Women & Golf Editor Emma Ballard looks back at a special women's golf media event that she was invited to at The Manor House in association with adidas

At the beginning of May, I headed to Castle Combe, a village in the Cotswolds to take part in a special women's golf media event being held by The Manor House and adidas Golf.

Castle Combe exemplifies a typical quintessentially English village, situated on the edge of the Cotswolds and just 12 miles from Bath, it has been called 'The Prettiest Village in England.' You almost step back in time as you drive into the village and you can see why it has been used on multiple occasions as a film venue for the likes of Dr Doolittle, Warhorse and one of my favourite films, Stardust.

The Manor House, The Manor House Golf Club and The Castle Inn are all owned and run by Exclusive Collection, which has other locations around southern England.

The Manor House Golf Club

Before heading out onto the golf course, we started our day with breakfast and a wide-ranging discussion on women's golf. The Manor House Golf Club is actively looking to recruit more women members and it was interesting to hear from past Lady Captain Lynn Atwell about the difficulties surrounding this considering what the club and course have to offer.

Gaius Wyncoll, GM of The Manor House and Golf Club Manager Andy Ryan were also present to explain more about the business as a whole and gave more detail about their sustainability drive and recent GEO Certification.

Andy Ryan: “Over the past 18 months, the team have worked incredibly hard to implement so many changes. As a B-Corp company, we strive to continue to meet the highest standards of social and environmental impact – and this achievement highlights just that.

“To now be GEO Certified is a real testament to the continued efforts of the team and their continued commitment to sustainable golf course operation and management.”

This obviously goes beyond what you would expect from a regular visit to a golf club but it provided a great scene-setter for the two days ahead.

adidas outfit, warm up and TPI screening

As this was an event co-hosted by adidas Golf, we were all provided with an outfit to wear on the course. Here was my look:

In preparation for our round, we had some time to warm up and were also given the opportunity to have a TPI Screening with TPI Certified coach Jasmine Crossfield (@golf_fitness_girl).

The TPI Screen examines human movement and how your movement restrictions are affecting your golf swing . It focuses on the movement, strength, and flexibility of the human body in relation to striking a golf ball.

I am yet to digest my report from Jasmine, but will let you know the results and exercises I need to follow in due course.

The Manor House golf course

The club and course are set in 365 acres of rolling countryside. Designed by Peter Alliss and Clive Clark and opened for play in 1992, the mature oak and beech trees that line the magnificent fairways together with the immaculate greens and the River Bybrook meandering through the middle bring both drama and beauty to this Championship course.

Although it is good to experience a golf course you haven't played before as totally new experience, there is something to be said for being accompanied by a member or someone who has played it before.

Lauren Prince, Me, Emma Brown and Lynn Atwell

I had the pleasure of being paired with past Lady Captain Lynn Atwell. The course is a Par 72 and plays 5264 from the forward tees.

Most members will walk but due to the hilly nature of the course there are a raft of golf carts available to hire. We used a specially named cart, a nice touch by the club, to get us around the course. I would always prefer to walk but now having played, I am glad my first time was in a cart. There's no doubt you'll be very walking fit if this were your home course!

There are two things I really like about playing a course with someone who knows it - one they know their way around it and two, they can also give you some good hints and tips about the course.

Lynn was a fantastic guide and company throughout our round. To keep things fun, we decided to play a scramble with our playing partners PGA Professional Emma Brown and Exclusive Collection Ambassador Lauren Prince.

It's difficult to describe but the second hole is an inviting par 3 which gives you your first glimpse of the Bybrook Valley. I was amazed that I didn't find water! It's dramatic and sets the scene for the course ahead. A steep climb up to the third tee then gives a run of holes which are more exposed but relatively flat. Within the trees surrounding the holes, bluebells were in full bloom, a perfect spring look.

The impact of the course takes hold on the elevated 8th tee with a 239 yard par 4, a hole that is definitely driveable in the summer. You really have to see it to believe it, I don't think my pictures above do it justice.

You ascend back up to the 9th tee which takes you back to the clubhouse and the chance for a loo break and coffee pick me up.

Keep a look out for local walkers on the 11th and as you follow the path through the back of the green, you are met with another dramatic view, one that you may have missed from the 8th tee. The 12th looks back across towards the 8th, with a much less inviting tee shot as you navigate your way across the Bybrook again, you go down into the valley to come back up again, with some tricky bunkers protecting the green.

Below, I am on the 13th tee which is a big carry for someone like me. Definitely head up the right hand side as the hole slopes severely down to the left.

As the rain threatened to fall, we made quick work of the next three holes. Throughout our round Lynn had been saying, just wait until the 17th. After being pretty blown away by a number of holes to this point, I wasn't really sure how 17 would set itself apart. Needless to say, I should not have doubted Lynn!

All I can say is, you need to see it to believe it. You cannot see anything until you get towards the edge of the tee box. Another elevated tee but this one just feels different. They rotate between the two greens pictured below. I personally would have preferred hitting to the one on the left but there is much more jeopardy by bringing in the water again to the right. Psychologically I am ruined by holes like this!

Women's Golf Media Event Manor House Hotel 2024

Thankfully as we were playing a scramble, I was saved! Then it was the 18th, which felt slightly anti-climatic, for two reasons, it lacked the drama of 17 and it meant a really fun round was coming to an end.

Great company, a lot of laughs and as for the course, one with many highlights but don't be fooled by its beauty it's a tough course in places, with intimidating tee shots - one that you would definitely want to play multiple times to see whether you can conquer it.

The Manor House

After our round, it was time to head to our accommodation for the night. The Manor House grew from the site of a 14th century Norman castle, where little remains of the original structure today. It is everything you would expect a stately home to be like and as you wind down the long drive which has hotel in view the whole time, you can feel there is something special about the place.

Women's Golf Media Event Manor House Hotel 2024

There are 50 rooms available which are split between the hotel and the cottages just a short walk from the main building.

A warm and welcoming entrance hall greets you. I would be spending my night in the main hotel building, it's a little bit of a maze, so you definitely need to pay attention when you are shown to your room.

There was no doubt as to why a hotel like this has a five star rating. The accommodation was flawless, clean and tidy, with all the amenities that you would expect. Plus a few added extras such as a walk in wardrobe and a TV to watch in the bath. The room was spacious, the bathroom equally so and I was only left disappointed that my time spent here would be about 12 hours!

Dinner at The Castle Inn

A short five minute walk from The Manor House is The Castle Inn, also owned by Exclusive Collection, right in the middle of the market square in Castle Combe. It is everything you could wish for in a local country village pub - cosy, quaint, sloped ceilings, wooden beams and so much character.

The menu proved very tricky to pick from as there were a lot of dishes that sounded appealing. Good quality, locally sourced food comes at a price, with three courses coming in the region of £40-£50 per head depending on what you ordered. All the food was absolutely delicious but I was particularly taken with the House Focaccia - which may be the best piece of bread I have ever eaten!

Day 2 of the Women's Golf Media event


After such a filling dinner, not everyone had much room for breakfast but I couldn't help myself. Breakfast is served in the Michelin starred Bybrook restaurant in the main hotel. A fantastic range of cut meats, pastries, fruit, cereal, yoghurt, juices and smoothies are available for you to choose from. Plus there is a small range of cooked breakfast options available (I opted for French toast and bacon). Coffee (or tea) comes as you would like it. A perfect start to day two after a busy first day.

Wellness and a village tour

The group had a couple of added activities as part of our Women's Golf Media event – yoga and meditation with Catherine Hughes and a 60 minute Guided tour of Castle Combe with Carly Batten - A Step Back In Time Village Tour.

I don't want to gloss over these moments, but there is only so much of your time I can take up reading this review. The guided tour was fascinating and well worth looking into if you want to get a true insight into life past and present in Castle Combe.

adidas Golf presentation

We finished our day back at The Manor House Golf Club where we heard from Shreena Patel and Sahra Ali (pictured) from adidas about how adidas Golf is working to get more women into the game. They also showcased some of the current and future golf clothing ranges, explaining specific details around the designs of the products.

There was also the opportunity for us to provide feedback and have an open discussion around women's golf fashion.

Sahra Ali - adidas Golf

Overview - The Manor House

Whether you are looking for a new local golf club to try out, a stay and play weekend or a chance to have a base to explore some of the Cotswolds. I can highly recommend a visit to The Manor House.

From a golf club perspective, it was refreshing to hear from a club that is so keen and actively looking at ways to attract more women to become members of their golf club. Whilst they highly value all the tourist traffic, they want more women to be enjoying the fantastic course and facilities they have on offer, a sentiment echoed by past Lady Captain Lynn.

The Manor House works well as a weekend retreat with a loved one or family getaway. There is plenty to do beyond golf, if you want to look at other activities and places to visit in the area.

As we are a golf title, I'll stick with the golf 🙂 The Manor House Stay and Play packages start at £240pp - you can find out more here.

Women's Golf Day event

Hopefully, this has given you a flavour of what The Manor House has to offer, and with that in mind, I am delighted to say that The Manor House Golf Club is inviting women of all ages and golf experience levels to join in a fun-filled day of free activities as the club celebrates their Women’s Golf Day.

On Saturday, June 8, the club are offering the chance to play nine holes on their acclaimed par-72 parkland course, time on the driving range and practice facilities, and expert advice and tips from PGA coach Louis Boston.

The event – held from 12pm to 5pm – is the latest initiative from The Manor House as it steps up its efforts to increase female participation in golf.

Andy Ryan, golf club manager, said: “As a club we are always looking at ways of how we can help get more women and girls into golf, and our Open Day held is another example of just that.

“If you’re an experienced female golfer, or someone with an interest in golf but have never picked up a club before, why not head down and experience everything great the club has to offer.”

Find out more here.

Thank you to Angela Ward-Brown for providing the images to accompany this editorial article.