Cleeve Hill

Cleeve Hill

Nearby Courses

7 miles away

Tewkesbury Park

23 miles away

Heythrop Park

28 miles away


Cleeve Hill is located to the north and above – and that is the operative word – the Cotswolds town of Cheltenham. In fact, you get great view of the famous racecourse on the back nine. Cleeve Hill is really high up. In some places it's bleak. In other places it's stunning. Sometimes it's stunningly bleak. The Cotswold Way cuts across the course so you see plenty of walkers up there. The landscape is almost lunar, and everything is on a grand scale. At first glance, the golf course is entirely lacking in definition.

If you don't 'get' Cleeve Hill, and not all golfers do by any means, then you will take one look at this pale, inhospitable, windswept landscape and retreat to your perfectly presented, sheltered parkland. And good luck to you. But the rest of us will be enjoying ourselves up at Cleeve as it gradually reveals its charms.

I don't know if it was my favourite hole, but the moment when I realised that visiting Cleeve Hill was fully justified was on reaching the 2nd green. It's a short par 4 with a blind drive and you can have no idea what's over the brow – a tiny green cut into the hillside. From the wrong angle, it's nearly impossible to chip it close.

I just loved being up on the top section of the course, with golf all around. The way the course reveals itself is a delight – especially when you come to realise that there is a clever hole around every corner. With a total absence of trees, this is a course where those who can control their flight are at a real advantage and able to chase their shots on to the greens, staying out of the frequently gusting winds.

You need a bit of golfing soul to get the most out of Cleeve Hill – I'll be honest enough to say that when I was standing on the shaggy 1st tee staring at a marker post and beyond it oblivion I did wonder what I was doing here. Once you get going, though, you'll love the cute green sites and minimalist bunkering. There is always enough to stimulate interest and it's a great test of your short game.