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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