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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
STINCHCOMBE HILL GC Revisited New
« on: March 06, 2015, 07:41:15 PM »
Stinchcombe Hill GC was originally constructed in 1889 and extensively re-worked in the 1920s by the team of F Hawtree & JH Taylor; a few a years later James Braid made some alterations.  However, the true visionary was Sir Stanley Tubbs; he purchased the 200 acres and placed it in Trust for the enjoyment of golfers and adjacent parishes for the princely rent of £20 per annum on a 99 year lease. 

Due to the somewhat routine bunker placement, these days Stinchcombe Hill doesn’t have the retro look or feel of some other nearby Cotswold courses.   However, whatever the course may lack in heritage, it makes up for with fine turf which is excellent for the more traditional style of shot-making.  Coupled with the admirable grasses are impressive views up the Severn Estuary and east toward Dursley.  Additionally, the Trust restored view points from the course and the Cotswold Trail which make it very easy to take advantage of the exceptional outlook. 

The above may give the impression that the golf isn’t very good, but that wouldn’t be an accurate characterisation for there are a few holes which use the features on offer to great effect.  The course doesn't really kick into gear until the 5th, but the long two shot 2nd and 3rd are not without interest.  Hugging the escarpment, the 2nd turns threateningly left and the 3rd plays over a drop-off.  The short 4th can also play long as it is over 200 yards.

After a fairly routine, but difficult opening four holes, the 5th hits us like a sledge hammer.  Again, hugging the escarpment and certain death left, the hole turns left and plays to a bench green.




An excellent feature of the hole is that there is space on the right to flank the trouble.


Behind the green.


The short 6th straddling the ridge is quite an interesting hole. 


Behind the green.


By the 7th we should notice the preponderance of dog-leg left holes.  The routing essentially flows clock-wise around the property boundary along the escarpment with a few forays to the interior; in total there are 8 holes which move left and only four which turn right.  In any case, the 433 yard 7th will usually leave a blind second with a bunker cutting off play from the safe right side of the fairway (away from interior OOB down the left).  The 8th turns back on #7 and features a lovely greensite.  9 is a downhill short hole which is not terribly thought-provoking.  The 10th is the fourth two-shotter over 400 yards encountered thus far...there is one more.  Unfortunately, the longer 4s and the sole par 5 don't hold much interest as a group.  This is a great pity because Stinchcombe is only 5600 from the daily tees and needs the longer holes to count for something other than yardage.  The short 11th is a good hole, but is not that dissimilar to the 15th with essentially the same bunker scheme.  Below is a side view of the hole.


From well in front of the tee. Tee shots hit just over the front bunker will feed to the green.


12 & 13 are decent holes, but don't move the needle much.  I do like the short 2 shotter 14th because the fairway has a bit of movement.


Another interesting par 3, but other than being more downhill, the 15th is very similar to the 11th. Below is a shot from well forward of the tee.


Perhaps the best hole on the course, the 16th is reminiscent of a links hole. Among the shaping short of the green is a pathetic bunker...I think the only fairway bunker on the course.  The trees in the background here and at other points around the course are unfortunate.  In fact, with all the trees surrounding the property, it is difficult to see the course is surrounded by valleys and the views are outstanding.


The two finishing holes are rather bland...and that in essence is the problem with Stinchcombe Hill.  Despite a handful of lovely holes, for one reason or another, too many holes are indifferent.  Unlike nearby Minch Old and Painswick, it seems to me that much of the Victorian elements may have been smoothed out of the course over time and if so, it is a great shame.  Still, the price is right, the course is very pretty, the fairway turf is sublime and the walk is very pleasant.  Stinchcombe makes for a good addition if folks are playing a few nearby courses and need to add another.   2020

More Cotswold Gems

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

Minchinhampton Old Course
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,48765.msg1101368.html#msg1101368

Painswick
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,51629.msg1181534.html#msg1181534

Ciao
« Last Edit: April 14, 2021, 03:16:50 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

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2015, 04:47:04 AM »
Stinchcombe Hill is a thoroughly nice place to play golf. It may not be earth shatteringly amazing architecture wise, although as Sean points out though, there are a good handful of lovely holes, but it has a certain quiet, peaceful charm and ambiance about it that somehow makes up for what it may otherwise lack and playing 18-holes feels like a lovely relaxed, amble in the English countryside. The open aspect provides many fine views and the routing flows rather nicely which perhaps contributes to the restful overall ambiance.

I did a brief overview of Stinchcome a while back - http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59026.0.html - with photos from the summertime.

One aspect worthy of highlighting is the rough. Due to nesting birds the Club are only permitted to cut the rough in very late summer. Prior to it's annual cut it looks like this -



Proper rough, hay really, Muirfield style, swaying gently in the breeze. Ball loosing rough.

A 4-day tournament comprising Painswick, Minch' Old, Cleeve, and Stinchcombe would be a lovely Cotswold combination.

atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 05:21:51 AM »
atb

I am surprised by the rough your photo shows.  Is there an intermediate cut before the gunge?  If not, some of those fairways are incredibly narrow...in key places less than 20 yards wide...and with the wind the course would become a real slog.  

Looking at images of these FL courses in recent action it is a wonder the same game is played at Stinch....incredible difference.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 05:23:23 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

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 07:46:23 AM »
Sean,

What they do at Stinch' through the main summer season is an interesting approach.

The fairways are pretty standard in width. Then there is a wide 1st cut of rough say 20-30-40 ft or so. This 1st cut is cut at a length that makes it quite 'claggy' so shots landing in the fairway (or in the 1st cut itself) are frequently 'held back' from rolling into the thick hay.

If you analyse the photo I posted closely towards the bottom of the picture you'll see a ball nestling down in the 1st cut. From the 1st cut of rough you can find and advance the ball fairly easily but controlling flight and trajectory can be difficult even with spinny grooves and a ProV1.

Hit the fairway = best position and control
1st cut = find the ball okay but have lack of control
In the hay = tough! Lost ball.

It's a unusual approach to fairway/rough management these days but given their birdlife issues I can see merit in it.

As to your Florida thought, definitely chalk and cheese!

When you return to Stinch' have a close look at the par-3 4th hole. There is an old tee way, way left of the current main tee positioned at such an angle that you must play across the corner of the escarpment.  Aparently they had to stop using it because of footpath issues but it would have been a cracking hole once upon a time, the more so with yee olde equipment.

atb

Adrian_Stiff

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2015, 07:38:27 PM »
I have been round in 66 but that was under easy no-rough conditions. With the rough up it's easy to take 80, the last county championship there quite a few over won, it is a different course in the summer. 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 13 are all tough pars, lots of opportunities for birdies but you wont get one driving pin high at the 1st and outside the greenside bunkers.

I had a look at getting it over 6000 yards a few years ago adding tees at 2, 3, 4, 5 (making it a 5) and 13. There is a madman that has his own/ used too website that was anti stinchcombe hill golf club. I think there has been fights, court cases. Quite depressing for the club.

Would make a great addition for a Cotswold Quirk Part Two sometime in the future.
A combination of whats good for golf and good for turf.
The Players Club, Cumberwell Park, The Kendleshire, Oake Manor, Dainton Park, Forest Hills, Erlestoke, St Cleres.
www.theplayersgolfclub.com

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2015, 02:31:27 PM »
I know what you mean by 'different' course when the roughs up in the summer Adrian. 66-80 and all that. I played Stinch' last summer with a low hcp long hitter who managed to loose 6 ProV1's in one round. More expensive in balls than in greenfee!
I didn't know about the anti-golf club protest element. Shame, nice place.
atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2015, 06:40:49 PM »
atb

If what you and Adrian are saying about the rough is accurate and the fairway lines remain as I saw them a few weeks ago...I don't want to go back in summer....the course would be brutal and it isn't good enough to endure that sort of torture  ;D

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

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: 2014-15 Winter Tour: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2015, 07:02:30 AM »
Go on, play it in the summer.......I dare you too! :)
atb

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2020, 01:40:32 PM »
I took up the Welsh Wizard's dare and played Stinch in the summer. The rough wasn't as bad as I was led to believe, but there were a few outrageous areas and all the rough could do with thinning out.  I must like the course to some degree because it didn't drop from my Happy 100!

See the updated tour.

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

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: STINCHCOMBE HILL GC Revisited
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 04:11:25 AM »
There is something about Stinch', maybe it's the aura of tranquility with the long grass swaying in the breeze or the wonderful views or the way the routing flows in a circular manner as if you're going for a stroll, ever twisting and turning around the edge of the steep escarpment. Whatever it is, Stinch' has something about it. Some courses are like this and they're hard to define in words.
The course was in fine fettle for the Tin Man and I and the various non-GCAers who ventured along as well. Greens somewhat on the slow and lush side (over-watering?) and the rough not as high as I've seen it previously whilst the skylarks, whose nesting prevents the rough being cut until late summer, were flying and chirping away.
While Stinch' might not be earth-shatteringly amazing, Open Championship level golf, there are enough good holes - including some strong par-4's and some sneakily cunning stuff like the benched green on the 5th or the along the spine par-3 6th - to keep the player on his or her toes. And if the player becomes a bit too ambitious or if the unwatered fairways are really dry and bouncy, the rough or the downslopes towards the escarpment edge will most likely push scores up even more so should the wind be up.
Worth mentioning that the views from some spots are terrific although the trees on the escarpments upslopes, which I presume the Club have no control over, do unfortunately limit the scenes in places. It would be wonderful if the views over the Severn Valley and into the Cotswolds opened-up.

Here are some sample views from the course over the Severn Valley the second of which also shows what the rough can be like -






atb
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 04:15:03 AM by Thomas Dai »

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