Rowlands Castle Golf Club Review [Good Or Bad?]

In the quaint little Hampshire village of Rowlands Castle, sits the majestic Rowlands Castle Golf Club. Home to an entertaining golf course and a friendly club.

I recently got the chance to have a round there and have to say, it’s well worth the visit.

In this article, we’ll dive into a little more detail about the club, course, and whether you should add it to your list of courses to play.

Let’s get into it and look at our review of Rowlands Castle Golf Club.

Rowlands Castle Golf Club Review

Rowlands Castle Golf Club Review

Our Rating

Overall [4.1/5]
Course Design/Layout
Course Difficulty
Course Conditions
Green Conditions
Pace Of Play
Practice Facilities
Food & Drink
Value For Money

Course Information

Rowlands Castle, Hampshire. Opened in 1902.

18 Holes Course | Par 72 | 6642 Yards | Parkland


Situated in South-East Hampshire, Rowlands Castle is a lovely little village with plenty of charm. The club is easily accessible for visitors with the local station within walking distance and a short drive from the A3 (M).

This rolling fields and countryside make for the perfect setting, with Finchdean and Stansted Park within a few miles.

Originally created in 1902, the new layout was designed in 1922 by the legend that is Harry Colt, whose work includes Sunningdale and more locally, Blackmoor Golf Club.

Rowlands Castle Golf Club Green Fees

Mon – FriSun
Visitor £45£55

Rowlands Castle Golf Club Scorecard

Rowlands Castle Golf Club Scorecard

Rowlands Castle Golf Club Slope Rating

TeeGenderSlope Rating

Pre-round Thoughts

There are a lot of golf courses in the Southern region of Hampshire, not all of which are good. Of course, you’ve got great options such as Hayling Golf Club and Southwick Park, but you’ve also got a few dodgy options. 

I’d always heard pretty good things about Rowlands Castle, known for its tidy layout and challenging setup. 

When you’ve got a course designed by one of the greats in golf course architecture, you know that what you’re going to get from a golf course. A fair but enthralling round, built around the lie of the land and requiring all clubs in the bag to be used.

The club itself describes the course as one that requires good course management to shoot a good score. This is usually a type of course that fits my game well as I’m not the longest of hitters and enjoy plotting the ball around the course rather than overpowering it.

Greenfee wise, Rowlands Castle Golf Club is a good price and offers a mid-range price point. £45 for a Wednesday round seems a reasonable price for a lot of golfers. We’re certainly happy to pay it and are looking forward to an enjoyable days golf.

We hit a few balls in the practice net by the clubhouse and we’re ready to get going.

The Course

The course is a beautiful parkland layout with lots of unique holes and layouts, plus plenty of trees and rough. It’s built in a nice woodland area, so almost all the holes are heavily affected by a great selection of local trees.

At 6642 yards, the par 72 course isn’t overly long which makes it playable for all levels and ages. A few of the holes will give longer hitters the opportunity to really open their shoulders off the tee.

The card features just three par 3s and three par 5s, so it’s a little bit of a par 4 fest. However, the twelve par 4s have a good mixture of shapes to enjoy, even if a lot of the yardages are similar. The theme for a lot of the holes is an accurate tee shot and a dogleg to think about. Very few of the holes are straight, so positioning the golf ball well is a key element to shooting a good round.

The conditions on the day we played were really great. Lovely smooth greens that were rolling quickly and which have some great breaks to contend with.

Front Nine

The front nine includes just the one par 3 and one par 5, but if played well, it offers up plenty of birdie opportunities. 

Par 3s – 2nd

With OOB all the way up the right side, this 178-yard par 3 needs a good tee shot to avoid the traps on either side of the green. The green feeds in off the right, but if you’re going to miss the green, short right is the best play.

Par 4s – 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th

The 1st isn’t a long start, but it can definitely catch you out. Good players can hit driver off the tee carrying the bunker up the right. However, the fairway begins to narrow as you get closer to the green and OOB will end any hopes right.

The 3rd hole is the start of a trio of par 4 doglegs, all of which are about positioning off the tee. Number 3 is a dogleg right. Anything too far left will run out of room, but if you’re too tight right, you’ll be blocked out for the approach.

The 4th is a similar hole but in the opposite dogleg direction. A shorter club is required off the tee, to avoid the OOB at the end of the fairway. Number 5 is again a big dogleg to the left and again requires just a long iron off the tee for position. If you’re confident with the driver, you can take it over the tree-lined corner. However, for most, it will be a club that takes the two strategically placed bunkers out of play. This three-hole stretch is one of my favourite areas of the course.

The 6th shouldn’t cause too much stress, just keep your ball straight off the tee (easy right?!) and you’ll have a short-ish approach to an uphill green. Number 8 is another hole down the hill, with a dangerous bunker to catch drives slightly right of centre.

The closing hole for the front is another mid-range dogleg right par 4. The tiger the line to the right off the tee, the better and shorter the approach shot will be into a green which has a large slope to deal with.

Par 5s – 7th

Number 7 is a good chance to pick up a birdie for better players. The uphill par 5 requires a good tee shot to carry the dip. Then once you’re on the fairway the hole keeps moving uphill and to the right. A long tee shot up the left side will open up the green and give a better angle into the hole. 

I lost it a little right off the tee and was completely blocked out on the 8th, so keeping it left is important. 

Back Nine

The back nine has a greater mix of holes, with two par 3s, five par 4s, and two par 5s to get stuck into. Get through the first couple and you should be able to hold a good score together on the remaining few.

Par 3s – 11th, 14th

The 11th is tricky par 3 with a green slightly elevated from the tee. The 184-yard hole is the toughest of the three par 3s at Rowlands Castle and features a green surrounded by five bunkers. The miss is certainly not right here.

Number 14 is a nice short hole at 149 yards off the whites, which again plays uphill to a fairly large green. Everything slopes from back to front, so leaving yourself short of the pin is a must, but always adding half a club will ensure you avoid the front bunker.

Par 4s – 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 18th

10 is a mighty hole to start the back nine. 434 yards, up the hill to a green that is heavily sloping. The slight dogleg left is guarded off the tee with two bunkers well in range with a driver. The tighter you can take it to those bunkers, the shorter the second shot. Leaving it short of the hole on 10 is advisable. 

The 13th is probably my favourite hole on the course and is certainly the most entertaining. The 382-yard dogleg right has OOB left and a large oak tree in the middle of the fairway. A short-ish carry over a valley of rough takes you to the fairway which pushes you to the right side. The position off the tee is important if you want a good line into the green. Once you get to the green you’ll be amazed by the incredible double tier. It’s perhaps one of the biggest green slopes I’ve ever seen which makes it very memorable indeed.

15 and 16 are another couple of dogleg holes, 15 being the toughest hole on the course. Then you come to the brilliant 18th which is a bit of a brute to finish. At 458 yards off the whites, it’s the longest par 4 on the course. When we played it was also into the wind, making it a mighty two shots to get on the green. The approach shot feeds slightly downhill to a green that has the clubhouse onlooking. It’s a really good finishing hole.

Par 5s – 12th, 17th

12 and 17 are both a couple of birdie chances that you’ll need to keep your round going. Both are reachable in two with the right tee shot. A tee shot down the right of 12, avoiding the rubbish which chops into the fairway on the right. Then you’ll open up the green for your shot in. 

17 is the most severe of the dogleg holes at Rowlands Castle Golf Club. If you can get your tee shot as tight to the little ditch running across the fairway, you’ll have a great chance of making the green in two. However, with the ditch running on either side of the green, anything slightly leaked can fall to a watery grave.

Our Verdict

Rowlands Castle Golf Club is a super interesting place to play golf. It’s hard to find many golf courses that have over half the holes set up as a dogleg. Big bends to the left and right make for a challenging and thought-provoking round of golf. 

Positioning is definitely the key to good scoring at Rowlands Castle. And because of that, it’s certainly a place that you’ll want to play a couple of times to really get the hang of where you need to be hitting it off the tee.

If you’re able to play yourself into the correct areas on holes then there’s a good score out there for the taking. The par 5s aren’t short holes, but they’re all good opportunities for picking up a shot. 

Just because almost all the holes are doglegs, this doesn’t necessarily make them all good holes, however. A few of the holes do feel a little bit ‘samey’ and that’s only further illustrated when you take a look at the par 4 yardages (many holes around the 360 mark, especially on the front nine).

Having said that, Rowlands Castle Golf Club is still a place that should be getting your business. It’s a fascinating course to play that will keep you on your toes from the first tee shot to the last putt. Great wildlife, some extraordinary golf holes, and conditions that you’d expect from a £140 course.

Overall, if you can get the chance to play Rowlands Castle Golf Club, it’s well worth the £45 green fee and you should 100% give it a play.

Final Thoughts

Rowlands Castle Golf Club is a wonderful setting for golf, in the Hampshire countryside, it offers a great choice for golfers of all levels. From £45, you get a top-class golf course with some great holes to test your game and provide a brilliant experience for all.

If you’re looking to play more golf in Hampshire, find out the best golf courses in Hampshire.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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