Bowood Hotel,Spa & Golf Resort

Bowood Hotel,Spa & Golf Resort, Calne, South West, England, SN11 9PQ

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28 reviews of Bowood Hotel,Spa & Golf Resort

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We were a mixed party of eight. We all really enjoyed our day, although we were glad to. Have played a green some format as the holes were very long for thE ladies. The course was in excellent condition, had varied holes and interesting greens. Our winter package with super food after in the clubhouse made this a brilliant day

Posted by Cheryl collier on 27/04/2014
5
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Overall Rating 5
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  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge5
  • Staff service5
  • Value for money5
  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge5
  • Staff service5
  • Value for money5

Supposedly one of the best new courses in the country....really???
I wouldn't say it was a complete monstrosity but it comes close. Evidently not a great piece of nature land for golf, inspiration and creativity have been ignored in favour of the bulldozer. Not one for the knowledgeable purist and, whilst I might pay £10 to play it again, I wouldn't pay a penny more. I'm afraid it's just another well manicured field which, thankfully, goes against the contemporary grain of the most accomplished architects of the 21st century. This place belongs somewhere in that bracket of dull 1980's style plastic fantastic Americana.

Posted by NATHAN READING on 20/11/2012
3
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  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse2
  • Course challenge3
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  • Value for money1
  • Green conditions4
  • Clubhouse2
  • Course challenge3
  • Staff service3
  • Value for money1

This is def worth the money (especially on 2Fore1)... a well designed and well maintained course.. with well placed bunkers on almost every hole.. one of the best Parkland courses I've ever played.. will definitley come back for more.

Posted by Geraint Jones on 21/10/2009
4
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Unlike many courses which make similar claims, Bowood is a proper championship course and an absolute pleasure to play.
We played on a Monday in July and the course was beautifully presented with manicured fairways and superb fast greens.
The weather was fine but the course played more difficult than previous visits due to the fact that we seemed to be constantly battling against a strong headwind but the layout and beauty of the site more than compensated.
There has been significant development of the overall site in recent months which now offers a large hotel, conference, spa & leaisure facilities added to the magnificent course and is highly recommended.
Using the 2-4-1 vouchers we paid £24.50 which must represent amongst the best value summer golf in the country and I would also add that the relatively flat parkland layout means that buggies are not essential.
p.s. remember to pack your bucket & spade as there are dozens of strategically placed bunkers which I guarantee you will find on a regular basis!

Posted by Karl Baxter on 28/07/2009
5
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Overall Rating 5
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge4
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Sixteen of us played here on a wet and breezy Sunday two weeks ago. The clubhouse buildings and surroundings are beautifully presented and we were efficiently checked in and set off on time at noon. The rule about no Societies before this time being strictly enforced which is fair enough.
The overall impression is of a course with great style and quite a number of bunkers placed wherever ones drive might be expected to land. Some of the construction and division between holes clearly has been achieved with bulldozers but there are certainly some interesting holes which neatly use the contours of the land. The rough is penal and you would be better off using a very lofted iron to make a sideways escape before wasting an attempt with something that would in theory take you further!You need to be a fairly big hitter as there are some pretty long holes but also able to play the lay up when the odds are stacked against you.
The weather during our round wasn't great but overall the party were impressed with both course and facilities.

Posted by Nigel Weekes on 27/05/2009
4
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Overall Rating 4
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge4
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Arriving through a magnificent Cotswold stone gatehouse set the tone for the day – classy! With a 2-for-1 voucher my brother and I paid £48 in total for the golf. The buggy at £28 and course planner at £6 were excessively priced but in the case of the former it was a (rare) hot day and for the latter our first time here. We paid (£6 each) also for use of the three-hole academy, which you would have thought would be thrown in for nothing given we were playing the main course. Anyway, the academy comprised three short holes which were a fun warm-up but no yardages anywhere to be seen.
Main course is a splendid parkland course with a maturity that denies its relatively young age. We played from the yellows on a hot and quite breezy day. The length of the course places an emphasis on good tee-shots, 6,500 yards plus of the yellow tees - which included two par 5s of just over 560 yards (4th and 10th). There are no real carries to be made from the tees but the rough which makes some holes feel very tight is punishing – basically a lost ball if you go in there unless you tread on it. The course is set in quite open and historic parkland - trees do not form much of a hazard anywhere as they form the perimeter with some copses here and there. Fairways are separated by mounds which feel quite natural but I am sure were put in place to isolate holes one from another. The greens were fairly flat in comparison to some modern courses but the most slopey and tiered one (12th) helped me to 4 putts. There is ample bunkering, particularly on the 7th where both of us avoided the fairway bunkering, me by bouncing back into one by hitting the OB fence on the left and my brother putting deep into the rough on the right. Highlight holes for us were the 8th a big dog-leg and very picturesque as you look down the narrowing approach to a tricky green … neither of us troubled the Stableford points coring system on this hole, the 11th a dog-leg the opposite direction and again into a valley with a very alpine feel to it around the approaches. I particularly enjoyed the 13th as it was the only time my drive went on the line suggested by the course planner. Our joint favourite was the 15th a fantastic par 5 with trees tight on the left for the second shot and OB on the right, it was a pity that the large greenside bunker was GUR as it was undergoing a comprehensive refurb evidence of the wetter conditions other reviewers have commented upon in winter time. I agree with the other reviewers that the par 3s didn’t really excite and the 12th in particular just felt like a hole that got you to the next tee
A grand day out - we had no-one immediately in front, or behind the whole way around, I suspect that this is true much of the time midweek unless you hit on a big society day. Changing rooms ok, but not quite the class you might expect in a clubhouse complex formed from a range of old rustic buildings and some new. Pro Shop fine, other staff not excessively friendly, it has to be said. Come for the course it is a class act and a stiff challenge we both managed high 20’s in our scores of mid-handicaps. Come on ‘tho Bowood £28 is a rip-off for a buggy.

Posted by Steve Bennett on 11/08/2007
4
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Played two weeks ago,superb course and at 32 pounds with 2 course meal,only wish it was on my doorstep and not 200 miles away.Brilliant.

Posted by Jeff Plume on 21/11/2005
5
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Overall Rating 5
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  • Clubhouse5
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played there last week for £32 with food, at that price the little probs with this course are soon forgot. when i drove in down the lane along side the 1st i have to say i was like an excited school boy, the place was screaming at me to get out and its def more a golf venue rather than a course. the 1st two holes while long ease u in after that the fun really starts the 3rd and 4th are both long and well protected. without sounding to picky i felt the course was a little wet under foot and some of the greens were sloppy but only two. i think this course would really show up well in the summer but i will return agin this winter as the value for money makes it worth the effort. the lay out of the course reminded me a lot of the forest of arden with the odd old ock tree here and there. as a course to play its long, u need to drive well of the tees to give yourself a chance but the key to this course i feel is hitting good mid-irons into greens. the greens themselves are well protected by some very tricky bunkers but once on them are not that hard. i would recommend that anyone in the area plays this course once as its just such a nice play to stroll around with mates on a good day

Posted by chezza jones on 09/11/2005
5
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Overall Rating 5
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge5
  • Value for money5

Played for first time today, what a superb course, greens are receptive and fast, fairways in fantastic condition. You have to think your way round, each hole is different and challenging. Absolutely loved the course and on a 2 fore 1 deal is an absolute steal at £22. If you haven't played it dont wait, book up and enjoy a great day on a superb course - why they dont hold PGA tours there is a mystery, its really is that good. Staff in pro shop are really nice and facilities are also excellent. Nuff said 10/10..............

Posted by Jon Bolger on 06/08/2005
5
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Overall Rating 5
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  • Clubhouse5
  • Course challenge4
  • Value for money5

First played this course a couple of years ago and was moderately impressed. Have played twice more in the last year (as part of the "Queenswood" package - check it out...great fun) and have been more impressed each time. The green staff are doing a terrific job in maintaining and enhancing what is becoming a seriously challenging track.

Posted by Peter Coughtrey on 14/04/2005
0
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Played this course in mid July.Fantastic. Layout is varied - and long if played from the back tees.(I did - great fun!) Most of the par 3's require mid to long irons to well guarded greens. You do need to be on form with your driver when you play here - tee shots are testing.The rough was quite severe when I played and the fairways are intelligently bunkered. Pick of the holes? Probably the 8th - fantastic stroke index one hole.
By the way, after reading the previous gentleman's report, I would just like to say that neither me or my partner have a handicap. I used to play a great deal but can no longer afford it.I shot a 79 and my partner just a few shots more! Say no more.

Posted by Chris Coleman on 28/09/2004
0
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Great course as many have said. Played 11th August. Greens are as good as any I have seen for ages, rough is penal so drive with care.
Some call it a "long slog" as you need to be able to drive it properly and there's no "scabbing" it on the greens as being a typical Dave Thomas design, the greens are all guarded by bunkers. Hence many 12 handcappers from "easy courses" might not break 95 here.
If the management read this, your green fees are too cheap, your food too expensive and why why why do you allow folk on with no handicaps? I say some odd sights on what is otherwise a "proper golf course!"

Posted by Tim Hughes on 18/08/2004
0
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Played the course yesterday 17th May and it was in superb condition, greens were perhaps a little overdressed.
Played probably the best golf of my life and shot an 88, nett 2 under for me.
Only criticism is signposting which is non existant and the rough which I'm told was tame as in the summer it's a bloody jungle out there.

Posted by J C on 18/05/2004
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Why do golf courses only have signposts when you're not playing there? Drove to Bowood from the south and managed to find the entrance for service deliveries and then drove straight past actual entrance. Just one little sign would be nice...
Once we got there what a fantastic entrance and many thanks for the excellent welcome in the pro-shop.
As for the course itself I agree with a lot of the previous comments. It's long (6600 of the yellows, 6000 off the reds!!); rewards and encourages good drives; heavily bunkered; well-protected greens but really, really enjoyable. Only two criticisms: par 3s not exactly inspiring (enjoyed the 2nd but the rest seemed fairly unforgetable) and I found fairway bunkers on two of the long par 5s (this I appreciate was my fault), but the bunkers were so deep I could only play out sideways meaning no chance of a green in regulation, which to me is too penal.
Too many good holes to mention. Would love to come back again in summer.
Gorgeous looking clubhouse but left feeling slightly aggrieved. Food was well over-priced. Didn't take my ruler but an advertised 8" baguette was more like 5" - men might be sensitive to the difference between 8" and 5" but trust me you need more than two mouthfuls of baguette after 6600 yards in hail, rain and wind. Try the lovely looking pub at the entrance instead.

Posted by Richard Freeman on 23/03/2004
0
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Played Bowood on a misty December morning, on their Winter special of £27 (which included lunch!). What a great course! Bunkers in all the right places (to catch your drive or approach shot - yes I did find the centre bunker on the 7th!) and water if you miss the bunkers. However almost all holes have an easy way in round the side so you don't have to take the tiger line in! A BIG course, but if you're on top of your game its not too difficult - just don't be too bold. Most fairways have banks running down the side, and there is no deep rough so finding your ball if it's off line is easy enough! Beware, there is a new pond at the bottom of the hill on the right on the 3rd - which isn't on the course map! Excellent staff - the course marshall was out on the 6th tee with his coffe wagon in the mist! Just one small point - the bar staff didn't seem to know what was and what was not included on the lunch voucher - one of uor party wanted something cheaper, but wasn't allowed it! However, an excellent day, and without a doubt will be back! 9/10

Posted by Chris Meering on 03/12/2003
0
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What a fantastic course, all the holes have been thought out well with well-guarded greens, but also bailout areas for those who can't quite carry the green. Very friendly staff too and surprisingly good value for money – for a club of its stature I’d have expected to play a lot more. If you like to draw the ball with your driver you might be at a disadvantage at a number of holes as they seem to dogleg right most of the time. Highly recommended!

Posted by brian on 02/06/2003
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Having played here several times, I am looking forward to a re-visit this weekend. We have made this course a regular venue for several years now and I find the design and lay-out superb. All the holes vary and are equally individual. It is true to say the course is a challege but, whats wrong with that? It's also fair to say that the course is not 'unfair' in any way. What I mean is that you will need to be hitting the ball well, you'll struggle to scrape your way around here. Like many have said already, a finely tuned driver could be the key to success around here, although not frustratingly punishing if a little off target. In summary: Fantastic setting in 200 acres. Don't be shy off the tee. Course may me a little boggy(although I'm told dainage has improved. Worth the money(especially 2-fore-1). Don't blame the course....blame yourself. You'll enjoy it anyway.

Posted by C.Wykeham-Martin on 20/11/2002
0
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Stunning course in beutiful isolation. If this is how courses will be in the future i will be very happy. Used 2-1 voucher would pay full price to play there again.

Posted by Matthew Emerson on 22/10/2002
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Have just arrived back home after a week-end in Wiltshire and this is one of the courses that we played.
Like others before I can confirm that it is a bit of a slog, was in nice condition but unless you are hitting career best drives on every hole you have to play short on every approach shot because of the greenside bunkering.
You soon get fed up making bogies or worse. Best hole on the course is the 18th, (and I bogied it!!)

Posted by Robert Smith on 07/10/2002
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A great test for sub 18 handicappers but possibly a bit daunting for others. The course is long, well landscaped, has perfect greens, and every hole is different. You can tell the course has been designed recently by the strategic location of hazards but there are a few too many dog-legs that give a big advantage to the longer hitters. The semi-rough was quite punishing because of the fairway irrigation so your score will depend on how your driver behaves. Excellent value at £19 on the 2-fore-1 scheme, this is a course I will play again.

Posted by Simon Coates on 23/09/2002
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Bit of a monster for mere mortals especially when the going is heavy. Designed by Dave Thomas of Belfry fame it is typical of his work; many fairway bunkers that the ultra long can fly and par threes that are a little uninspired. There is not much subtlety to this course, just hit it as hard as you can and then hit it again. With forteen of the greens protected at the front by hazards it rules out the possability of the running shot and the greens have to be soft (which they usually are) or it would be unfair for most. However, having said all that, there are some good holes and it is always in good condition nowadays. The 8th is a great dog leg that you can crash a career drive around the pond on and the 11th is similar only it bends to the right around a forest. I don't like the 7th where there are bunkers in the middle of the fairway. Hit it down the left side and you have a steep bunker to go over to attack the flag but bale out to the right and you have a clearer shot in. Still, give it a go if you feel a need to prove your male dominance.

Posted by MH on 25/07/2002
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As soon as you step onto the first tee and stare up the manicured fairway to the distant green (especially when it’s into the wind), you know this is a serious championship course.
As most people will tell you, arguably the main quality that makes Bowood such a tough but enjoyable test is its length: at 6,566 yards off the yellows it’s longer than many courses are off the whites! (From the blue tees it’s more than 7,300 yds – I assume that’s in case Daly or Woods pitch up in Wiltshire for a day!)
But this course is by no means a one-trick pony. Particularly when you factor in bunkering that’s from another planet and a thoughtful design that includes more dog-legs than you’re likely to play in a year.
Even with the wide, rolling fairways, good drives are crucial: without them, you’ve very little chance of getting on in regulation and also run the risk of ending up in one of the many cavernous bunkers that protect the greens from both wayward approaches and any cheeky chip and run shots.
Among the most memorable holes are the monster back-to-back par 5s at the 3rd and 4th, the bunker-ridden fairway of the par 4 7th and the beguilingly scenic but very tough 14th, again par 4.
It has a lot of similarities to Dartmouth G&CC, not least because it’s a true championship standard parkland monster, its relatively young age, some great views - and it takes a real fight to conquer it.
At £17 each in the winter with 2-Fore-1 it’s terrific value. Actually, even the full green fee is well worth it compared to what many far inferior courses charge.

If you’re up for the challenge, just make sure you’re driver’s in good working order!
8.5/10
Young P

Posted by Young P on 21/11/2001
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This is a proper golf course!
Right from the entrance you cannot fail to be impressed as you drive down a beautiful avenue of trees to the superb club house, and as for the course itself WOW!
Perfect fairways, loads of strategically placed bunkers and water hazards and some of the best greens I have played on only tell half the story. The championship design (7317yds off the back tees!)makes for a course which is difficult without being completely daunting. I played as a members guest at a cost of £18 which is similar to the 2-FORE!-1 rate and represents spectacular value for money. One not to be missed!

Posted by Karl Baxter on 06/08/2001
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Bowood Golf and Country Club has recently hosted the Charles Church European Challenge Tour Championship, for the third year running. The course was presented in superb condition to appreciative professional players and sponsors alike.
The course is now some 10 years old and those of you who played the course some years ago, or those of you who have never played, will find it both challenging and rewarding. Following an extensive programme of work on the course by a new and highly respected course manager, Bowood is an absolute gem, quite stunning in the summer months and draining very well, remaining open for play and in good condition throughout the winter.

Posted by Karen Elson on 30/07/2001
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Since I played the course around a year ago much work has gone into improving drainage and condition. The layout is of course still excellent and now the conditions of the course are approachng the same standard.

Posted by James Doyle on 26/07/2001
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Course information

Number of holes 18
Year opened -
Designer -
Style Parkland

Tee information

Tees Yards Par SSS
Competition
Men's 7317 72
Ladies'

Green Fees

Summer/High season

Weekday round£48
Weekday day-
Weekend round-
Weekend day-

Winter/Low season

Weekday round-
Weekday day-
Weekend round-
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