Parkstone - Dorset - England

Parkstone Golf Club,
49a Links Road,
Poole,
Dorset,
BH14 9QS,
England


  • +44 (0) 1202 707138

  • Golf Club Website

  • 3 miles W of Bournmouth

  • Contact in advance - handicap certificate required

  • Michael Sawicki

  • Willie Park Junior, James Braid

  • Martyn Thompson


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Parkstone

We’ve classified Parkstone Golf Club as a seaside heathland course. It’s certainly not a traditional links and neither is it very far inland. It's an unusual and unique course, located on a beautiful sandy tract of undulating heathland, affording magnificent views across Poole Bay and Poole Harbour. The fairways are lined with the delights of pine and heather and the picture in spring is an especially pretty one when the rhododendrons are in full bloom.

The land was originally part of Lord Wimborne’s Canford Estate that stretched all the way from Wimbourne to Sandbanks, a natural peninsula, jutting into the sea at the entrance to Poole Harbour. The Water Company built two reservoirs and a pump house. Little did they know the water would come in handy to irrigate the new golf course that Willie Park Junior laid out in 1909. The great revisionist, James Braid, appeared on the scene in 1932 and Parkstone was subsequently lengthened and altered.

Little has changed since Braid’s alterations. The course presents a delightfully tranquil and varied challenge amongst the heather and pine. Parkstone is not overly long, measuring 6,300 yards from the back tees, but it’s sufficiently challenging for golfers of all levels. You cannot help but be taken in by the charms of Parkstone and the mesmerising experience.

This is ‘Alliss’ country. Peter Alliss learned his trade down the road at Ferndown where his dad, Percy, was the professional for 25 years. Peter became the professional at Parkstone in 1957 and remained at the club until 1970. Percy and Peter Alliss became the first family on either side to have father and son representation in the Ryder Cup. The Garrido family joined the Alliss family in the father and son record books in 1997 when Ignacio was a member of the winning 1997 Ryder Cup Team at Valderrama.

We thoroughly recommend a trip to Parkstone. It is a gorgeous place to play golf and it’s an interesting and varied course to boot.

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Reviews for Parkstone

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: We’ve classified Parkstone Golf Club as a seaside heathland course. It’s not a traditional links and neither is it very far inland. Rating: 5.34375 out of 6

The biggest compliment I can give to Parkstone is that I cannot think of many inland golf courses in the British Isles that are superior.

By my personal reckoning there are less than a dozen and if you factor in that there are around 3,000 in total across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland this is high praise indeed. It’s not perfect, but it’s not far off.

The main reason I rate the course so highly is because of the exciting terrain and the plethora of wonderful green sites. The undulating, twisting nature of this mature coastal property is a dream and encourages all sorts of daring shots; descending drives and approaches to elevated greens are two things that feature time and time again.

Situated on very sandy soil and close to the sea this terrain was simply made for golfing. You play through splendid pine with glorious vistas opening up time and time again. The masses of heather were not in full purple bloom on my visit so I can only imagine how wonderful it looks later on in the year.

The green complexes at virtually every hole are superb, engaging and make you not only think about the shot at hand but potentially the next one too if things go wrong.

And if Parkstone is not truly great from the tee, it is certainly very good.

With its five short holes and five par-fives there is a real sense of fun, adventure and creativity when playing here. The ebb and flow of the round at Parkstone is contagious. Par is 72 and the maximum yardage is just 6,282 but there is a lot of golf packed into that.

From afar I believe the trio of heathland courses in Dorset all vie for the title of being the best, eagerly looking out to see how they compare in the various rankings, and have improved their courses in recent years to up their game. After having played all three, if it’s an unbiased opinion you are looking for, Parkstone is a clear winner, in fact it’s not even close.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

July 24, 2017


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For my money, the golf available in Dorset stands up to some of the best that heathland golf has to offer in the whole of England, and there are two Dorset courses that climb head and shoulders above the others in this region, these being Parkstone and Broadstone. Parkstone Golf Club is a place of beauty. 18 holes that sit upon delightfully undulating Dorset land.

Parkstone Golf Course - Photo by reviewerOn arrival, I sat on the patio waiting for my playing partners and blissfully took in the view down the first fairway and across to the eighteenth green (pictured). A great place to build the anticipation of the mouth-watering prospect that was to come. A stunning opener greets your first tee shot that’s guarded by beautiful bunkering before you serenely work your way towards and around the lake for the first few holes. The course is tree lined in places but not to the detriment of allowing the heather to develop. The club has taken pride in bringing the course back to its heathland roots over recent years with successful heather regeneration and tree clearance.

Whilst the opening few holes offer an enjoyable start, the course really starts to light up after you cross the road to the 7th. This part of the course has some beautiful views, most notably the 8th tee as you climb to the higher reaches of the course. You won’t find many flat holes at Parkstone, the land is beautifully and naturally contoured. There are some gorgeous elevated tee shots and these are complemented with some pretty narrow fairway landing areas so choose wisely off the tee and don’t idly head straight for the driver or you’ll come unstuck.

Parkstone Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

The standout holes appear on the back 9 and include the eleventh, a par 5 that doglegs towards a green which gathers before a copse of pine trees and is protected by a hidden dell. 14 is a wonderful par 3 that’s one of the few holes that’s enveloped by tall trees that surround it, whilst the 15th and 17th are my two favourites across the whole layout. The 15th being a long par 4 played from a raised tee, down into a valley that banks heavily from the heather strewn hillock on the right-hand side before the long second shot is played to an elevated green with a steep fall to the left. 17 is a wacky par 5 where the landing area for longer hitters is obscured by a mound to the right. The hole rises all the way to the green meaning that it’s blind until you get to around 100 or so yards from the pin. Keep faith in your swing and hit for the centre of the fairway, but take enough club as the green is guarded with a steep ledge to its front.

Now that course maintenance is to such exacting standards, Parkstone offers excellent value for money as the conditioning now matches the wonderful architecture that the course has always had. I firmly believe that the course now sits proudly as the equal of some of Surrey’s top courses. Hopefully Parkstone will find its rightful place inside the GB & Ire Top 100 when the next rankings are created. If there are 100 courses better than this, then we must be truly blessed. As for which is better of Broadstone and Parkstone? I’ll leave that to better men than me to decide.

July 24, 2017


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Played on 7 March. Just a fabulous golf course which oozes charm. The first hole sets the tone and is beautiful with the bank of heather on the left hand side of fairway and green. All the par 3s are wonderful especially 7 and 14. The pick of the other holes were 4, 5, 9, 10, 15, 17 & 18. Very enjoyable round

March 10, 2017


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Response
Dan Hare
March 11, 2017

Thanks for your Dorset reviews, we are swinging through there in May, very handy to have a single "voice" review the courses, think we'll play Liphook and Ferndown.

Stunning; revisiting Parkstone for the first time in 25 years have to say recent reviews are not wrong. The conditioning of the whole course was excellent with quick greens, beautifully presented tees, fairways and bunkers and blessed with banks of heather; I can't think of a course that I have played that was in better condition so full credit to the greenstaff. The course is very much heathland and has 5nr par 5's and 5nr par 3's which provides much variety, and although not long it is punishing if you are off-line. Changes in elevation with a number of elevated tees are a real feature. No real stand out holes as all were good, although I thought the par 3 14th seemed like a bit of a fill-in, after the superb par 4 13th. Fantastic par 3 finishing hole. Food and clubhouse also excellent and only negative was a 5 hour round. I prefer Parkstone to Ferndown and Broadstone, and it is very close to getting a 6 ball, but it probably just lacks a few tough par 4's. A great place for a days golf

August 12, 2016


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I had the pleasure of playing here in may & it had been over 8 years since I had last been to this course, & the course has changed quite a lot in this time, the work undertaken by the club really shows with the playing surfaces both greens & fairways being in great nick.Gone are quite a few trees from close to the greens which has made a big difference to the greens & with new & better bunkering the whole course was in very good condition.When you look at the card it’s not the longest course but with the undulation of the land it makes the course play harder.This course has some very good & pretty holes the first 4 holes have it all a nice opening hole to get you into the round followed by a good par 3 then a tee shot over water to a par 5 that is a good birdie chance then a short par 4 which is risk & reward, the rest of the course has this kind of mix so all your game will get a good work out.All in all a very good golf course & club house which I would say is well worth a visit. (handicap 1)
November 19, 2015


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After Isle of Purbeck a delightful contrast at Parkstone. Course in great condition particularly liked the stripping of the tees. My first experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Trouble lurks if offline but a score can be had if straight and true. Parts of the course reminded me of Hindhead GC. Thought the par threes all strong particularly 16 & 18. Overall feeling was how fair the course and the set up was. Very pleasant reception in the clubhouse.
April 20, 2015


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A good course that is improving all of the time, certainly much improved since my last visit around five years ago (tree removal, re-designed holes and presentation the main reasons). I think Parkstone are currently getting some important things spot-on – if golf is meant to be challenging and fun in a beautiful environment, then look no further. I see the course split into three sections; the first and last holes are on their own piece of land, then from the 2nd to 6th again on their own piece of land and this section of the course is great viewing as all holes can been seen for more or less anywhere. Then after crossing Lilliput Road the holes from the 7th tee to the 17th green twist and turn through the great heathland giving some lovely views especially from the highest point at between the 15th green and 16th tee. Now to some of my hole choices; driving at the par-5 3rd is a lot of fun, over water to a narrow fairway and then a semi-blind lay-up. The 7th hole is a strong par-3, uphill and with bunkering left, right and at the front, an extra club is a must. On the high 8th tee, do look left to take in the view over Poole Harbour, before taking on the short but dog-legging par-4. The 14th is a decent par-3, that has the green lower than the tee, although not all of it can be seen as the heath rises a little halfway to the hole – probably my favourite of the short holes but don’t miss on the left – virtually an impossible up and down! The drive at the 17th is certainly one of the most testing on the course, aiming over the heather mound down the right-side, may just put the green in reach, another blind-shot is needed though – what I really like about this hole is that you can play the hole all the way down the left and have no blind shots and hit the green in 3-shots with no problem at all but choose the right-side and you can reach in two but both shots are blind – very clever indeed. A course ending with a par-3 must deliver a very strong short hole and Parkstone does just that – up to 200 yards, over the valley, slightly downhill – this hole is a picture…….I think that the current position of 4th in county is a little low and I would say this is just behind Broadstone and the gap between the two has certainly closed in recent years and this is a huge pat on the back for Parkstone as Broadstone is on the up too. If I had one more Dorset round to play……it is a very tough call – I think I’ll sit on the fence – both courses are tremendous.
July 27, 2014


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I have played across the UK quite a bit over the last few years and I have yet to see a course presented to such a high level. The attention to detail and definition was as impressive as the greens. The new bunkers have made many of the holes more aesthetically pleasing as well as more challenging to the playerA bucket list entry for everyone....
June 23, 2014


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I have recently played in the Shankland Trophy for the 6th time and can say that the course is improving year on year. The greens, this year were fantastic, and the work completed on the course is very impressive. Congratulations to the club I will be returning next year.
May 18, 2014


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i have just played the Shankland trophy at Parkstone and the course is improving beyond belief. The condition of the greens are the best i have seen and the new bunkers have been well designed. i have visited Parkstone on many occasions over the last 55 years and i have never seen it in better condition.
May 15, 2014


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