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13 November 2014

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You are in: Gloucestershire > Places > Places features > Birdies among the Sheep

Cleeve Hill Golf Course

A challenging hole on Cleeve Hill

Birdies among the Sheep

We meet the man who runs Gloucestershire's highest golf course - on top of Cleeve Hill near Cheltenham - where you're just as likely to see sheep and cattle as you are plus fours and putters...

Did you know that the highest point in Gloucestershire is the top of Cleeve Hill? You might have done, but did you know there's a golf course there?

Hugh Fitzsimons

Hugh Fitzsimons - runs Cleeve Hill Golf Course

Cleeve Hill Golf Course's fairways and greens meander around the top of Cleeve Hill - the highest point in the Cotswolds at 330 metres. The gentle slopes and depressions make it one of the most natural golf courses around - the sport has been played there since 1887.

The long distance footpath, The Cotswold Way, runs across the course meaning golfers have to look out for walkers before they play a shot. Sheep and cattle are also free to roam on the hill, and it's also a haven for wildlife - being home to species such as rare orchids and butterflies.

BBC Radio Gloucestershire's Rupert Upshon has been to speak to the man who learnt to play golf there 30 years ago, and liked the course so much, he now runs it. Hugh Fitzsimons told him: "I learnt to play golf here in 1979 and and I haven't been able to leave the place since, it's such a beautiful place to be."

Golfers

Golfers take on the challenge of Cleeve Hill

Rupert asked him whether the livestock cause any problems? Hugh said: "Not too much. The only problem they cause is that they urinate on the greens and they stain them. But that's not really such a big problem because it grows back again and it's still puttable.

"We put up with it. That's part of Cleeve Hill - the sheep and the cattle. That's the way it's always been and I suspect that in another hundred years it'll still be the same."

Click on the link below to listen to Hugh Fitzsimons' interview in full.

last updated: 30/06/2009 at 18:23
created: 30/06/2009

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