Wednesday, 13 July 2016

High tees, sea views: golf in Dorset

What are we golfers to do? With uncertainty over the exchange rate and worries of terrorism in Turkey now is the perfect time to try out the hundreds of British courses you have been ignoring. 

And the Bournemouth swing is a good place to start. The Dorset resort has some fabulous courses nearby and a handful are listed among England’s top 100. It also has great nightlife, miles of sandy beaches and hotels to suit every need and every pocket.

Courtesy of Broadstone Golf Club

Parkstone, Ferndown, Broadstone, Remedy Oak, and Isle of Purbeck are the pick of the bunch. 

Being close to the coast gives many of them a linksy feel particularly Isle of Purbeck. If your game is suffering, the spectacular views across Poole harbour will help to take your mind off your troubles. And with a links wind and many holes with long carries to catch out poor drives, trouble is not far away. Summer green fees from £48.

Parkstone is more of a seaside heathland track which also has views over Poole Harbour to Brownsea Island and the downs of the Isle of Purbeck. The original layout was created in 1909 but it was enlarged and redesigned by James Braid in 1937 and in typical Braid style every hole presents a different challenge. The clubhouse also offers a spectacular English breakfast. Summer green fees from £90.

Courtesy of Isle Of Purbeck Golf Club

Ferndown is a pretty course with super slick greens among heather and pines and is maintained to a spectacularly high standard. Its star is the 18-hole Old Course which opened in 1913. There is also the 9-hole Allis course, originally known as the President’s course but renamed in 2015 in recognition of the club’s long association with the Alliss family. Percy Alliss was the professional there for over 25 years and his son Peter, the former Ryder Cup player and “voice of golf”, is still closely associated with the club. Summer green fees from £90. 

Courtesy of Remedy Oak Golf Club

Broadstone is another excellent heathland track (summer green fees £85) but for a change of style and scenery you could try your luck at Remedy Oak. It is mainly a club for members and their guests but tee times are available for visitors (check out Created by John Jacobs in 2006, the course winds its way among ancient woodland, rhododendrons, heather, wild grasses and water comes into play on eight holes. It claims to be rated in the top 3 golf courses in the South of England. 

By Peter James

Better deals may be available to societies or through a reputable golf travel firm

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