Played by NCG: Ross-on-Wye
Reason for a Ross-on-Wye Golf Club review
I played at Ross as a weekend round with my boss, who lives in nearby Cheltenham. After a spot of research about the best courses in the area, it became clear that the extra miles to Ross would be worthwhile, and it didn’t disappoint.
Ross is seen by many as an unsung gem, which probably doesn’t benefit from its slightly remote location. Having said that, it’s just off the M50 so is still very easy to get to.
Where is Ross-on-Wye Golf Club?
Ross-on-Wye is a small Herefordshire town in a picturesque corner of England close to the Welsh border, although the golf club is affiliated to neighbouring Gloucestershire. There aren’t a huge number of quality golf courses in the region, but Ross is most certainly the pick of the bunch.
What to expect
Tall pines, quick greens and lots of bells to ring. Each hole at Ross is routed through dense woodland, putting a premium on accuracy off the tee and making it one of the prettiest courses I’ve encountered. The land is naturally contoured, although the course could not be described as overly hilly – blind shots add to the intrigue but don’t worsen Ross’ playability.
I played Ross from the yellows, from which all three Par 5s are reachable in two at around 470 yards each. From the whites, I imagine the course is a different animal.
After playing a fun run of holes from the 5th to the 9th that included three par 5s and two par 3s, I was expecting the back nine of eight par 4s to be a little duller and possibly repetitive. This couldn’t have been further from the case, however, with the closing run of six Par 4s the best holes on the course.
13, 15 and 16 offer birdie opportunities but are all tight, with the latter particularly tricky with a small landing area and water up the right. 14, 17 and 18 are long par 4s that require two well-struck shots to reach the green, with the final hole particularly penal given its internal out of bounds on all sides. I certainly thought so when I stuck my drive into the trees on the right to rob me of my first under par round of the year!
What to look for
A summer green fee is a fairly priced £49, but I played at the twilight rate of just £18 – possibly the best-value round of golf I’ve ever played.
Truly, this was an absolute bargain for what was a beautiful, well-maintained, challenging yet fun golf course that would surely be better known if it was in one of the golfing heartlands of England, or was located a few miles west over the Welsh border.
The club and its members were also all very friendly, contributing to a highly enjoyable afternoon.
For more information, visit the Ross-on-Wye Golf Club website.