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.
I played Blackmoor this week for the first time and found it to be a little beauty. Due to the quantity and quality of so many high ranking courses nearby I think this course probably slips under the radar of many travelling golfers. There is good variety in the design and shape of the holes and although there is only one par five it is a good one with cross-bunkering 40 yards short of the green. As with most Harry Colt courses the bunkering is excellent giving the course real definition. The par 3’s are all of a good standard, I particularly enjoyed the 9th, 12th and 15th. There is a nice mix of par 4’s with six at 400 yards plus from the white tees, this is evened out with three fairly short ones. One of my favourites was the dogleg right fifth which requires a well placed tee shot followed by a mid to long iron over a ditch to an undulating green. The 7th is a strong hole with a ridge running through the green from front to back which can make life very difficult if you are out of position. The 18th is a classy finishing hole, teeing off from high ground, the hole bends left to the green built into a bank beneath the clubhouse. Miss it left or right and you are left with a very tricky recovery shot. The greens were in good condition and very true, although not particularly fast on the day I played. The course is not overly difficult but the abundance of heather lining the fairways will keep you under pressure from the tee all day long. The only slight negative for me was the view of the cables and pylon near the 4th tee, particularly as you walk up the 16th fairway. Having said that, this is a very minor issue and my overall experience was extremely enjoyable. I agree with the comment below that Blackmoor would be a solid 4½ ball ranking if there were such a thing. Brian W