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Sean_A

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The Pleasure And Prick Of PAINSWICK GC
« on: March 30, 2012, 07:39:43 PM »
The wording of this sign suggests some people think Painswick is abandoned.


Painswick plays up to and around Painswick Beacon and offers lovely views up and down the Cotswold Escarpment.  As the course is on Trust land the membership must adhere to strict maintenance restrictions including no watering that doesn't fall from the sky. In addition, club finances dictate that two green staff can and will get the job done.  As such, one cannot expect to find a well-presented course, however, golfers should seek to experience Painswick for the joy of the game rather than for top nick conditions.
 
Numbers donít really describe Painswick very well, but I offer them in the hope that prospective golfers will be intrigued.  From the medal tees, the course is less than three miles long or to be exact, 4831 yards.  Seven one-shotters are featured making a total par of 67.  During one six hole stretch between #s 5 and 10 there isnít a par 4 to be found.  The daily tee on the seventeenth is one yard longer than the medal tee.  Oh yes, there is only one bunker on the property and it is strictly for practice.  Perhaps most eye opening of all, as the SSS is 64, the five marker must shoot 69 to properly maintain his handicap; believe me, this is no easy feat. 

Like it's Cotswold Cousin, Cleeve Cloud, Painswick is largely defined by its quarries, humps, hollows and hills.  Painswick is much more akin to a links than an inland course.  Indeed, I donít know of a links which can match this wee Cotswold gem for outrageousness. There are several holes which can best be described as extreme, but the course is generally the better for it. Painswick features many blind shots, the highlight of which come at 5 and 10. These holes play into a 3000 year old bronze age fort which is part of a string of such strongholds. Hole 6, 7 and 11 are within the ancient stone and earth ramparts. The 10th sports the smallest green I have ever seen.  No less than ten holes cross over each other.  In a word, Painswick is quirky,  but if one is looking for some insight as to how the game was played well over a century ago then look no further. 

I recall my first game at Painswick some 20 years ago.  After crossing the road and setting my bag down near a tee, I then wondered where the 1st hole was.  A quick 360 made it clear that I was meant to play straight up the hill immediately in front of me.  It seemed like lunacy to me then and nothing in my twenty or so rounds since has convinced me otherwise.  Be that as it may, Painswick's first has the most interesting twist of all the terrible opening holes I know.  After an 185 yard Sherpa expedition the golfer finds this first head turner.


Looking back to the tee.


The second used to play from the corner of the huge quarry short and right of the first green, necessitating a daring drive over the corner of said quarry.  The tee has been mercifully moved to the rear and left of the 1st green.  At 330 yards this is one of the longer two-shotters.  While the drive is somewhat interesting, it is the retreating green which provides the challenge.  Ever so tempting, the third plays over the edge of a growing as we speak quarry.  Superb features such as the track down the right are abundant. 


One of my favourites on the course and the last two-shotter we shall encounter until the 11th, #4 is another hole which many golfers will want to attack.  One of strongest traits of Painswick are the greensites. 






#5 is the pick of some as the favourite par 3 and there can be no doubt that playing up to a bronze age fort is thrilling, but I am not so keen on the hole because its either up or lost ball. 


The 11th is in the background.


By any standard, the 6th is a superlative hole; 200 yards of delight. It would be fantastic if the fairway section below the green was mowed as an extension of the putting surface.




If you asked me to choose what Painswick's second best strength is, it would have to be the quality of the short holes.  There are seven in total, yet one never gets the impression of playing the same sort of tee shot more than once.  #7.


Other than the excellent greensites, I am not terribly enamoured with #s 8 and 9, back to back par 5s.  If only for the sake of safety, I would rather see the 9th played as a par 4 from the ladies tee.  The sunken 8th green.




The 9th green sits at the top end of a quarry; looking back to the tee.


More later.

Ciao   
« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 02:45:07 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Bill_McBride

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 09:35:49 PM »
Great to get a look at Painswick again, one of my favorite courses on the planet.

#6 was in Henry Longhurst's list of best holes of the UK.

The building behind the 8th green is a pub.  I think a stop there should be mandatory.

All the par 3's are great.  7 looks pretty innocuous, but the green is tiny and OOB is across the road 15 yards left of the pin!

Sean_A

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The Pleasure And Prick Of PAINSWICK GC
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 03:32:32 AM »
Ace

Yes, #7 is quite a tight hole, but I reckon someone could babble a low flat one up there in an attempt to eliminate the prospect of oob.

#10 must sport the smallest green I have ever seen.  It is of a punchbowl type, but in proper Painswickian fashion the bowl leaks a bit on the right and its a blind carry over an Alps. This may be my favourite funky hole on the course.




Ciao
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 01:08:33 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Bill_McBride

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 10:08:32 AM »

Agreed, Sean, but beware the dreaded double cross!  Trying to be cute at Painswick can run up a score with the overgrown quarries, natural pots, etc.   It looks so easy on the card!

Sean_A

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The Pleasure And Prick Of PAINSWICK GC
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 12:13:46 PM »
The 11th is a mad par 4 which by normal standards would be a par 3, but because of its snaking fairway the par is 4.  There is nothing to see from the tee and a recon look after playing the fifth suggests lunacy in going for this green in one.  However, most folks I know have a go.  Below is a look at the hole from behind the green.


By the 12th it is quite clear that a great many of Painswick's greens run away from the tee.  I think this feature combined with downhill shots is a bit overused.  Being four yards longer than the 11th, this par 3 is a bit of an oddity.  Due to the ski slope nature of the fairway it is very difficult to know which club to choose off the tee!  #13 features one of the best drives on the course as the fairway (shared with #3) plows through trees right and a quarry left.  The green too is one of the best on the course and sets on the ground quite simply and superbly.  Below is a picture looking back at the tee.


The tee shot for 14 plays over the quarry we skirted on the 2nd.


A normalish hole, the short downhill 15th is played into a pack of trees. Below is a photo circa 1900.  The hole looks incredibly similar today except for the extreme overgrowth making the tee shot almost blind.


Ciao
« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 06:16:39 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Tommy Williamsen

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 01:01:32 PM »
Painswick is something I just have to experience.  The more I see and read about it the more my appetite is whetted.
Tom Williamsen
Where there is no love, put love; there you will find love.
St. John of the Cross

Sean_A

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The Pleasure And Prick Of PAINSWICK GC
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 04:27:15 PM »
The 16th is yet another half shot hole.  Playing under 300 downhill yards, the tee shot will have many licking their chops.  If one manages to drive it straight this channel will guide the ball where it needs to go.


#17 is a tough driving hole.  Somewhat like the 13th, the drive narrows considerably at the driving zone.  To heighten the difficulty, the hole legs left, around a cemetary and over a road against the lay of the land.  One can end up in the next county if the ball gets rolling down the road.


The final hole is a rather listless par 3 which doesn't have much to recommend it and this is a great pity. Even so, Painswick is loaded with compelling shots and holes; dare I say it even has one All England hole in #6!  With so much on the positive side of the design ledger it is interesting to note that a relatively obscure Open Champion (1886) from Musselburgh by the name David Brown is credited for the original layout which included #s 4-11.  The current 9th would have been the opening hole. What an all-star line up of holes these would make as part of a 9 holer!  David Brown was a roofer at the time of the 1886 Open and was dragged off a roof to make up the numbers up.  He had to borrow sticks and a ridiculous black-tailed coat (which earned him the nick name of "Deacon") then tee up in about 30 minutes!  Of course, we shall never know how much Brown inherited and who added the new holes in the early 1900's, but based on Painswick, I would like to see more of Mr Brown's work...if there is any. While I don't care for some holes and I believe there is some downright poor architecture here and there, how can one not smile after playing 4, 6, 7, 10 & 11?  So long as the good conditions prevail I am happy to suggest folks in the general vicinity to pop in and make Painswick a memory to be savoured.  1*  2021

A 2004 news clip of Pests playing in what would become the Buda Cup.
https://youtu.be/_HLlNgOjD4s

A photo of the crazy clock given to the club by Pests.


More Cotswold Gems

Cleeve Cloud
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49796.0.html

Minchinhampton Old Course
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,48765.msg1100536.html#msg1100536

Stinchcombe Hill
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,60660.msg1437536.html#msg1437536

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 02:50:25 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

James Boon

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2012, 04:14:14 AM »
Sean,

Thanks for the pictures of Painswick.

I love all of the course, even some of its madder moments, with the possible exception of the bland finisher.

I love the 4th, great green site! The 6th is indeed one of the best par 3s I know. The 9th is a fabulous hole that should be one of the great short par 5s, but is spoilt by the safety issue a little which means a forward tee is safer.

I've said it before but I've been lucky to play painswick when the Beacon has been quiet.I can't imagine how chaotic it would be during a competition and on a fine day full of walkers etc?  :o

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2012, 03:47:21 PM »
Count me as a big fan. A couple of people asked if it lived up to my expectations and I had to  say "Yes, more so becuse i hadn't factored in 3D!"

 Last year I played Royal Ashdown Forrest which is famous for having no bunkers and some of the natural features they use to protect greens are vicious.  What impressed me most about Painswick is the various land forms close to the small greens donít all feature huge amount of elevation change, pften 5í or less gives all the protection you need.   There is also tremendous variation in how these features interact with the superb greens.


Perhaps itís the reasonably stiff walk, but I certainly didnítí come off feeling Iíd played a short course or feel in any way short changed by 'the numbersí as you put it.  Just a sense of magical use of the ground.

The course would be better without the cross over at the far end and though I enjoyed negotiating them, thereís no way Iíd want to play them every week.   I also think itís a shame weíre hung up on 18 hole courses.  I think Iíd have preferred to finish at 17 while the smile was still at its widest.

I guess Ďthe Dellí is the most famous blind Par 3 in Golf and Iíve played it and Cader, but I had to go to Painswick to understand the pull that The Maiden and Sandy Parlour once had.
Victorian golf was Hickory golf.  Now look again at this picture.



I loved them both BTW,

Thinking about starting a thread ďTen courses you must play before you dieĒ
No 1 Painswick
No 2...
« Last Edit: April 01, 2012, 04:40:50 PM by Tony_Muldoon »
on 29th May I am riding 100 Miles to help raise funds for Dementia Research. All donations are welcome.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ridelondon-tonymuldoon

Sean_A

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2012, 03:00:55 AM »
Sean,

Thanks for the pictures of Painswick.

I love all of the course, even some of its madder moments, with the possible exception of the bland finisher.

I love the 4th, great green site! The 6th is indeed one of the best par 3s I know. The 9th is a fabulous hole that should be one of the great short par 5s, but is spoilt by the safety issue a little which means a forward tee is safer.

I've said it before but I've been lucky to play painswick when the Beacon has been quiet.I can't imagine how chaotic it would be during a competition and on a fine day full of walkers etc?  :o

Cheers,

James

Boony

I would also like to see the birch removed short of the 9th green.  There is enough trouble guarding left of the green and enough holes where shots are quite tight.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

PPallotta

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2012, 10:43:02 AM »
Thanks, Sean.

Given Don M's recent 5-part sustainability thread, and all the (well-meaning) nuance and questions raised there, it is interesting to see the stark contrast in the simple, clear-cut and definitive direction re Painswick: 

"As the course is on Trust land the membership must adhere to strict maintenance restrictions including no watering that doesn't fall from the sky."

Peter

 

John Mayhugh

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 09:18:38 AM »
Count me as a big fan. A couple of people asked if it lived up to my expectations and I had to  say "Yes, more so becuse i hadn't factored in 3D!"

Great description! 

Thanks for the tour, Sean.  Jason Topp & I managed to play Kington & Painswick on back to back days pre-Buda 2010, and both exceeded expectations.  Pictures are great, but just can't convey how wild they look in person.  The smile factor is very high indeed.

Sean_A

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 09:28:09 AM »
Tucky

Yes, Kington is yet another different animal and one I think superior to Painswick and bordering on great.  Kington has a clear strategy to each hole, but with great recovery options, yet there is still enough dust about the place to not be considered polished.  I hope to get guys there for a 1 nighter at some point, but I don't want to be the organizer - tee hee.

Pietro

If Painswick had a joy to be alive membership category that costs £100 p.a. and limited the rounds to two per year I would sign up.  All clubs like Painswick should be supported by true lovers of the game.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Rich Goodale

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2012, 10:52:01 AM »
Good to see you finally coming over to the dark side vis a vis Painswick, Sean.  You have removed a significant void from your golfing CV. :)

Slainte

Rich
Life is good.

Any afterlife is unlikely and/or dodgy.

Jean-Paul Parodi

James Boon

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2012, 05:03:15 PM »
Rich,

Good to see you around these parts again! And glad also to see that I'm not the only one that recalls Sean being not as warm towards Painswick as he is on this thread  ::)

Sean,

Those self set silver birches on 9 could certainly come out to improve the approach from the left, while you will still need to be spot on with your execution to make the green from that side!

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2012, 07:45:36 PM »
Boony

Don't listen to Rihc - he is a wind-up merchant. 

Life is good when the conditions support the design.  I have always liked the course without being in love with it.  Better yet, I like the idea of Painswick more than I do Painswick.   

Ciao   
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Mark Pearce

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2012, 12:47:13 PM »
Tucky

Yes, Kington is yet another different animal and one I think superior to Painswick and bordering on great.  Kington has a clear strategy to each hole, but with great recovery options, yet there is still enough dust about the place to not be considered polished.  I hope to get guys there for a 1 nighter at some point, but I don't want to be the organizer - tee hee.
There's an annual 36 hole Open at Kington at the beginning of July.  One year?
In July 2022 I will be riding 3 stages of the Tour de France,  in the Alps, to raise money for the William Wates Memorial Trust which is dedicated to providing opportunities for under privileged young adults.  To support the Trust, please visit https://fundraising.wwmt.org/fundraisers/MarkPearce/rid

Bill_McBride

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #17 on: April 08, 2012, 08:47:21 PM »
Boony

Don't listen to Rihc - he is a wind-up merchant. 

Life is good when the conditions support the design.  I have always liked the course without being in love with it.  Better yet, I like the idea of Painswick more than I do Painswick.   

Ciao   

Painswick is the "Brigadoon" of golf.

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2013, 02:18:58 PM »
Bumping this thread for two reasons:

Firstly, because the photos are so damn good to look at.
Secondly, to see if any local (or even not so local) GCAer's fancy a knock around Painswick, maybe even combined with a knock at Minchinhampton Old, sometime over the next few weeks.

All the best

Paul Gray

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2013, 02:55:42 PM »
If only I could drop everything and get to that neck of the woods.....
In the places where golf cuts through pretension and elitism, it thrives and will continue to thrive because the simple virtues of the game and its attendant culture are allowed to be most apparent. - Tim Gavrich

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2013, 06:14:31 PM »
Bumping this thread for two reasons:

Firstly, because the photos are so damn good to look at.
Secondly, to see if any local (or even not so local) GCAer's fancy a knock around Painswick, maybe even combined with a knock at Minchinhampton Old, sometime over the next few weeks.

All the best

Thomas

Perhaps, though I would prefer to see Minch Old over Painswick.  Shoot out a few dates and we will see what comes of it.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 11, 2018, 07:20:37 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Bill_McBride

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Re: PAINSWICK GC: 2011/12 Winter Tour
« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2013, 09:05:40 PM »
If only I could drop everything and get to that neck of the woods.....

You have a head start on those of us who travel from America!   ;D

Sean_A

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Re: The Pleaure And Prick Of PAINSWICK GC
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2014, 01:48:37 PM »
Well, Doc dragged some co-workers out for Painswick abuse.  Except for the strangling rough the course was in excellent nick.  Doc, what did they think - start with Ross.

All, see the updated pix.  

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 03:00:38 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Thomas Dai

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Re: The Pleaure And Prick Of PAINSWICK GC
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2014, 02:41:58 PM »
Anyone happen take a photo from the 12th tee looking down the valley towards the two Severn Bridges and the Forest of Dean? It's a great general view and one I omitted to photograph when I was there fairly recently. Shame as it was a beautiful day, similar to the EGD day.
atb

Sean_A

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Re: The Pleaure And Prick Of PAINSWICK GC
« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2015, 03:13:43 AM »
What are your thoughts Mark S?

Ciao
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 08:00:58 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

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