GolfMagic took a trip to tranquil Tewkesbury Park earlier this month, pitching up to 176 acres of pristine parkland placed in front of panoramic views over the charming Cotswolds.
The beauty of Tewkesbury Park lies not only its immaculate par-73 golf course setting, but also its hotel facilities too.
This place truly offers something for all, whether that be non-golfing friends, family or loved ones, with delicious food, spacious and cosy rooms, and an incredible spa and leisure facility that features an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, gym, squash and tennis courts. There's even a little par-3 course too for any beginner golfers taking a trip here.
Steeped in history, the present hotel building at Tewkesbury Park is believed to have been erected by John and Mary Brilliana Wall in the late 18th century. It's a building that has stood the test of time and the hotel celebrates this from the moment you walk through its double doors.
THE GOLF COURSE
Designed by famous golfer and course designer Frank Pennick, the course was opened in 1976.
This classic parkland track boasts many natural features and plenty of water hazards to keep you on your guard. Wooded areas and water are particularly frequent on the front nine, while the back nine opens up a bit more and gives you some scoring opportunities.
An elevated tee box welcomes you to the course on the par-5 first, and while it was nice to start with a par, especially following some late-night vodka cokes in the bar, it was a little frustrating to take three from the front edge of the green!
The par-4 second is reachable off the tee at around 300 yards, but not when you carve it way right into the trees like we did. Thankfully we found our ball, but it was a chip out sideways and a very disappointing bogey. The prudent play - next time we come back - is a long iron to the top of the hill and a flick of a wedge into the green.
One of the standout holes for us would have to be the third, which plays as a par-5 off the yellows and par-4 off the whites. The hole measures some 500 yards and plays over the hill, with a beautiful view of Tewkesbury Abbey in the distance, which is actually the line to take off the tee. Big hitters will be able to reach the dancefloor in two shots, but a devilish little pot bunker down the left side will prevent you from doing just that - as we found out!
Another memorable hole, and probably fair to say the signature hole on the course, is the beautiful par-3 fifth. Club selection is particularly important here, with water short and a downhill approach from the tee. You'll also want to check where the wind is as you won't feel it a great deal on its secluded tee box. We hit a great 9-iron into six-foot putt for birdie, but as we mentioned about the speed of the greens a little earlier, we unfortuntely left our ball in the jaws of the hole for par!
A tiny par-3 at seven gives you a real chance of birdie with a pitching wedge from the tee, but go long here and you'll be lucky to escape with a bogey.
You'll also definitely take pars at the uphill par-4 ninth and tricky downhill par-3 10th, particularly the latter with a giant tree guarding the front right of the green. The par-4 11th is no bargain either, playing 420 yards with trouble left and a collection of trees down the right flank.
But it's not all about saving par around here, thankfully Tewkesbury Park provides you with some respite from really about the 12th into the house. A good drive down the par-5 12th will give you a real birdie chance at around 500 yards, but unlike the opening hole, this one plays uphill.
Get your drives away at both the par-4 13th and 14th, dodging some well positioned trees and dense rough in places, and you'll have a short iron into the green, particularly at the 14th.
The par-5 15th is a lovely hole as it plays back alongside the hotel. We sent our tee shot into the rough down the right under the trees, which meant a lay-up into the fairway, but again, get your drive away well here and the big hitters amongst you will have every chance to reach the green in two blows.
We also really enjoyed the final three holes, with the uphill par-3 16th guarded by the hotel. Given we didn't fancy calling Autoglass, we unfortunately found the green but came up well short of the back pin position.
A drive and short iron awaits at the par-4 17th, playing into a beautiful little green with perfectly manicured bunkers guarding the green, and the sensible play on the short par-4 18th is to lay-up with an iron to the top of the hill and send in about a 50 to 60-yard wedge into the green.
Golfers looking for the ultimate luxury golf break now have six brand-new historic suites to choose from, each offering five-star levels of opulence, detail and traditional quality rarely found in English golf hotels.
Three other individually-designed ‘Indulgence’ rooms can also be found in the 18th Century manor house, and the remainder of Tewkesbury Park's bedrooms now offer a minimum of four-star style, comfort and interiors.
The friendly No. 19 café is a favourite post-golf haunt, or you can indulge your love of gastronomy with fine dishes in the hotel’s new ‘Mint at TewkesburyPark’ restaurant while enjoying stunning views of some of England’s most beautiful countryside.
We also could not be more impressed with the level of service in the spa facility too with a great deep sports massage getting into those tight neck and back muscles. The indoor pool was also particularly pleasant.
Tewkesbury Park is in all respects a first-class proposition in 2019 for UK golfers looking for a memorable golf break.
Located just five minutes from M5 junction 9, the venue is located on the doorstep of Tewkesbury and within easy reach of Cheltenham, Gloucester and Worcester.
A testing but fair golf course awaits for the avid golfer, with a real premium on finding the fairways and keeping out the wooded areas that blocked many entries into the green. Birdie chances certainly await on the back nine though, so bring your A-game here and you can expect to shoot a nice score.
One of the impressive features of the course was its bunkering, with Tewkesbury Park fresh off a major bunker refurbishment programme.
The greens were perhaps a little slower than ideal - it took about six holes to adapt to the speed - but we take nothing away from their condition since they rolled nice and true for the majority of the round.
A friendly pro shop stocked with all the latest ground-breaking new product also adds appeal, as too its academy course, practice range and putting green. You can also jump in a golf buggy should that be something you fancy to help speed up your round.
While the golfing experience was impressive enough, it's easy to see why Tewkesbury Park was voted 'Best UK & Ireland Hotel for Weddings, Parties or Special Occasions' at an awards dinner in Mayfair last year.
The restaurant, bar area and its 93 bedrooms are something to behold here. It's just an incredibly warm experience from the moment you set foot through the electric double doors.
We are confident the full package offered by Tewkesbury Park will leave you feeling satisfied, relaxed and eager to come back for more.