Worcester’s finest spot for golfing travellers from all over the region, to come and play and/or to enjoy a night or two away. MG’s husband and wife team, Mandy and Jean-Louis went over for an August play and stay trip.
The privately owned Bank House hotel is situated between Worcester and Great Malvern. The facilities include walking packages to benefit from the magnificent countryside to Spa and Golf breaks. It offers superb facilities for weddings and events plus conference facilities for those visiting for business.
The Bransford golf course is just a short walk from the hotel and you can luxuriate in the aptly named Malvern View Spa as well as play golf, enjoy the hospitality of the hotel and partake of the cuisine.
Having arrived after a day of delivering magazines it was great to enjoy a glass of prosecco and go straight into my hour’s treatment with my absolute favourite skin products, Temple Spa.
The Bank House is only one of three golf hotels nationally that supplies this product and I guarantee you are in for a treat.
Fully relaxed after my massage and reluctant to bathe for another three days, Jean-Louis and I enjoyed a delicious meal with a good selection of wine.
We found all staff welcoming and efficient and after a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast set to the ‘task’ of playing golf for the review.
We were greeted by Tim Shephard, newly appointed Head PGA pro, whose natural ebullience is quite infectious and with a brief resume of the history of the course, he sent us on our way.
Bransford golf course is a young layout, opening in 1992. It is a 6204 yard, Florida style course containing 14 lakes and two island greens. The front nine lulls you into a false sense of security and from then your A game is definitely needed, in particular off the tee from the ninth onwards. It is on the back nine where the majority of the lakes reside. The course is well set out with excellent greens, well maintained bunkers and attention to detail with beautiful beds of wild flowers adding to the journey. Unusually here you face half a dozen holes of each par.
Each of the six par threes are testing, ranging in yardage from 157 yards to 188 yards off the white tees and even for the ladies although the yardage is 50 yards less for two of them, the indices are high.
The third is a 179 yards par three with water immediately in front of the green so you need to know your carry distance and play to the back of the green.
The short seventh has a testing green falling from right to left and back to front so your putting genius is needed on this hole. Take into account the borrow.
The ninth fairway has a narrow approach to the green. The question would be which club to take off the tee and work out your yardage for the approach shot. Water at the back
The 11th, ‘Cypress Lakes’ is the par three with the longest carry over water which runs around the front and right hand side of the green.
The 14th – a par five index 1 of 532 yards requiring an accurate tee shot as out of bounds runs along the right hand side, plus yet another lake.
The 16th is a great par four with a testing approach shot onto the near island green. The large pond in front of the putting surface makes it another hole where you need to know your carry distances.
As for the 18th, a 491 par 5 dog leg right to left, this is definitely a hole where you need to plot your route off the tee and then for your second shot too. I found water twice on this hole and I’m sure this is a card wrecker. The lake in front of the green is approximately a 150 yard carry from the men’s tee, and yet more water soon looms again on the left. Let’s add a bit of left to right wind and suffer the consequences. The conclusion is that ‘Devil’s Elbow’ is aptly named.
Bransford golf course is a definite test of your skills, yet if researched well, you can score well. The greens are immaculate and I learnt that the course bodes well in the winter too.
Such is the set up of the course and the plethora of water challenges, it’s an ideal one for the group golfers who thrive on the pressure and opportunities for banter that Bransford naturally creates.
Bransford has its own golfer’s clubhouse with the bar and restaurant facilities on the first floor, and good course views from the balcony. Various society packages are available and you can book a group visit here seven days of the week, depending on availability.