Manor House - Wiltshire - England

Manor House Golf Club,
Castle Combe,
Near Bath,
Wiltshire,
SN14 7HR,
England


  • +44 (0) 1249 782982

  • Stephen Browning

  • Peter Alliss, Clive Clark

  • Andrew Ryan


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Manor House

Many people go to Castle Combe for the motor sport. It’s one of the longest established circuits in the UK where, in 1950, a young Stirling Moss won the 2.5 litre race. But the 13th century village of Castle Combe is something entirely different and light years away in feel and pace to the race circuit. The village is simply gorgeous and undoubtedly one of the prettiest, most beautiful in England. In fact, it was recently voted the most picturesque village by English Heritage Magazine. 

Situated on the southern edge of the Cotswolds, the Manor House Hotel and Golf Club is set magnificently in 365 acres of rolling countryside. The course is a relative youngster, opening for play in 1992 and Peter Alliss and Clive Clark designed it. The maturity of the setting makes the course seem much older, where stately oak and beech trees line the magnificent fairways. Alliss and Clark made the most of the undulating terrain and they’ve fitted the course into its surroundings like a silk glove. The River Bybrook punctuates the layout bringing its share of beauty and drama, especially at “Burton Brook” the 17th, one of the best and most exciting par threes you’ll find anywhere. 

Today’s Manor House course stretches out to around 6,500 yards. It’s no championship layout but it will provide an enjoyable test for most golfers and real challenge from the tiger tees.

We’ve already mentioned one par three, but there are four other excellent one-shot holes on this unusual but dramatic par 72 layout. With five modest length par fives, birdie opportunities are there for the taking. The par five 3rd, called “Doolittle”, is perhaps the exception. This is the stoke index one and it’s a corker, where the land tumbles downhill and a valley requires negotiation before the sanctuary of the green is reached. The 7th, another par five, is a strategic test with its curving doglegged shape, which is further defined by an avenue of trees. 

Just like the village of Castle Combe, the closing hole is one of the prettiest finishes in England. The green on this par four is guarded jealousy by numerous bunkers and a series of interconnecting ponds. A par here will be a fitting end to one of the most enjoyable and exciting rounds of golf you’re likely to experience in the whole of the British Isles.

The Manor House Golf Club is part of the Exclusive Hotels group who also own Mannings Heath Golf Club.

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Reviews for Manor House

Av. Reviewers Score:

This was my first visit to the Manor House and given the recent spell of frustratingly wet weather the course was drier than expected. As mentioned in earlier reviews the routing leads to a few lengthy hikes from green to tee, some being severely uphill, but we did see numerous players who had chosen walk. Maybe there are a few holes that you would willingly chuck out but there is no shortage of character and due to the undulating nature of the land there are plenty of interesting holes and a handful of real Manor House Golf Course - Photo by reviewerbeauties. There are five par three's of which two are excellent. The pretty 2nd sits in the bottom of the valley, anything hit short or left will find the meandering river and the 17th, a cracking short downhiller is played to one of two small greens. You may only have a wedge in hand but both greens are well protected by the river running between them and across the front of the smaller and more difficult right one. Some of the longer holes are also influenced by the valley including the driveable risk and reward 8th where anything pulled left is dead. The 18th delivers a strong and potentially ruinous finish but my favourite hole would have to be the strategic par five 12th, a visually superb dogleg where the river, a lake and a nest of bunkers must be avoided before reaching the plateau green. The current winter rate offers pretty good value for one of the best parkland courses in the South West of England. Brian W
February 16, 2016


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Have played here a few times in all seasons. Course has always been in very good condition and hospitality has been impressive - especially when staying in the Manor House in Castle Combe and dining at their restaurant.To the course itself. The first hole is almost a filler, with no real danger once the tee shot has been hit. Not the greatest of starts but you forget all of that when you reach the second tee. A beautiful par 3 - almost like you are separated from the rest of the course (this is almost true - it is a fair old walk from the first and even longer up the hill to the 3rd tee). The 3rd hole is one of my favourite par 5s in the country, threaded through a narrow valley of trees and up to a tiered green. 5-6-7-8 is also a great stretch of holes, with the short par 5 6th and the reachable downhill par 4 8th very birdieable, if you can nail the tee shots. Other highlights include 12, yet another great par 5 over a ravine to a raised and well protected green - 17, a lovely flick with a wedge down about 90ft (although in my opinion not the best par 3 on the course let alone the country), and 18 which is a pretty finishing hole although a tight drive and challenging approach.There are some average holes but to me the course is about having fun, it's not difficult if you can keep it in play but it's a well designed track and there are a lot of holes that will stick in the mind, especially on the front 9 and the last two holes. Tom
January 29, 2016


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I recently played this course with a group of ladies; it was a day to remember! The course was stunning with every hole being unique, from the 12th through the valley; to the breathtaking drop on the 17th and the challenging final hole, with a waterfall between the green and the club house. We received a friendly and warm welcome before our round and enjoyed our lunch outside on the terrace. The service was faultless from start to finish. We were also lucky enough to play whilst the club were trialling buggies on the fairways. This helped us enormously and will definitely be returning if they continue with this. A fantastic course which I would highly recommend.
September 14, 2014


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What a beautiful course!I was invited to a corporate day at The Manor House a couple of weeks ago and the course was in great condition. All the holes look like a potential feature hole but the 17th par 3 is an absolute belter. Will be returning shortly.
May 08, 2014


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very much agree with the review of 17/04/12; an average course with a couple of decent holes; too many better courses to give this anything more than a 3 ball. DB
April 18, 2012


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Gary Upal
September 16, 2013
Couldn't agree more. I actually think that, as Clark and Alliss courses go it has potential but only if reshaped in order to get away from the very mechanised 1980's style the pair were so fond of. Strange, because Alliss is forever wittering on about this or that classic gem, only to go and design the completed opposite. I suppose it sells to the masses though. C'est la vie.
Sorry, but this course is not worthy of being on this Website. The walks are too long, too many average holes, the only holes of note are typical Peter Alliss comedy holes. The 17th is pretty but not really a golf hole. The best par 3 was the 11th or 2nd (they keep changing the nines around , can't keep up) but they are putting a new bunker in just where the perfect tee shot lands, now the hole will be impossible, the ball will pitch on the steep down slope and shoot across the green into some bushes on the left and will probably be lost. The par 5 3rd or12th is a pretty valley hole but doesn't play like a good golf hole, you can't hit driver, ground too slopey. One of the par 3's has a sand waste area tee to green but then changes to proper bunkering when it gets to the green, what's that all about. This is probably the 5th best course in Wiltshire after Cumberwell, Tidworth, High Post and Bowood. Anyway the food is cracking, Get Martin Hawtree in to design it properly then you will have a great course , Good luck Castle Combe.
April 17, 2012


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Hugh
April 19, 2012
The Manor House is not an average course but it’s not an excellent one either. It’s actually somewhere in between (Wiltshire doesn’t have any excellent golf courses and the ones the reviewer lists are no better than the Manor House, they are just different). The Manor House routing leaves a lot to be desired as it’s quite a hard walk with some distance between greens and tees but some of the best courses have routing problems that even Hawtree couldn’t resolve. The fact you can’t hit driver does not make a hole poor. Golfers that want to constantly hit their driver should head to the range not the course. Clive Clark was undoubtedly the force behind the Manor House design and I think he’s done a pretty good job. Put me down as a fan of the Manor’s par three 17th, it’s fun and exciting. I’ve played the Manor House four times now over the years and I’d rather play here twice than any of the other Wiltshire courses the poster mentions.
Tony
April 20, 2012
36 holes at High Post is the best days golf in Wiltshire by a long way. And at £20 for a days golf on the county card, are you ever going to beat that.
Hugh
April 21, 2012
High Post is great value, but decidedly average. Not Hawtree's finest hour. It’s several notches below the Manor House and High Post is not a place to play if you don’t like road and aircraft noise.
Luca
April 02, 2013
High post and Tidworth better. Your having a laugh. And if people complain about the walk, then they just to need look at themselves and get into shape!
Andy Ryan
June 19, 2014
We strongly disagree with the comments that have been made here. The course right now has never been in better shape and each hole delivers a separate and quite unique challenge. I personally think that Peter Alliss and Clive Clark had incredible vision when designing the course - I understand that only 1 mature tree was removed during the build process. The course continues to go from strength to strength and the daily comments we receive are very very positive. Please do make contact with me directly if you would like to experience the course again. [email protected]
Very impressed. Played 2 weeks ago and much better than I was expecting. An interesting design that should appeal to all handicap levels, with a drivable par 4 that every course should have (the course actually has at least 2). I do however have a few negatives: It's been said many times but you would have to have youth and fitness on your side to attempt to walk this course, there are some serious distances and elevation changes between holes. The par 3 17th is a fun hole and beautiful to look at but is not even close to being one of the best par 3's in the world, also I'd say that the 18th isn't even the prettiest finishing hole in Wiltshire never mind the country (both descriptions coming from the course guide). To conclude I'd say price wise it's on the money (apart from the almost compulsory buggy which you feel you're being fleeced for), design is interesting and condition was great for mid March. Unless you can run a marathon in under 3 hours don't try and walk it, but do make the effort to play it. Leagues ahead of sister course Mannings Heath
March 31, 2012


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Robbie
February 28, 2013
Interesting comments but the point about requiring abuggy is way off line. I'm a member there, and a senior, and I can assure you that the only members who take buggies are those with medical conditions. The walks are fine - please don't be put off by this misconception.
Nice course, but absolutely agree with the comments about the routing. Some long and steep walks between several greens and tees. Course marketing is also a bit over the top - the 17th is a good short par 3, but very definitely not "one of the top 10 par 3s in the world".
June 21, 2011


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I returned to the Manor House last week after a six-year gap and thoroughly enjoyed the round in breezy but dry conditions. We took a buggy as my playing partner was nursing a leg injury and can confirm that the rule is still to keep buggies on the paths despite the dry weather. I’m not a lover of buggies, less so when they have to be kept on the paths, but I certainly wasn’t complaining when we were whizzing along, making short work of the very long walks between some greens and tees. For me, the routing is the biggest issue at the Manor; the course itself is varied and at times very exciting. One or two holes could at best be described as average but the majority are good golf holes. It’s the routing that lets it down and will always prevent the course from being top class in my opinion. The course was in excellent shape and the greens were running at a slippery 10.5 on the stimp according the guys in the pro shop. These were some of the best greens I’ve played on this year, so well done to the green keepers. Service, as has already been mentioned in reviews below, is exceptional and this improves the overall experience. The Manor House is a good golf course at a facility where the service is excellent and this is a great mix for a short break and one that I’d thoroughly recommend.
June 05, 2011


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My wife and I had a two day break staying in the hotel and played the course twice. The welcome in the pro shop was enthusiastic and efficient. We had a buggy on the advice of friends who had played the course previously but saw plenty of people either with electric or manual trolleys managing very well.The course was in excellent condition. Our visit was in the summer and the greens were true and fair. The first hole, a dog leg left, is one best played a couple of times to understand club selection on the drive. The second is a par three drop hole with again club selection all important. There is a good use of terrain making up the course and the signature hole, the 17th again a par three drop hole, is a joy. There are two greens available at the 17th both with water hazards.
January 31, 2011


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Tony
April 19, 2012
Please people, 6 ball ratings are for the best courses in the country, Sunningdale, Turnberry etc. I know the condition of the course is excellent and the food is great too, but this Website puts the Golf Course first and Castle Combe is a 3 ball course compared to the others on this site. I mean it's the 5th best course in Wiltshire.