WHERE TO PLAY
The Players Club, 10 miles north of Bath, is a shining example of modern golf course architecture. Designed by Adrian Stiff, the layout is incredibly well developed given it only opened for play in 2002. Stiff took inspiration from classic links and added elements of American stadium course design to create an incredible test of golf.
At more than 7,600 yards from the back tees and with two par 5s measuring over 650 yards, you had better be sure your driver is working well before stepping onto this course.
From the ?Tiger tees? the standard scratch of the course is 77, giving some indication of its difficulty. Many of the holes feature water ? and it?s not just there for aesthetics.
Everything at The Players Club has been constructed to the highest standards ? from the state-of-the-art irrigation system to the luxurious modern clubhouse.
Between Weston-super-Mare and Burnham lies Burnham & Berrow Golf Club. Founded in 1891, this is one of England?s finest links. Tight fairways, sand hills and thick, thick rough make it a daunting prospect. Placement from the tee is key here and a premium is placed on the straight ball. Above all, you must keep it in play.
Founded in 1880, Bath Golf Club, next to Sham Castle near the university, is one of the oldest in England. The course is laid out over Hampton Down and it rises to a hilltop, offering views as far as the Welsh mountains on a clear day. This was a very different proposition from the previous courses we had visited. After one modern, ?stadium? style course and one traditional links, playing a downland, hilltop track highlighted the great diversity available in the surrounding area.
Although it?s not a particularly long course, Bath is certainly no walk in the park. Large undulations, changeable winds and well-placed bunkers serve to protect the layout.
The putting surfaces are particularly challenging as many are on the small side and there are some extremely confusing borrows to contend with. The fact that the amateur course record is just 68 (three under par) is a clear indication of how tricky Bath can be.
WHERE TO STAY
The Royal Crescent Hotel is situated on the magnificent Royal Crescent and is the height of luxury in Bath. Filled with beautiful furniture and paintings by the likes of Reynolds and Gainsborough you are transported back to the late 18th century. The food is first-class and there?s a supremely serene spa to relax in.
Prattshotel is in the centre of Bath, walking distance from all the major attractions. The hotel was originally five separate townhouses and the building dates from 1743.
Bath is packed with history and culture. As well as the stunning Georgian architecture of the Circus and Royal Crescent, make sure you visit such attractions as the magnificent Roman Baths and the fascinating Museum of Costume.
If you?ve left the car at home there are some superb pubs to visit. Recommended watering holes are The Hunstman, The Boater and The Grapes.
THE PLAYERS CLUB
BURNHAM & BERROW
ROYAL CRESCENT HOTEL
THE ROMAN BATHS
MUSEUM OF COSTUME
www.museumofcostume.co.uk for times.