Woodlands Signature Course Review
Club Name: Woodlands Golf & Country Club
Course Name: Signature Course
Location: Trench Lane, Almondsbury, Bristol, BS32 4JZ, UK
Date Played: Summer 2021
Course Type: Parkland
Woodlands Golf and Country Club has two 18-hole courses, The Masters and The Signature. This will be a review of the latter.
Their website proclaims 10 holes on the course have water so you might need to take a few extra balls but more on that later.
The course is relatively new but has had money invested to try and get decent greens with them being built to USGA specification.
It’s beginner-friendly with both pricing and attitude. £20 per round on weekdays and £22 on weekends and little if any dress code requirements.
First impressions weren’t great with the car park being very rough and ready but fortunately, you don’t play in the car park!
The course is pretty open so that also makes it ideal for beginners and it’s pretty short too.
The rough is also kept very short so you shouldn’t have to spend ages looking for balls when you miss the fairway.
When I played there was a pretty strong wind blowing across the course and looking at other reviews that seems quite common.
Clearly, they’re not keen on people using the white tees unless there is a competition as only yellow and red blocks were out. A bit of a shame as the course is pretty short even off the white tees.
It’s a pretty easy walking course although there are a couple of longish walks between greens and tees.
The first hole is a straightforward par-5. The only real issue will be the ditch short of the green – if you can avoid that then you should get off to a par start.
The second is the first par-3 and is raised up so if you miss club or miss-hit you will be left with a tricky chip.
The 3rd is another short par-5 which I was able to get to with a drive and 3-hybrid. The green is very wide but not deep so you need to judge clubbing correctly.
Four is a medium-length par-3 followed by a short (off the yellows) par-4 that doglegs around a small lake.
This is the first water hazard that should pose a significant issue. Particularly if you slice!
The sixth is a straightaway par-4 and the seventh is a slight dogleg with water to catch your tee shot if you leak it right.
The front 9 finishes with a medium-length par-4 and a slightly downhill par-3.
To start the back 9 we have a short dogleg par-4 which bigger hitters might have a blast at the green.
The 11th is another hole where slicers need to beware as a water hazard awaits on the right.
The 12th plays slightly uphill and has a ditch running down the left to be avoided.
Two large fairway bunkers pose a challenge on the next. Like most bunkers on the course, they are quite large and fairly flat. What most people would call “American” style bunkers.
The next is the “signature” hole. A tee shot that feels much more cramped than any other on the course.
The approach is also tricky with nowhere to bail out as there is plenty of water around. A good job it’s not 400 yards as well!
Water coming thick and fast now. The 15th at least offers a bailout to the right. Anything short or left is in the agua.
The 16th has a slightly sloping fairway which plays a little uphill.
Based on its yardage it should be a par-4 but listed on the card as a 5.
17 is an island green which always seems a bit gimmicky to me but it does give you a bit more room for error than the most famous island green at TPC Sawgrass.
Fortunately, the final hole is relatively short as you are hitting a tee shot over a lake.
As long as you don’t let it put you off the carry isn’t too great.
On the whole, I thought the greens were pretty good, decent speed so you didn’t have to hammer your putts but not so quick to be frightening. A few too many pitch marks but that is an all too common problem. I wish people would do the decent thing and repair them!
Fairways were ok too with a decent covering of grass. It seemed to me they were similar to many other newish courses – not necessarily providing that nice tight turf to clip your shots off.
The tees were ok – maybe a few more unrepaired divots than I’d like. Of course, covid-19 means players don’t have sand & seed mix available to fix them!
The Signature course has a par of 70 but from the yellow tees the SSS is 65 and the course rating is also 65.
The course rating is a measure of what a scratch golfer should shoot.
You can see that its length and lack of hazards other than water mean it should be relatively simple for a scratch golfer.
The slope rating for the course is 108 from the yellows and 113 from the whites. Since 113 is considered “neutral” then it’s also not rated that difficult even for a bogey golfer.
Off The Course
In addition to the usual bar and catering facilities, you could also indulge yourself in a little bit of fishing in the on-site lake.
Woodlands Signature Course Review: Summary
Condition wise it’s hard to argue with for £20. You are unlikely to find significantly better-conditioned courses for that sort of money.
Is it a course that you will find particularly memorable? Probably not. It is however a good venue if you are only an occasional golfer not looking for membership because you don’t play often enough. It’s probably a good choice for inexperienced golfers too as it’s not too demanding for length or accuracy.
Society organizers will probably find it a good choice also as it is relatively easy walking and is not overly challenging. It’s also easy to access being close to the M4/M5 motorways which you can hear from the course!
If you do live in the area then membership is only £870 which for 36 holes of golf is excellent value!
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