Playing as a Member on Tadmarton Heath’s excellent all year round golf course has given me the inspiration I needed to compete successfully on the European Seniors Tour.”
Carl Mason, 3-times European Seniors, Tour Order of Merit Winner, Professional THGC Course Record Holder
Any golf club with its own nickname is surely halfway to being a hidden gem before you even set foot on it in your spikes. Throw in a delightful old Cotswold stone farm building for a clubhouse, and ‘Taddy’, perched 650ft above sea level in the beautiful North Oxfordshire Cotswolds, epitomises everything a hidden gem should be. The holes often interweave intricately on this wonderfully peaceful course, with tests like the narrow 15th, where there’s little margin for error all the way from the tee to its fittingly small green, serving up that element of risk/reward that so many of us associate with ‘hidden gem’ golf.
Best Hidden Gem Golf Courses in the UK and Ireland - Golf Monthly, May 2017
The course was in excellent condition, The Club welcoming as always, food and service really good. All in all, the reasons why Tadmarton Heath remains one of my favourite clubs and venues. I’m sure, quite rightly, you are proud of what you have – and have achieved.
John Williams - President of England Golf 2017
“It is natural, I suppose, that golf clubs should develop a more strongly individual character or atmosphere than clubs of other kinds, and in this country where there is such a variety of courses, it is not surprising that this impression is more marked than anywhere else in the world.At the older championship links – St. Andrews, Prestwick, Royal St. George’s, Westward Ho! and so on – there is an atmosphere that is at once distinguishable from all the others, but the same applies to many less celebrated clubs upon which the gaze is seldom directed. When I was invited to play at Tadmarton Heath in North Oxfordshire, this fact was quickly confirmed.
Perhaps my feelings were influenced by having achieved the perfect escape from the general confusion of Christmas week; or maybe the drive from Banbury Cross through the neighbouring countryside formed an unusually romantic introduction to the golf but much respected opinion had told me that Tadmarton Heath had many fine qualities. If it was a course that Roger Wethered saw fit to play as often as he could, it is surely one that is good enough for most of us.
In an age when there is so much emphasis on power and stretching holes to limits for which they were not designed it was encouraging to see from a glance at the card that Tadmarton measured well below 6,000 yards, but in this case bare details were deceptive. In winds that never miss those exposed parts, it must frequently seem to play about twice its normal length. As a course it has what may conveniently be described as a split personality, the first nine holes being fairly open and the second nine possessing a characteristic commonly associated with heathland golf – a profusion of gorse which makes some of the fairways alarmingly narrow.
As this tests a player’s nerve at a critical point in the round, it is as well that there should have been temptation earlier to open the shoulders, but for all the latitude that may be allowed, there are many splendidly demanding second shots – particularly those at the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 9th – which can only be negotiated successfully from drives that have been strategically placed.
The first seven holes do not stray far from the clubhouse, the short 7th – with its attractive shot over the waters of the Holy Well which are said to provide a cure for rheumatism – bringing some danger to its walls and windows. But the fun really begins when the 9th turns away alongside the road by the gate and the short 10th (117 yards) induces a tremble or two at the prospect of seeing more of the prominent bunker and the intervening gorse than of the freely undulating green.
Gorse again dominates the drive over the distant ridge at the 11th and the cleverly angled second at the 14th, where a slice off the tee is not to be recommended, but the 15th (288 yards) and the 17th (365 yards), despite their innocent length, are the two holes where the slightest deviation from the fairway inevitably decrees a prickly fate.
Although the 18th immediately provides relief on the right, the staunchest of hopes may already have been destroyed, though even that need be no cause for discontent. All around, the scene is one of simple beauty and tranquillity. The whirl of traffic is far away, and ahead in the warmth of the old Cotswold stone clubhouse that was converted from a farmhouse, lies the assurance that all thoughts of golf can, if necessary, be dulled – though not, let me hasten to add, the urge to try again.”
“Fortunately, I have discovered this absolute gem of a golf course, but don’t tell anyone ………..!! “
Andrew Murray, former European Open Champion and Radio 5 Live Golf Commentator
“An ideal place for a beautiful golf course, the land having everything in its favour, and the surroundings splendid in every way.”
“I have inspected the ground and consider it is admirably adapted for the construction of a first class golf links. The sub-soil is sandy, and the ground will never be adversely affected by the heaviest rain. The contour of the ground is extremely suitable. An entire absence of steep hills ensures easy walking, while the undulating ground makes golf interesting. There are plenty of features to afford natural hazards. The course is beautifully situated with commanding views. I see no reason why a course should not be made which would rank with the best inland courses.”
C. K. Hutchison, Course Architect, 20th July 1921
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