So you know from the outset, I am a member of Ross on Wye Golf Club. It features in the Top 100 in most golf course review books and has quite the interesting back story that you can read about in the clubhouse bar. I have been a member since the heady COVID days of 2021.
I had been playing golf for 5 years when I joined Ross on Wye, having learnt the basics of how to play at Rodway Golf Club in Gloucestershire and having had lessons with the club pro at Brickhampton Golf Club in Churchdown, Gloucestershire. It is fair to say that Ross on Wye is a step up in playing level. Here is our Ross on Wye Gold Club course review.
Arriving at Ross on Wye Golf Club
Ross on Wye Golf Club is really easy to find. It is in a small village called Gorsley and can be found next to Junction 3 of the M50 motorway. You don’t need to worry about parking. Although the main car park by the clubhouse and golf shop is often busy it has not one, but two overspill parking areas. One is right next to the driving range as well, which is very handy.
When you arrive you need to pop into the very friendly pro-shop to book in. It is an official Ping retailer with full fitting and testing areas. The pro’s in there really know their stuff. They are by far the most friendly pro’s I have encountered in my short time playing golf. They are led by Tim Hall, a total golf pro, nice guy, and the only person who can get my kids to shush when they have their golf lessons. Keep an eye out for bargains in the pro-shop too. They have great deals. All of my clubs (apart from the Driver, a long story) have been bought via the pro-shop deals.
Pre Match Practice at Ross on Wye Golf Club
The practice and warm up facilities at Ross on Wye Golf Club are, in short, fantastic. There is a driving range, a driving cage, a chipping and bunker practice area and also a putting green. The putting green is very reflective of the greens on the course and provide a strong challenge.
Ross on Wye Golf Course has recently embarked on a huge bunker replacement project. To get you used to the new, very high quality bunkers, they put the first one in on the practice chipping area. If, like me, you arrive super early for every round of golf there are lots of practice areas to keep you qualified. Maybe pop into the bar/restaurant area for a pre match coffee or beer too.
Whistle Stop Tour of the Holes on the Ross on Wye Golf Course
I am not going to go into huge detail on every hole. I am also not going to give lots of advice and guidance on how to play each hole, not least because I am not qualified to give golf advice to anyone! What follows is a quick guide to each hole.
With the tee box right next to the pro-shop and car park, you could have many eyes on you. From the tee box it looks straight forward enough. It is deceivingly narrow though, and longer than it looks. The main aim of your drive is to get it straight down the middle(as ever) and, if you can, further than the first large tree on your right. From there, straight forward and in for par. Easy as that… maybe.
This one curves round to the right from the tee box. You have an unsighted hole and green from your drive. Ideally, you want to be hitting your tee shot as close to the ridge as you can. The bigger hitters get it past the ridge and are then looking for a strong second to give themselves the chance of a birdie.
Careful when really going for it on your drive, especially if you go left. The fairway of the 8’th hole is right there and with a steep downward slope, you could be in a load of trouble.
Another unsighted green and hole. A big drive onto the green is doable and I have seen it done a fair few times. The main hazard is an out of bounds to the right. The green is very challenging as well. Everything slopes left to right in a very deceiving fashion.
I really dislike this hole. Another unsighted green and hole. You are spotting a trend right. Unless you take the Tiger line and keep it tight right, your drive is going to land and roll down the right to left slope. Pretty much every shot I hit ends up down by the bell.
If you get the roll, you then have a monster up hill second shot to get to the green. One on the green it is more forgiving than many of the others on the course.
A straight it Par Five. You can get away with a wayward drive here. This hole represents our first real chance of a Birdie.
Another Par Five that is fairly straight but a very long drive is important. Playing off the white tees on this hole can be a real challenge. The green plays very true. A strong drive and second shot can help your chances of a birdie.
A cheeky Par Three, downhill, that doesn’t look that far, but is. The green has a slope that will break your heart. If you manage to land it on the green, the slope can just smile at you and take it away. Putting out is a challenge because of this slope. Did I mention the slope? I have had many an amazing tee shot ruined by that slope.
The last Par Five of the front nine. Whilst you are tee’ing off, take a look at the signature 16th hole on your right hand side. Wow it looks good doesn’t it. I always think that the drive on Hole Eight needs to keep to the right hand side, but mind the trees.
Your second shot is hampered by a false ridge. There is one ridge, a short flat section and then a second ridge. Aim for the yellow disk on your second shot and if you get over the second ridge there is an outside you will roll down, close to the green. Whilst I have never achieved this, I have had a few mates go out the back of the green from their second shot. This is an amazing achievment when you see how far it is.
Another Par Three and you will be thinking either a rescue, 3 wood or maybe a 5 iron. I always go a rescue. I have seen some take it on with a half swing driver as well. After some initially tight trees, it opens up towards the green. Wave to the spectators on the bar balcony as you putt for a birdie. or hide in shame if you end up in the Captains Charity Bunker.
Half Way House
As you wander through to the tenth hole, why not stop off in the bar and get a hot sausage roll or maybe a cheeky beer. Also, a good chance to pop your charity donation in the jar if you ended up in the bunker on the 9th hole.
A long Par Four. The tree’s make it a very narrow start to the back nine but it is a glorious hole. The green keepers very kindly added a new bunker on the right in 2023. This has helped to make sure you keep your approach shot to the left of the green, so maybe we should thank them.
A dangerous looking hole but I love it. The danger is a tree in the middle of the fairway for your drive, and then a narrow brook that has the potential to ruin your second shot. If you are a big hitter you may want to step away from the driver and instead go for a rescue or 4/5 iron to get past the big tree. If you go too big to the left or right you risk losing your ball to the road or the brambles. Take it steady. A beautiful big green awaits you.
When i first joined Ross onn Wye Golf Cloub this hole terrified me. It is over water! Again, the green keepers have come in during the 2023 season and replace one long, sweeping, bunker on the right and added two new “pill” bunkers. Thanks for that. Get it on the long and wide green though and you are away.
Love this hole so much. A straight-ish par four. Keep your drive straight and in the warm weather you will roll on down towards the green. If you leak right you can end up behind some large trees, so play it safe.
My favourite hole which is ironic as it is down as the hardest hole on the course. A strong drive is essential if you want any chance of getting a par. The green is off to the right so you ideally you need to hit your drive to the left side of the fairway so you have chance of a good approach shot.
If you go down the right you have to negotiate your way over or through the trees which is never ideal.
On paper this looks a very hard hole but if you can get your drive over the ridge, you will be fine. Even if you leak your drive to the right you have a fairly achievable (famous last words) shot over so low willow trees. Enjoy it and prepare yourself for the next hole which is specatacular.
Take a moment to drink in the view of this hole. Picture of this hole feature on many of the marketing posters for the club. It is glorious. Your first thought would be to try and drive onto the green. Be careful if you try this. To get it on the green needs a giant drive. You risk losing control of your ball by trying to over-hit it and the lft and right of the green carry massive trees and obstacles.
Given it is a Par Four, it is far easier to try and hit a sensible, controlled, drive (yeah right) to lay up and then go for the green on your second shot. Easier said that done as you have three bunkers hugging the edge of the green. Good luck and make sure you grab a picture of this hole.
The next two holes are the hardest of the entire course in my opinion. The Seventeenth needs a massive drive to try and get it somewhere on the uphill approach to the unsighted green.
You really need to aim for the marker on your second shot and hope that you get either on the green or thereabouts. The green on the seventeenth is beautiful and very true to your shot.
By now you will be a fully accomplished hill walker! The Eighteenth is another beautiful hole. A solid drive, aimed at the marker post, will keep you dead centre. The big tree on the left has ruined the second shot of many a golfer.
A solid drive has been the cause of a fair few of my 5 or 6 birdies on this hole. Note, the approach to the green and the green itself, slopes right to left so I always aim a bit more right on my second shot. Don’t go too far right as it is a tight out of bounds by the practice area.
My friend once mis-hit his second shot from here and put it on the putting green. He was well and truly yelled at for this but this could also because none of us tracked his wayward shot so the panic’d FORE went missing.
Post Round Facilities at Ross on Wye Golf Club
There we have it. Head to the bar or ample changing rooms,. Then work out your card with your mates and reflect on what a great course Ross on Wye Golf Club has. The food in the bar/restaurant is really high quality.
They have a great range of beers, wines and spirits. The locally sourced food always tastes amazing, even better if you have won. Have you played Ross on Wye Golf Club? Let us know in the comments.