>

Portal - Championship Course

Course

5.9

Greens

4.8

Facilities

6.2

Value

5.4

Hospitality

3.3

Average rating

5.1

Club offers
Contact
Society
Book a tee
Membership

There are no Special Offers available for this club.

Portal - Championship Course

Cobbler's Cross Lane

Tarporley

Cheshire

CW6 0DJ

08448799082

There are currently no Societies for this club.

There are no Membership options available for this club.

Leave a review

Championship course

Average rating

6.8

25th March, 2016, by Sullimat

I played portal a couple of years ago and found it to be a nice test of golf, it was in the winter so the course wasn`t at its best and I remember not being particularly impressed with it. Our society had it on the list for this year and we played it last week (20th March) the facilities should be great but I feel golfers are an inconvenience there. The young guy in the club house was superb (he had red hair but I`ve forgotten his name) he was really helpful and the pro shop was small but well stocked. There is no club house we went in to the main reception area for coffee and bacon rolls and again I felt we were being look down on. The waiting on staff were helpful but not friendly the hotel residents were all very snooty and I just felt like we shouldn`t have been in what was a large, quiet, subdued lounge. The locker room is at the other side of the resort and nowhere near the first tee so I ended up changing into my golf shoes in the pro shop and carrying my shoes in my golf bag. So to the course, it was much better than I remember it being. It looks very impressive some lovely "signature" holes lots of undulations and some fantastic views. I thought the course was in very good condition other than the greens. They were SHOCKING. Now to be fair to portal a lot of it was down to the amount of pitch marks which hadn`t been repaired but they were a little fluffy. The trouble was they didn`t look awful but when you putted you just didn`t know what to expect.. It`s a real shame because most of the greens were big and undulating and if they were properly looked after by the golfers and the free keeping staff I think they would be a huge selling point. I feel portal championship course could be a huge star for golf in the North West but it would need to realise it`s a golf course first, if it was looked after and in top form, if it had a club house or a welcoming sports bar ideally near the 1st tee where golfers would feel comfortable and not like 2nd rate citizens this really could command massive respect in the golf world. I would happily pay £80 a round for this course in tip top nick. Unfortunately it looks like macdonalds hotels don`t really care about the golf and are happy to let any Tom Dick or Harry out there for £20 and it`s a real shame

Course

8

Greens

4

Facilities

8

Value

8

Hospitality

6

Beautiful course and views

Average rating

8.6

28th September, 2015, by cncartwight

Played the course on the 26th Sept. the tees and fairways were brilliant cut and beautifully maintained. some very tricky holes with plenty of water on closing few to test you.
green were rolling perfectly with testing breaks.
i played off the whites and this is a great test of your golf with being over 7000 yards!
great welcome and staff all friendly, during the round i saw staff marshaling and overseeing play.
Highly recommend playing!

Course

9

Greens

9

Facilities

8

Value

8

Hospitality

9

Expected more

Average rating

3.6

22nd August, 2014, by Kmurphy87

I played here with Bunkers golf society on 17th August as one of our major events.

I was really looking forward to playing this course as i had missed the previous year and was told it was one of the better courses on the calendar, what a shock i had in the way the course was presented, you have that certain expectation for a "resort" course and in my opinion this was far from that standard.
The main thing if anything to keep attracting golfers is the greens, they were bobbly and patchy in places and had a form of moss growing on them causing inconsistent pace in very tricky windy conditions.

The biggest disappointment had to be the service we received with our food, it was bordering pathetic, zero care about a 28 man society, seemed to be bothered more about a wedding going on in another part of the resort.the time it took to have our barms pre tee( which we were told had not even been booked in) and our evening meal were ridiculous it was well over an hour for each. I can safely say i have been put off coming here again

Course

5

Greens

3

Facilities

7

Value

2

Hospitality

1

Service with(out) and smile

Average rating

3.4

21st August, 2014, by lee1986uk

Expected more from a championship course and expensive prices... with our group of 28 we could of got excellent service on a better maintained course for half the price... could of done another 9 holes in the amount of time we waited for our chicken dinners.

Course

4

Greens

4

Facilities

4

Value

4

Hospitality

1

final curtain for golf...

Average rating

1.8

20th August, 2014, by ganno77

This was my second visit to portal and will definitely be my last. Clearly they have forgotten that this is a venue for golf first and foremost, not weddings. The grounds are what you would come to expect from a resort, long sloping tree lined drives leading up to a vast well styled building. A bacon sandwich was expected on our arrival....we waited......and.....we waited.....you guessed it....we waited some more...all the while we were served with tea & coffee from a zombie-like waitress who could clearly do with the coffee herself! Service with a smile this certainly was not. The bacon sandwich finally arrived...how any establishment of this size can make a simple bacon sandwich this bad is beyond belief.....this sandwich would survive a nuclear war!.....golf...oh yes the golf...pretty poor, simply putt.....greens were also of a municipal standard....nothing more to say on the golf. The evening meal....another long long wait to receive...wasn`t to bad when it finally arrived. Its pretty clear where this resorts priorities lie and that`s to forget about the golfers and concentrate on the weddings, you only have to venture into the "pro shop" to see that....a poor selection of equipment...the merchandiser needs his/her P45.

Course

2

Greens

2

Facilities

3

Value

1

Hospitality

1

portal

Average rating

5.6

18th August, 2014, by lloydyefc

this was my second visit to portal with my golf society , it was a tough knock with very high wind , but I have to admit the course was in ok nick but the greens weren't the best or bunkers an some of the fairways where very standard , plus the service in the hotel was very slow and unprofessional . still had a good laugh going round the course with the society lads made the most of a let down on standard of the course an service in the hotel , needless to say we won't be making a third visit and for the price you pay there is a lot more courses better

Course

6

Greens

5

Facilities

7

Value

5

Hospitality

5

Sorry to say - Very Average

Average rating

4.2

18th August, 2014, by phil196

The previous reviewers comments are fair and truly represent the problems and issues that were encountered during the days golf.


Portal has long had a good reputation in North West golfing circles so it is a real shame that things appear to have slipped to such an extent. Despite the windy conditions a golf course should be pretty much playing it's best at this time of year (August) but compared to the alternatives (for example Carden Cheshire) it just didn't do it for me.

We didn't get off to the best start with hospitality but notwithstanding that, I am not sure how a Championship course can lack a putting green? Strange.

Tee's were generally flat, fairways were average and looked in places like they could do with a cut. Might be a bit pedantic but nothing beats looking towards the fairway on a good driving hole and seeing stripes...I didn't see one.

It is true that the only real standout hole aesthetically is the 14th par 3. The views across Cheshire are lovely but not enough to keep you from thinking about the negatives.

Greens were poor. Any green can be quick if you are putting down a two foot drop but if it doesn't roll or break true then it just becomes annoying. The well trod surfaces also suffer from inconsiderate golfers not repairing pitch marks. We were the first group of our society and there were some shockers left by the earlier groups.

The rough was fair but bunkers were hard and quite stony in places and looked a little scruffy.

Overall it is an ok course with reasonable facilities but it is no longer up there with Cheshire's finest.

Course

5

Greens

4

Facilities

4

Value

5

Hospitality

3

Excellent Course

Average rating

6.4

18th August, 2014, by sseddon8

Played here on 17/08/14 and whilst we endured some horrific rain and wind the course stood up better than we did. From tee to green the course is in excellent condition. The greens provided everyone with a test they wont forget. The only negative comment i have is with regard to the staff. We booked Bacon sandwiches on arrival which were far too late in coming and when they did come they were cold. The post match meal was also very late (over an hour) so i personally left without eating.

My advice is to come here and play a great round of gold but dont come here and expect a decent service and a quick meal before heading home.

Course

7

Greens

8

Facilities

9

Value

7

Hospitality

1

Not for me

Average rating

5.4

17th August, 2014, by ste1878

Played this course on a very winy day ! That said not enough quality for a course that was highly recommended.

I genuinely think that only the par 3 14th hole was one to talk about. Only a short hole but is guarded by water to the front and back of the green and surrounded by stately old trees.

The course was in ok condition however did have the feel of a conveyor belt of societies. Not sure how often the greens are checked but I found them to be difficult, not very true.

The fairways were kept well and the course offered you the 'get out of jail' card as you are not punished for wayward shots. OOB on the 9th but can't understand why it carries on up to and beyond the green.

The views around the course show off the Cheshire countryside and offer some great backdrops its a shame the holes didnt offer the same class.

The course represents an average resort style parkland course and if you got fed well and was cheap enough I would recommend you try it ONCE

So onto the food ! Our bacon butties arrived 10 mins before we tee'd off despite being told of our arrival an hour beforehand. We where met half way around the course by a gentleman in a buggy saying we could not have our Burgers afterwards as they did not have enough ?? This menu was given to them more than a week in advance. How can a large hotel not have 28 burgers. Oh we'll chicken it was, ordered for 5 ate at 6. Pretty poor service all round.

The quality of food was great just massively let down by timings !

Unfortunately hard to recommend this for all the above reasons and probably off our calendar for next year.

Course

6

Greens

4

Facilities

7

Value

6

Hospitality

4

A fall from grace

Average rating

3.8

17th August, 2014, by Roper1592

In the golfing world, nothing stands still. Things progress and move with technology and the times. Portal should give this consideration if they want to attract repeat custom to their resort for more than one visit.

There are certain things you come to expect from a hotel chain golf resort. One is that the price in the bar is going to be ridiculous, and the second is that you are going to endure slow play.
However, as a general rule you find courteous and well organised staff, good service and a standard of course and venue that is in keeping with competitors.
I am afraid that Portal has slipped in this depeartment in my opinion.

I have visited Portal several times over the years and it has always held a reputation of one of the `go to` courses in the North West of England. But I can`t help feel they have stood still whilst other `resorts` such as Formby Hall, The Mere and Carden Park have not only passed them, but left them as a small dot in the distance.

As a member of a golf society, and a visitng party of 28 potential future return customers I would have expected the place to get the basics sorted to ensure that the word of mouth of those 28 players was a positive one.

On arrival at 9:40am [for 7 tee times from 11:08] we booked in a the pro shop and confirmed our 28 numbers with the staff who provided us with the required score cards and direction to where our pre round food would be served.
We made our way to the bar area and spoke with the one member of staff there who directed us to the hotel reception, who in turn sent us back to the bar.
The blank look on the girls face when I said we were expecting 28 tea/coffees and bacon rolls told me that there was a lack of communication somewhere along the line and she said "I`ll see what I can do, we have no record of that".

After numerous questions the bacon rolls landed at 10:55 [over an hour later], with the first group teeing up 10 minutes later. This is basic organisation, and the clubs should know that golfers want to eat at the time they are told to arrive - which was 10am in our case - and then get outside for a warm up.
Matters were made worse when 4 of our group did not get their cold and rubberlike bacon roll and when pointed out to the staff we were told, "You are only booked for 24". A quick proof of payment resolved this and we were kindly told "Oh, I won`t charge you for 4 more then!" - Very kind of you, thanks!

We made our way towards the first tee area and the remaining groups looked for a place to warm up. There is an area that tries to pass as a chipping green, which is 2 areas of slightly shorter grass with a couple of flags in. There was also a bare, sodden and appallingly kept putting green that did not reflect the pace of putting on the car park Tarmac, let alone any green. There are no warm up nets or practice ground near the supposed "Championship Course" and the nearest area is a hike from where you need it to be.

The course layout is interesting in parts, but hasn`t changed for as long as I have known it. Some tricky holes with well placed hazards and bunkers keep you thinking, but as a general rule its fairly open and not too punishing. The best holes on the course are the signature hole - a par 3 over water - at 16, along with the views on the 11th, and the tricky approach shot on the 15th.

The fairways were OK, without being great and were not too well defined in comparison to the rough. The tee boxes again were a bit battered, but were by no means poor. The rough was fair and playable and the bunkers on the whole were well stocked with sand and kept tidy.

The greens were a bit of a let down, and about 4/5 in particular were partchy, bobbly and uneven. I appreciate there is a fair bit of footfall on them considering the hotel guests, but they were the worst of the resort courses we have played on this year and the pace differed between many of them which made it difficult to maintain confidence when putting. On the plus side, they were receptive and you could attack them in the knowledge that a good shot would stick on the green if found.

The pace of play was fair and took about 4.5 hours to complete the 18 holes and it was good to see a member of staff on a buggy driving round to keep the groups flowing correctly.

Afterwards we went to the clubhouse again for our chosen post round meal of Burger and Chips [which wasn`t inspiring, but was the popular choice from a list of 6 options they gave us in advance] However, when we got to the bar area we were told this was now changed and there was no option and it was a chicken dinner. The explaination was that there was a wedding on elsewhere in the venue and they were busy. However, the restaurant area and bar were quiet.
I can appreciate that they want to make sure a wedding party gets a premium service, but surely they know these bookings in advance and why provide food options if you are going to just pick your own anyway.

To cap things off, we waited nearly 1.5 hours from the time the last group finished to when the food hit the tables. So much of a wait in fact, that 3 members of our group had to leave before it was served due to work/familiy reasons.
When it arrived, the food was tasty and very hot and went down well with everyone - but as I said at the start - ITS BASICS THAT NEED WORKING ON.

I must admit, I am disappointed in the resort, service and overall experience of Portal and I think they have a lot of work to do if they want to catch up with their competitors.

Im sure they won`t mind upsetting 28 players in the grand scheme of things, but how many other people are getting this shoddy service? The flow of traffic may still come for now - based solely on reputations of old. But how long will that last after experiences like ours today?

I know that the majority of our group will not be back in a rush and to be honest thats a pity. Its sad to see a once great venue fall from grace.

Course

6

Greens

3

Facilities

4

Value

5

Hospitality

1

Good but not great

Average rating

6.6

17th August, 2014, by AndyBT

I had not played Portal for 10 years or more and was very interested to see how the course had progressed during that period and how the Macdonald hotel group had impacted on the set up.

The course set up has not changed at all from my recollection, it has a reasonably good layout with some interesting water features that protect a number of greens.

The condition of the greens was as you would expect from a 'resort course', they obviously receive high traffic and were a tad scruffy and it was difficult to get an even roll. The pace however was good and if you find yourself on the wrong side of the pin, you will be faced with a potentially treacherous downhill putt, getting the ball dead was a tough ask.

As I said the course is reasonable but for me the real disappointment was the service and hospitality provided by the hotel. We waited incredibly long time for both our breakfast and after game meal. We were a party of 28 and the only people in the dining room, so it was not as if it was busy. The other issue I have with the hotel chains is the price at the bar, I think £4.55 for a shandy is a bit steep.

For me it is not a course I would visit again and it is a worry that these hotel chains seem to have only one focus, and that seems to be volume of traffic through the doors/course and pay little attention to the service they provide and the quality of golf course they produce.

Course

7

Greens

7

Facilities

7

Value

8

Hospitality

4