The home club of 2016 Ryder Cupper and GM Playing Editor, Chris Wood, offers an enjoyable and varied test with several very attractive holes
Hidden Gems – Long Ashton Golf Club
Chris Wood isn’t the only junior-ranks success story at this lovely course just south-west of Bristol, with Kitrina Douglas and Andrew Sherborne also forging successful tour careers.
Perhaps it’s the sheer variety of the holes that shaped them as players, for Long Ashton asks questions of both decision- making and shot-making prowess.
Decision-making comes into it from the off, with the short, gently downhill par-4 1st asking you to choose between early attack or a more cautious opening gambit.
Go for the former and get out of position, and your bold plan could backfire.
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The 2nd is an absolutely delightful short par 3 playing more steeply downhill to a green flanked by an exposed rockface on the left.
From here, the course plays on into slightly more elevated, exposed terrain for a few holes, before dropping down a ridge to another visual highlight – the modest-length par-4 6th that plays to a shelf green, beside which a steep bank awaits anything leaking left.
The 8th is another short par 4 where bravado could prove your undoing – slice it and you’ll likely end up OOB; go for the big one and hold on to it, and you could even go OOB the other side of the 9th tee.
The par-4 14th and 15th at 454 and 477 yards are the toughest back-nine holes to get through with your score intact, though the former is at least gently downhill, while the 17th plays a tad longer than its 179 yards up the slope.
Long Ashton is a lovely place to play, with extremely friendly staff.
Par: 71, 6,368 yards
Green fee: £40 weekday, £55 weekend per round; £50 weekday per day
Long Ashton Golf Club, Clarken Coombe, Bristol, BS41 9DW