Tag: England

K – Kington

GB&I Golf Course Review – Z to A

I am showcasing one golf club a day across GB & I over 26 days – in reverse alphabetical order.  Full write up and more images can be found on http://golfgurugroup.blogspot.com

Look out for the daily influx of unique, quirky, amazing golf courses in this series, and please do comment, like or share if you want to start planing ahead.For more innovative, fun unique golf content, please subscribe to my social media channels 

Instagram @sarah_thetravellingladygolfer Twitter and Facebook @golfgurugroup

Kington Golf Club

Bradnor Hill, Kington, Herefordshire, HR5 3RE

Another great golf course which sits on the English Welsh borders.  Kington is the highest 18 hole golf course in England at 1284 feet above sea level, at its highest point.  The beauty of Kington is most of the climbing is done by car as you snake your way up the the clubhouse in the sky.

That said as you stand on the first tee with its gradual uphill laid out in front of you, you might not think so.  Especially when you see the green clinging onto the side of a hill to the left.  But once you’re up there, there isn’t much more climbing to do.   The wind can come into play.  My playing partner was playing a driver on a par 3 to turn around and play the next hole, a par 4, with a rescue with it almost landing on the green says it all I think.  But on one of those beautiful sunny days its the best place to see over towards the Brecon Beacons, The Black Mountains, The Malvern Hills and the Shropshire and Clee Hills.

Construction started in 1925

Under the watchful eye of golf course designer Major Cecil Hutchinson.  Building a reputation in his own right after working with Braid at Gleneagles and Carnoustie.  He later went on to work with Stafford Vere Hotchkin to redesign Woodhall Spa.  At Kington he had the choice of two locations and opted for Bradnor Hill to work within its natural beauty and terrain.  There have been very few changes to the original design, testimony to the strength of its original design.

There are some holes when you look at them and think, I should do OK here.  Hole number five is that one for me.  It is a par 3 only 126/150 yards with a menacing looking wall on the right and a lone tree in the distance to the right of the green.  It is a relatively small green which is easily missed if too long and probably more forgiving if too short. It isn’t unusual to see the sheep, who wander around the course, taking shelter behind the wall.  Watching with curious interest as they cheerfully much on the lush grass. 

It has to be said, it is stunning at the top.

The golf course is a haven of manicured pasture with far reaching views, sometimes above the clouds, and I’ve heard sometimes above the military planes which train in the valley below.  The heathland course has all the elements for fantastic play, all the hazards one might expect of its location, plus some.  Yet despite it being so high, there is space all around. The fairways are often wide enough and the greens large enough for a good game.  That doesn’t mean a good score though!!  If a good score isn’t forthcoming take solace in the vista views of seven counties across England and Wales being Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Breconshire, Radnorshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire.

It isn’t unusual

To see humps dotted around, some protect the greens as per the 12th.  They not only add to the dramatic landscape but are in play too.  There are no bunkers or water hazards at Kington, it doesn’t need them. The fairways are great to play from.  Slightly spongy but not too much give that you end up popping the ball in the sky! I am always amazed by the condition of the greens, despite the wildlife and the relatively harsh climate, they remain great.

The elevation changes, the dramatic grass bunkers and the rough are enough to keep you on your toes on this course.

The closing hole has the clubhouse in sight.  With an almost impossible looking green, a slither of short cut grass next to the clubhouse from an elevated tee.  I guess it is achievable for a big hitter at 238/279 yards (SI18), to be on in one.  But it is fraught with danger if you’re slightly off kilter.  Go right and you’re down the hill, maybe even out of play.  Go too long and you’re pretty much in the clubhouse.  That green looks remarkably small and narrow front to back!  And of course you have the spectators in the clubhouse watching your every move! 

L for Llanymynech

O – The Oxfordshire

GB&I Golf Course Reviews – Z to A

I am going to showcase one golf club a day in GB & I for the whole of the alphabet.  It is my ode to some great golf.  Full write up’s can be found on golfgurugroup blogspot or on golfgurugroup website under the Travelling Lady Golfer tab. 

Look out for the daily influx of unique, quirky, amazing golf courses across the GB & I and subscribe to my social media channels @sarah_thetravellingladygolfer on Instagram @golfgurugroup on Twitter and Facebook.

Photo credit – Kevin Murray


Or strictly speaking The Oxfordshire, Rycote Lane, Milton Common, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 2PU

It’s strange how golf courses keep popping in your golfing life.  I’d never heard of the Oxfordshire until it hosted a ladies golf event there and I went along as a spectator as fairly new person into golf.  Little did I know at that stage that I’d be working to help promote the resort in my tour operating days or running successful ladies events there either.  It’s certainly one that pops up every now and again and always in a positive way.  Now I can just enjoy the course for what it is, a place I can return to time and again.

Photo credit – Kevin Murray

The Oxfordshire

Is not an old course in fact it was only built in 1993.  A unique blend of English countryside meeting it’s then Japanese owners requests designed by an American, Rees Jones.  Rees Jones of Torres Pines and Pinehurst fame.

It has been built to stage championship golf, and has done so since it conception.  With its natural spectator vantage points and views over the, what can only be described as an inland links views.

It is true many a great course has claimed to be an inland links but I think the Oxfordshire is one that can say that with conviction, despite it being based in the middle of the Chilterns.  This Rees Jones design beguiles from the first glance with its softly lined fairways.  Its wispy grass flirting in the wind beckoning you in.

Photo credit – Kevin Murray

Once you start to play the Oxfordshire

You’re in a different world, only being bought back to the reality by an exceptional half way house at the far end of the course.  It isn’t the 9 out, 9 in design of some, you are literally at the furthest point from the 5th tee.  The half way house comes into play on a few holes.

I always liked playing the par 4, 8th hole with the water on the right and the green tantalising you in the distance with its solitary tree teasing you to think big  Almost like an island green, the brave can take on the water with their second shot, the sensible follow the fairway round the mouth of the green.

Weirdly I also liked the 10th hole

Its not partially any more spectacular than any ofter hole on the course, I just liked its simplicity.  I was in one of the fairway greens with still a long way to go to the green.  To everyones amazement, I used a rescue club and clean hit it out and onto the green.  I still don’t remember who was more surprised by that shot, me or my playing partner!

There is one hole that most people do talk about when playing The Oxfordshire, the 17th.  A long par 5 with an open tee box to hit into oblivion.  Placement is key here as it determines the next shot.  Over the lake at almost the widest point or go around and play the whole of the par 5.  I’ve played both ways, but only had the guts to take on the green one time as my drive was quite far left!  The green is tucked all the way the other side of the lake.  Shallow in it approach back to front with bunkers in play.  It is definitely one of those risk and reward shots!!

The onsite contemporary Hotel sits with the best views over the course, so a few days staying here is always a little luxury with good food and a spa on tap too.

P for Porthmadog

Scroll to top