3 reviews of Tidworth Garrison Golf Club
This is a very underrated golf course, remember it is a Harry Colt design. The greens are always in great condition and are typical Colt. It is always important to hit the right part of the fairway to make a birdie possible and a par easier. A couple of minor gripes, Colt designed the 7th to be played from the left hand tee, the right hand tee was put in a few years ago just to lengthen the course, but it didn't improve the hole, and it is certainly a better hole from the left tee, it would be a great hole if they could raise the left hand tee so the entire hole was visible from the tee, it would look spectacular. The new par 3 11th would benefit from the main tee being moved permanently to the left tee so the pine tree doesn't obscure the view of the hole, this would create a better angle as well. I am currently a member of another club in Wiltshire, but if I lived nearer this would be my number one choice.
First things first - I love this course! I played here as a 11 year old for the first time back in 1969 and spent the next 7 years hacking the ball around and having a great time. I played here last a few years ago and was suprised to find the layout had slightly changed - the exquisitely fiendish par 3 10th had disappeared along with the 14th hole - a par 3 that ran alongside where Lyn Bowen, the old pro who taught me, had his shop.(I loved this hole - it was where I once had a hole in one!) The 10th has been replaced by a decent par 4 and the 11th, a good par 3, returns back in the opposite direction. Young P's description of the place is spot on - you never feel crowded and many of the holes are well constructed and make you think. The 4th hole is the toughest on the course - 444 yards from a fiendishly placed back tee. It's straight but has a wicked left to right slope - the landing area for a good result is very small - anything landing centre of the fairway ends up in the right hand rough/trees. The second shot is equally tough - a long iron/wood into a narrow, rather small green. A big deep breath and a prayer is always advisable before you tee off here. As you may have guessed, I remember this place with great affection. In my opinion, its a good test - one of the best in the county. One final thought - much of the trouble was designed to catch errant tee shots when the furthest the ball would go was 240 yards. Like many other courses, I feel that Tidworth has been overtaken by the tremendous leaps in technology. When I played there last, I must have been 30-40 yards past my farthest drives as an athletic 18 year old. The 12th, a testing drive and 4/5 iron 25 years ago was reduced to a drive a wedge. That can't be right - bring back blades, spoons and 'Penfold Ace' golf balls, that's what I say. Happy golfing.
This is an interesting one. Hidden away in a peculiarly silvan corner of east Wiltshire that is virtually the complete preserve of the military, I can imagine that few outsiders have ventured here. But theyre missing out. With so many of the courses on and around Salisbury Plain being open in character (North Wilts, West Wilts, High Post etc), it suddenly seems a little surreal to find oneself in a predominantly wooded environment. It also makes for a refreshingly different proposition to the former. The course opens with an unspectacular uphill Par 4 that gives few clues as to the enjoyment to come. Many of the holes are quite tight, strongly affected by the local contours and have greens that are small and tricky to hit. In terms of design, not many holes will stay with you forever. But what makes the Garrison so good is more the quality of the course maintenance and the scenery, including the bizarre sight of a hill completely riven with tank tracks! Having said that, the 7th is a great little Par 4 (every course should have one of these eminently birdieable holes; this one is blind as well - even better!), the 12th a much tougher Par 4 (SI 1) where, as you would expect, a good drive is paramount, and the 13th by far the best and most challenging of the Par 3s. It all comes together to produce a course thats a touch on the short side (Par 70, with only two Par 5s) and that isnt ever going to host any major championships - but that nevertheless has a mysteriously beguiling and attractive quality about it. In Wiltshire, rank only Bowood, Castle Combe and possibly High Post ahead of it. 7.5/10 Young P
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