from the back tees. A few holes that stick in the mind are the first of the par fives at the 529-yard 5th. This mid-length hole culminates in a water-protected green which tests the long hitters with a lay-up or risk-reward approach to get home in two. Onto the back-nine the 169-yard 12th. A carry over water to a bunkered green certainly tests the nerves. The round finishes with a great match play hole, a dogleg 528-yard par 5 which features water, tight fairways, and a climb uphill to a long, angled green. Truly risk-reward.

Off the course the club has a welcoming clubhouse, pro-shop, driving range and practice area.

Chipping Sodbury Golf Club is located close to other courses in this list including The Players Club and The Kendleshire. The village of Chipping Sodbury has a good selection of pubs and restaurants for those who want to venture out after the round.

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7. Minchinhampton Golf Club (Avening)

An England Golf Championship Venue and the oldest of the two new courses at Minchinhampton. After it was decided that the Old Course at Minchinhampton needed a younger sibling due to the increasing membership, the Avening Course was designed and opened for play in 1975. This links-style, but ultimately parkland design offers players a challenging experience that features several lakes, well-positioned bunkers and slick greens.

Located high on the Cotswold Hills, the course offers fantastic views of the surrounding area and its limestone base makes for fast draining which makes it capable of play year round. This modern course will not disappoint its visitors and its reputation has grown to the point that it currently hosts Open Qualifying for the region and will in 2022 host the famous South West Week, a meet up of the top county players from across the West Country.

Great as an addition to a wider tour, but even better when played with its two sister courses. Together the 3 courses make up one of the best three-course destinations in the UK. You'll find it's younger sibling a little further down this list, and we recommend playing it as part of our "Minchinhampton Stay & Play" package.

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6. Bristol & Clifton Golf Club

A beautifully mature parkland course that stretches over 6413 yards, par 70. A regular host to England Golf and County events. It is located just West of the busy Bristol City Centre.

A real variety of holes, with the easier walking holes around the clubhouse including the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 18th. The rest of the course twists and turns with many changes in elevation.

Our selected feature hole is the par 3, 13th hole, this is a drop hole with a green that slopes from front to back and is very pleasing to the eye. Don’t be fooled, the green is well guarded with 3 greenside bunkers and a crossing water hazard roughly 30/40 yards short of the green, ready to grab anything miss-hit.

Due to being on the West side of Bristol, B&C can be played as part of a package with courses around the North of Somerset such as Clevedon. A more common package would be a Bristol tour paired with neighbours Long Ashton GC.

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5. Long Ashton Golf Club

An established members club with a local reputation for its excellent condition. Long Ashton has in recent times had some publicity as the home of BMW Championship winner and Ryder Cup star Chris Wood.

Bordering the Bristol City FC training ground in the South of Bristol, this parkland design makes full use of its acreage to maximise the playability of the course. Situated just 10 minutes drive from the city centre and a similar distance from the M5, we find clients staying in any part of Bristol or North Somerset tend to find the course as a great addition to their tour.

From the first tee, set right outside the clubhouse, you’re thrust straight into the action. A tight, slightly downhill, but on the right day, reachable par 4 can open your day with a birdie or blob.

The next, one of the most memorable holes at LA, is the shortest on the card. A par 3 to a shelf like green, surrounded by rugged rocks.

This fast start is quickly followed by two brilliant par 5’s at 4 and 5. Less than a 3rd the way into your round, your card will likely have gone in one of two distinct directions.

As you progress through the mature trees at this 120+ year old course, there are many signs that despite its age, the club have made every effort to keep up with the times. The USGA spec greens are fast draining and true and off the course the practice facilities are some of the best in the area.

The highlight of the tricky back 9 comes in the form of the index 1 which pushes up near 500 yards from the back tees. There is a welcome let up at 16 in which a faded tee shot can set up a birdie opportunity, before you head for home and a welcome pint in the traditional, but welcoming clubhouse.

Long Ashton is one of our most popular venues. Based less than a mile from neighbours Bristol & Clifton is can make a great Bristol tour or take the form of a stopover course en route further south.

A busy members club, we strongly recommend fitting LA into a weekday, as weekend availability for visitors can be hard to come by.

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4. Minchinhampton Golf Club (Cherington)

In the heart of the Cotswolds, set amongst the quaint villages, you’ll find a unique cluster of golf courses under the management of Minchinhampton GC.

Golf has been played in the area since the 1800’s, and the common course still exists to this day. However, it is one of the newer courses which makes this top 10.

The Cherington is the more recent of the two courses at the Minchinhampton’s “New” site and styled as an inland links, although has hallmarks of a parkland design.

The Cherington is characterised by its vast undulating greens, thick rough and firm, fast fairways. Like it’s sister courses, it drains exceptionally well in the winter months and makes for a great destination year round.

Opened for play in 1995, The Cherington was proud to host the Open Championship Regional Qualifying between 2002-2007 and regularly stages other significant events. This England Golf Championship Venue has two fantastic courses on site and the traditional common course a few miles up the road.

Both courses (Avening & Cherington) have played regular host to many prestigious event in the “New” courses relative short history. In 2022 will play host to the famous “South West Week”. This county meet up is only played at the finest courses in the region. Testament to the quality on offer here.

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3. Kendleshire Golf Club (Hollows & Ruffet)

A 27 hole golf club and reportedly one of the busiest, non-resort, visitor golf venues in the UK, which comes as no surprise. The Kendleshire has always been immaculately presented and offers a great experience both on and off the course.

On the course, the Hollows and Ruffet makes up the original Championship 18 with the Badminton 9 being added more recently. 1 to 18 offers a true parkland test and a great variety of holes, particularly the dogleg 4th, TPC Sawgrass style island green par 3 11th and short by exciting 9th which requires a short iron or wedge into the green which slopes back into the water, spin control a must... it can however muster the odd hole in one scare if the pin is in the right place!

The course is relatively easy walking on the front 9, but does tackle a few undulations on the back 9 meaning a buggy may be required for some. Kendleshire has a good fleet, but booking in advance is required.

Often played as part of a Bristol golf tour alongside the nearby Players Club... our #2 on this list!

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2. The Players Golf Club (Codrington)

The Players is another one of course designer Adrian Stiff's creations. The Codrington Course makes up the 18 Championship holes of golf at this 45 hole resort. Based just off the Bath Juncton 18 of the M4, The Players is not the oldest of courses but has built quite some reputation over the years having played host to many prestigious events including EuroPro Tour.

The 18 holes are renowned for their length, however, with multiple sets of tees the challenge has been softened in recent years meaning that the course can be made to be playable for all standards. Holes 3, 15 and 16 stand out as they involve crossing one of the few lakes on the course. Coincidently these are par 4, 5 and 3 respectively, owing to the variety in the course design.

Always presented in immaculate condition, the clun is a must visit if undertaking a Gloucestershire or Bristol golf tour. It's location also means it can be used as a stop-off en-route from the North or East of the country on a golf break to the South West. The Players also has a number of rooms meaning a stay and play here is possible and also incredibly competitively priced for a one or two night stay.

The number of holes on-site and well-managed club diary means that it can be possible to pick up good weekend tee times at The Players Club on both the Codrington and its little brother, the Stranahan course. This alone means that it quite often makes its way into the middle day of a 3 day weekend golf tour alongside nearby Kendleshire and another Bristol venue.

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1. Ross on Wye Golf Club

So to our number 1... Welcome to England Golf Championship Venue Ross on Wye Golf Club.

A beautiful established parkland course set in the wooded hills above the Wye Valley. Since its initial design in the sixties (although club history goes back to the late 1800's), Ross on Wye has delighted golfers with its charm and challenge. The course winds through aged oak trees, natural contours and ponds, putting an emphasis on true shot-making.

Whilst the town of Ross on Wye is actually in Herefordshire, the course, set just off the M50, is actually affiliated to the Gloucestershire Golf Union. Picking the best out of this great layout is tough, as the holes, framed by oak trees really do make this one of the most aesthetic woodland courses you are likely to play. The 5th to the 9th provides a fun run of holes with three par 5's and two par 3's in a row. The course then does not let up. You can be forgiven for thinking that a card of 9 par 4's on the back might get tiresome, but you would be firmly wrong. 16 is a fun drivable par 4 in amongst 14, 17 and 18 which all require two solid shots to get you on the dance floor. 18 sticks in the memory as this final hole can be a card wrecker with out of bounds coming into play on both sides of the fairway!

Ross on Wye makes it to the number one spot on this list for many reasons, but it is also helped by its generous green fee price. You can play the course in peak season for under £60. If you are planning a golf break in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, or traveling south from the north of the country, you could do a lot worse that to spend a day traversing this woodland golfing delight.

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General FAQs

  • Who are Golf South West?

    Founded in 2015, we are the West Country golf travel specialists. We provide our clients with bespoke golf tours and stay & play golf packages for small groups and golf societies alike.

    We are both a domestic golf tour operator working directly for our clients and regional golf DMC who act as an agent for international outbound operators hoping to have their clients experience the beautiful West Country and it’s golfing delights!

    We work closely with our venues to ensure our customers receive the best value available for golf travel within the West Country.

    Our expert team are on hand to ensure you receive the very best service, choice and advice when planning your next golf break. We are proud to announce our nomination for Best Inbound Golf Tour Operator for England at the 2022 World Golf Awards.

  • Which regions are covered by Golf South West?

    Golf South West is the West Country’s premier golf tour operator covering the regions of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Dorset.

    We also work with selected, popular golf resorts across the UK including those under the management of Marriott, plus 4 time Ryder Cup host The Belfry, Celtic Manor and many more.

    If you are planning a golf break, we are the only call you need to make.

  • What is the best way to get in touch?

    We are available by phone 0117 256 5966 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm), WhatsApp, email, enquiry form or via social media channels.

  • Why choose Golf South West as your tour operator?

    GSW is run by golfers and endorsed by golf professionals across the South West of the UK.

    We are a fully insured, experienced and recommended golf tour operator, who are backed by Protected Trust Services, meaning your booking is secured and safe. We offer tours to an exclusive and unrivalled selection of venues across the South West of England and Wales, including some courses which can be tricky to access. We are also proud members of Golf Tourism England and IAGTO, who only work with only the best and most reputable companies in the industry.

    You can rest assured that as a client of Golf South West you will not only receive the best service, advice and choice, but you will also find the best value golf breaks in available in Cornwall, Devon, Bristol, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and many more!

  • What is Protected Trust Services?

    Protected Trust Services Limited (PTS) provides security for client and consumer funds through market-leading software and innovative management. PTS prides itself on customer service, flexible thinking and cost-effective solutions for its members.

    PTS offers a unique and comprehensive solution for businesses to trade through a secure trust account using a performance-enhancing software system developed by PTS.

    Protected Trust Services guarantee 100% financial protection to the consumer, ensuring total consumer confidence.

    Any bookings made via Golf South West Ltd from the 1st July 2021 are protected under the PTS Trust. Bookings made before this date will continue to be processed through our original system. If you have booked with us before, please ensure you have the up-to-date bank details to make your payments. If you are unsure, please speak to your Golf South West representative.

    View the PTS brochure for more information on the protection this affords you as a client of Golf South West.

  • How do GSW keep money safe?

    We are extremely proud of the service we provide and a large part of this is ensuring our client’s money is safe. Our practices comply with the 2018 package travel directive meaning that your money is safe with both ourselves and the venues your choose to visit.

    The money for your golf break is paid into a trust account run by an independent partner, so you have peace of mind that no matter what happens, your money is being looked after.

  • What happens if we can’t go on our planned trip?

    Deposits are non-refundable, but they are transferable to a new date or break. We aim to be as flexible as possible and will treat each situation on a case by case basis.

  • Can we make changes to our break?

    Managing a group can be a thankless task and changes to the group leading up to your break are an accepted element. We make changes as stress free as possible (just see our reviews for evidence of this!). Changes can be made up to 6 weeks prior to your break. Some changes are unavoidable so for legitimate reasons we will endeavour to make last minute changes after this period, but as we would have paid our venues at this point, this would be at the discretion of the venue(s) you are visiting.

  • Why book with a tour operator?

    Good question, could you not do this all yourself? The answer is yes you could. You are able to locate the ideal hotel with the accessibility you need to the clubs you plan to play. You could go back and forth with your target venues and line up the tee times.  You could also contact each venue individually to advise them of group number changes and requests during the build up to your trip.

    Alternatively you could;

    – Talk to us about the trip you are planning.

    – Receive quotes for perfectly crafted package meeting your ideal requirements.

    – Secure the booking with small deposits staged in a way to make your life easier as an organiser.

    – Have your funds fully insured and independently held by PTS, our client trust provider.

    – Have changes made to whole tours with just one call or email.

    – Receive exclusive extras such as free places.

    – Pay less with our packages than going direct to venues.

    Why can we do this?

    Quite simply we have spent years (since 2015) forging strong relationships with hotel, golf club and golf resort venues across the South West. We are the expert tour operator for the region and are know for our high quality and personal service to our clients (just see our Google and TrustPilot reviews).

  • Who uses Golf South West?

    The majority of our clients are UK based domestic travellers. We deal with groups of any size, from single travellers and couples, to large golf societies.

    We also are the favoured golf DMC for the South West of England and preferred regional partner of Golf Tourism England. We regularly work with tour operators from Europe, America and elsewhere to provide bespoke tour packages allowing overseas travellers to experience the beautiful West Country.

  • How are package prices displayed on our website?

    Prices on our our website are displayed in two ways. The first is on our Resort pages where pricing tables show the from prices for low, mid and high season golf stay and play package rates at golf resort venues.

    The second is on our example tour package pages. There are often 4 prices shown here, two for low season and two for high season. The struck through price typically shows the highest price the tour can be and is often active over weekends in that season. The offer price is typically a mid week price.

    Every tour quote we offer is bespoke and will vary based on a number of factors including the date, availability, group size, room type, time of day for the tee time, etc… Our package pricing is a guide to the cost of the package and is not a firm price. Please enquire for an exact cost.

    We aim to provide as accurate a price as possible and therefore try to avoid using shoulder/mid season pricing or twilight green fee rates when displaying rates. You may find an intermediate price for breaks in months of April & October at certain venues.

  • Why are golf resort prices the same as elsewhere?

    Put simply, all tour operators work from the same contracted rate card when it comes to stay and play golf resort packages. When it comes to golf tours, that is a different matter, but golf resorts are a level playing field.

    If you find a vastly different price, it’s likely you’ve been misquoted and usually this does come back to bite.

    The question this poses is why book a stay and play golf break with Golf South West if you can book direct or with one of the large operators and receive the same price?

    Benjamin Franklin once said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after
    the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

    We have a small team so booking through us means you receive a personal service. You are more than just a number to us, we are a tour operator where you will likely get to deal with the same contact throughout the process, who will get to know you and your group and respond efficiently to your queries.

    We know our venues and the people who work there. This ensures a smooth process from initial enquiry to the end of your stay.

    Financially you have an extra layer of protection as your money is securely stored in an independent trust account and is fully insured when it is released to the venue(s) you are visiting.

    We are fortunate to have some exclusive “extras” with selected venues across the South West. Offer 1 in 16 free on every trip AND run an exclusive voucher scheme for our stay and play client bookings.

    We often feel we add further value to our clients when it comes to our bespoke golf tour packages, but you can rest assured that when making a stay and play golf resort booking, Golf South West will offer you an extremely high level of service, financial protection and may even offer you a saving or an exclusive extra!

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