- AddressFirgrove Rd, Whitehill, Bordon GU35 9EH, UK
Blackmoor Golf Club is sandwiched between the North and South Downs at the western end of the glorious sand belt, which cuts swathe through Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire. The course lies on a picturesque tract of purple heathland, from which the club takes its name.
Harry Colt originally laid out Blackmoor as a 12-hole course and it opened for play in 1913. The outbreak of the Great War prevented the expansion to 18 holes until 1924. "I am told on good authority and fully believe that I ought to bracket with Liphook and Pulborough another course," wrote Bernard Darwin in Golf Between Two Wars, "a creation of Mr Colt’s, at Blackmoor, not far from Bordon, in Hampshire, but here is one of the sad gaps in my education. I have always been going to see Blackmoor but never have." Darwin had nothing to be ashamed about, because even today, Blackmoor is not as well known as it should be.
Charles Swann started his round dramatically at Blackmoor Golf Club in October 1929 when his opening drive landed in the chimney pot of an adjacent house. The owners were somewhat surprised when the ball rattled down the chimney stack before plopping onto their burning fire.
The layout is configured in two loops, with the outward nine being the outer loop. Five par threes and only two par fives against a par of 69, ensures that Blackmoor belies its modest 6,164 yards. Blackmoor is regularly used for Regional Open Championship Qualifying and the flagship annual amateur event, the Selborne Salver, has produced some notable winners, including Peter McEvoy, Gary Wolstenholme and Ross Fisher.
Blackmoor is a truly delightful course, with spinneys of birch and fir and wonderfully sandy ground. It’s a secret jewel for the golf course cognoscenti if ever there was one.
In 2021 Tim Lobb began a three-year programme of renovation works at Blackmoor and he commented as follows in December 2021:
“Although the club lost four holes to housing, Blackmoor is fortunate in that it is mostly surrounded by open heath, owned by the military – in fact, the course was largely built for the use of officers from nearby Borden and Longmoor Camp and residents of the neighbourhood. We have been advising the club for several years – we spent a lot of time going through the club's archive and understanding the landscape nature of the course – and now we have jointly decided it is time to put spades in the ground, so to speak.
The works are going to extend over three years – this year we are working on holes six, seven, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen, focusing on restoring the heathland environment and improving the bunkers, which have become in need of some TLC.”
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Harry Colt studied law at Clare College, Cambridge. Twelve months after his 1887 enrolment, he joined the committee of the Cambridge University Golf Club and in 1889 became the club's first captain.