Painswick, like its neighbour Cleeve Hill, finds itself towering over the Cotswolds. Unlike Cleeve Hill, though, Painswick, is cute and playful. It’s got seven par 3s for a start, as well as a host of outstanding short 4s. Let’s not dwell on the first, which is a simply shocking hole up an enormous hill. Thereafter it’s outstandingly entertaining. You can make any number of birdies but there’s also scope to take lots of other, much higher, numbers.
Highlights include the fifth, a blind 120-yard par 3 where you enter a grass fort, while the sixth is an all-timer – 220 yards over rumpled land to a distant raised green. Crucially, it can be played as short par 4 if you choose to lay up.
The greens are tiny so you have to be careful where you leave yourself, especially if attacking the short par 4s. Check out the handkerchief of the green at the 10th, a tiny par 3:
In total, it is well under 5,000 yards and should never be changed. It’s a one-off, it’s eccentric and we should all embrace it for what it is. Go and play it – you’ll love it.