Bath Golf Club may not be a monster by today's standards, but in the 1880s they knew how to create a challenging course using the natural contours of a hilltop location and the greens present a special challenge, being relatively small and containing hidden, and some not so hidden, borrows.
Tom Dunn extended the course to a full 18 holes in 1883 with further amendments by J. H. Taylor in 1906, James Braid 1913-1921 and Harry Colt in 1937. The layout now doubles back on itself, rising on natural terraces towards the top of Bathampton Down and provides panoramic views across the Avon valley.
The Mendips to the southwest can be enjoyed from the 8th fairway, and at the farthest corner of the course stands the 11th tee. The Westbury White Horse is visible, as is the escarpment of Salisbury Plain. Alongside it to the right is a precipitous drop, glimpsed through the hanging wood to the valley floor below, leading to a complex of bat caves.
An old quarry shows itself on the 14th where the architect has brilliantly incorporated it into the design of the hole. Overall, Bath Golf Club provides a stern but fair test, rewarding the straight hitter, while any green achieved in regulation will feel like an achievement in itself.
Overall, Bath makes for a great day out. It has a superb club-standard course that's in a privileged location whichcan be enjoyed by all standards of player.