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Golf in Swindon 

PGA Golf Professional
With SwindonWeb's PGA Professional Phil Poulton

Welcome to the SwindonWeb guide to golf in Swindon.

Now, I am not going to pretend that Swindon is the golfing Mecca of the South or that it has golf courses to rival Wentworth, Sunningdale or The Oxfordshire, but Swindon does offer probably the best selection of golf courses to suit all standards of player.
 
Right from the absolute beginner to the tour professional, Swindon has a golf course for you and the facilities have produced some of the best players in the country; most notably, Ryder Cup star and 2006 PGA Champion David Howell and Martin Sell, 2002 Amateur Championship runner-up.

They both learnt how to play the beautiful game playing the courses around Swindon and are a credit to the golfing facilities the town has to offer.
 
For the absolute beginner
Pitch & putt courses & driving ranges
 
You don't need to be Rory McIlroy to enjoy a fun game of golf in and around Swindon.

There are three great pitch and putt courses to try - a 9-hole one at Coate Water (incl. crazy golf), and two 6-hole ones in Highworth.
 
Add in three covered driving ranges - with floodlights at Broome Manor and Bassett Down - and it's easy to grab a club and hit off a hundred balls without fear of embarrassing yourself.
 
 
On the course!...
 
These are the places you can really get out there and enjoy a proper game in the great outdoors - even when time is very limited.
 
9-hole golf courses

Basset Down Golf Course
Golf for all:
Basset Down Golf Complex
Basset Down, Jnct 16, M4
Part of a golf complex that ranges from an excellent 9-hole golf course extending over 3,080 yards of mature parkland (with more holes to come) to a modern floodlit 20 bay driving range, extensive practice areas to most recently a 12-hole football golf course.
 
Broome Manor, Old Town
Swindon's original pay-and-play that includes a 9-hole course that presents a very good challenge to even the best players.
 
Cricklade House Hotel, Cricklade
Offers a pay-and-play 9-hole course that's shorter but still popular with more experienced golfers.
 
Blunsdon House Hotel, Blunsdon
Boasts its own 9-hole Par 3 course, which has hosted the West Region PGA Par 3 contest in the past.
 
18 hole courses
 
Wrag Barn, Highworth
Needless to say, Wrag Barn in Highworth stands out here as one of the best courses in the region, not just Swindon. Now established for over 25 years, the tree-lined course has matured beautifully with a perfect mix of good length par 4s inbetween picturesque par 3s and not too many par 5s.
 
David Howell, Swindon golf star
Broome Manor:
home of golf star David Howell
Broome Manor, Old Town
Open in 1976 and where Tour star David Howell learned his game. Voted the Number One Public Course in the South West of England for the last 5 Years.
 
Ogbourne Downs
Once called Swindon Golf Club and designed by 5-time Open champion James Braid, this undulating 'inland links' isn't everyones cup of tea (especially when the wind blows) but there's no denying it's got some really great golf holes.
 
Marlborough Golf Club
One of the oldest in Wiltshire and just down the road from Ogbourne Downs. Another well-established club offering 18, mainly tree-lined, holes with excellent views and sloping greens! David Leadbetter applied to be the Pro here - they turned him down!
 
The Wiltshire, Royal Wootton Bassett
Designed by Peter Alliss, 9 holes have been added to the original 18 to offer a nice choice of which to combine. Very small greens.
 
Shrivenham Golf Course, Shrivenham
Another good parkland course, which is celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Option to play just 9 holes too.
 

Golf Lessons
Where you can improve your game in Swindon
 
Peter Mitchel Golf Academy Swindon
Golf Academy:
Wrag Barn Golf Club
As a PGA Pro I'd always recommend having a golf lesson if you fancy trying golf.
 
Just getting the grip right and being taught how to stand to the ball can make a massive difference in how you well you can hit it - and, most importantly, the best way to quickly build up your confidence.
 
PGA Pros know best on equipment too and custom-fitting, so do seek out shops where they offer advice.
 
Most 18 hole and 9 hole golf courses in Swindon have a resident PGA Professional attached, some with indoor 'flight simulators' and video filming.
 
 
Golf Lesson
 
But first, a quick lesson on how to improve the most important part of your golf game - putting.

Although putting is never as exciting as swinging a golf club and trying to hit a golf ball as far as you can - I know, I've been there - putting is equally important if you want to score as low as you can and become a better player - no matter your standard.
 
So, if next time you're on the putting green and you want to avoid missing those apparently easy 3 foot putts, try to follow these three simple rules and watch your scores tumble.

Golf Lesson Swindon - putting
1. Line up your putter and the manufacturer's name on the ball straight at the hole

Putting is 50% confidence. And to be confident that you are aiming straight at the hole on short putts, squat down and line the manufacturer's name on the ball straight at the hole (pictured, left) - and then line your putter in line with that.

 

2. Take the putter away slowly and on line

Using a ruler to illustrate my point (pictured, left) I have taken the putter away slowly, low to the ground and on-line - very important for short putts. And remember - unless you want to hit the ball way past the hole, don't take the putter too far back.
 
Golf Lesson Swindon - putting
Golf Lesson Swindon - putting
3. Follow through towards the hole

Don't simply rap the ball towards the hole - stroke it - and make sure the putter follows through towards the hole - the real secret of good putting.

Always try to swing the putter smoothly and always accelerate the putter through the ball.

Oh yes, and finally - practice makes perfect! The living room carpet makes an excellent practice green!
 
And for something completely different....
 
Football Golf in Swindon
 
For those who like a bigger ball, may we recommend trying football golf in Swindon!
 
Great fun for all the family and all ages, and surprisingly effective in encouraging youngsters to try the actual game itself, Basset Down have a 12-hole facility at their golf complex that's proving very popular indeed.
 
 
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