The city of Bristol and its surroundings are teeming with natural beauty, and nowhere more so than around the area’s exceptional selection of golf courses.
Straddling the River Avon in the West Country, southwest England, Bristol was at one point a relatively humble port city, but in recent decades has grown to become a major cultural hub. For golfing fans, the city’s bucolic surroundings have also given rise to a number of top-class golf courses. If you’re looking to play golf in or around Bristol, we’ve picked out 5 of the best courses the region has to offer, listed by distance from the city centre.
Knowle Golf Club
Situated in the aptly named suburb of Fairway, four miles south of Bristol city centre, Knowles Golf Club is home to a popular par-70 course that flows through mature parkland and features tree-lined fairways draped across a pleasantly undulating landscape. The JH Taylor-designed layout lends itself to an occasional change in elevation, providing a challenge for golfers of all experience levels. The Brislington Brook, a tributary of the River Avon, also provides an obstacle for some holes, making precision rather than power the order of the day. Notable holes include the picturesque 17th and the par five 18th, the latter offering a grandstand finish with the fairway sweeping down the hill to the large home green.
Bristol & Clifton Golf Club
Just under six miles west of the city centre, close to the historic Ashton Court Estate, sits Bristol & Clifton Golf Club. Here, a steady stream of golfers come to test themselves on the beautifully mature and undulating parkland course, which has earned its reputation as one of the finest in the region. In summertime, the course plays firm and fast, with zippy, true greens , while come winter the course drains well, helping keep it open in all conditions. There’s also a historic clubhouse first bult in 1899 that combines its rich history with plenty of modern amenities.
The Bristol Golf Club
Located on the site of a former deer park in the village of Almondsbury, 12 miles north of Bristol city centre, the Bristol Golf Club is one of the more recent additions to the region’s golfing landscape. Set in the heart of 200 acres of countryside and with panoramic views across the Severn Estuary, it combines an idyllic setting with the opportunity for some top-notch golfing for players of all abilities. Despite being a new build, the impeccably maintained main course with its challenging championship layout benefits from well-established woodland, giving it a maturity that belies its youth.
Lansdown Golf Club
Venture 20 miles east of Bristol, towards the historic Georgian city of Bath, and you’ll find another exceptional course at Lansdown Golf Club. Designed by renowned golf course architect Harry Colt, the superbly conditioned parkland course, which is built on the southerly edge of the Cotswold escarpment, affords breath-taking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, over the Bristol Channel and even as far as the Brecon Beacons National Park. Built on a plateau, the par 71, course has no hills to negotiate but still provides a stimulating and testing round for golfers of all standards. Meanwhile the clubhouse features a spacious lounge and dining room, a bar and a large patio overlooking the 1st tee.
The Wiltshire Hotel, Golf & Leisure Club
Positioned on the fringes of the North Wessex Downs, 34 miles west of Bristol, is one of the region’s finest accommodation options. Overlooking rolling countryside, the Wiltshire Hotel, Golf & Leisure Club is home to an array of great amenities, including an on-site par 72 golf course that’s open to both hotel guests and visitors alike. Initially designed by Peter Allis in 1991, the Lakes Course, as the name indicates, is strategically laid out around the numerous natural lakes that can be found in the area. As a result, water hazards can be found on as many as 13 holes, serving up a real test for golfers striving to avoid the dreaded splash and sink.