Blackwell - Worcestershire - England

Blackwell Golf Club,
Agmore Rd,
Blackwell,
Bromsgrove,
Worcestershire,
B60 1PY,
England


  • +44 (0) 121 445 1994

  • Sarah Holroyd

  • Herbert Fowler, Tom Simpson

  • Dan Cummins

Six times an Open Championship Regional Qualifying course, Blackwell Golf Club is the quintessential English gem and has a proud history dating back to 1893. The club’s original 9-hole course occupied part of Viscount Windsor’s Hewell Grange estate, a couple of miles south of where today’s 18-hole layout is located. In 1923, Herbert Fowler and Tom Simpson were hired to set out the club’s new course within a compact 102-acre tract of land just outside the village of Blackwell.

Today, this course extends to a moderate 6,260 yards, playing to a par of 70, with only three par fives on the card: the 490-yard 4th has a green that’s heavily protected by deep bunkers to the front, the 486-yard 8th doglegs downhill to the left from the tee and the 512-yard 12th features a very long narrow bunker that runs along the right side of the fairway – we suspect this is a modern hazard that’s been added to deal with a drainage problem or a similar conditioning issue.

It’s known for a fact that Bobby Jones played the course immediately after he won the Open at Hoylake in 1930. What’s not so certain is the story that he allegedly based the design of the famous 12th hole at Augusta National on the 181-yard 13th at Blackwell. Now that might just be taking the realms of speculation a bit too far but, if it’s true, then it’s some accolade for a heavily-bunkered little beauty in Worcestershire.

The club has recently developed a 10-year masterplan and is restoring Simpson’s original design strategies with the help of Frank Pont’s Infinite Variety Golf Design firm.

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Reviews for Blackwell

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Description: Six times an Open Championship Regional Qualifying course, Blackwell Golf Club is the quintessential English gem and has a proud history dating back to 1893. Rating: 4.6 out of 6 Reviews: 15

I came here with perhaps unreasonable expectations having been told it was the best in the midlands, but both myself and my partner agreed that all in all it flattered to decieve. Considering it was late November you could tell the condition was generally excellent, with some classy bunkering, well kept fairways and carpet like (if frosty!) greens, but with a few too many so so holes, particuarly on the back nine, and an at times uninspiring layout.

The plot of land at times felt too small for a golf course - some of the holes felt shoehorned in to make up the 18, with tee boxes and greens regularly crossing over each other. The clubhouse, likewise, is a lovely old building but the interior was in pretty dire need of an update and the visitor changing rooms weren't great for a club as prestigious.

That said, it is still a good parkland course in excellent condition. Many holes are great, particularly (for me) the par 3 over water 9th, the heavily bunkered par 4 10th and the weaving par 5 12th, and with more good holes than average ones. If it were at its best all the way round id be a lot quicker to praise it, but with its inconsistency for a course rated as highly we couldn't help be a bit underwhelmed.

4 / 6
Blackwell
November 28, 2017


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Back in September 2012 I was very scathing about Blackwell and how the club had allowed a unique Fowler/Simpson design to become completely disconnected with its design heritage by allowing excessive tree growth and narrowed grass lines. Five years on and the club has made significant headway into renovating, one of the best parkland courses in England. The bunkering is the obvious change, but the removal of trees and widened fairways (especially around greens) are the real story. There is still a long way to go in recapturing the magnificence of Blackwell, but the club is on sound rails...well done!

4 / 6
Blackwell
September 30, 2017


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Blackwell is a lovely mature parkland course with undulating terrain, tricky greens and some fine holes that require much thought and intelligence.

The Club was founded in 1893 and is a very traditional English club with a timeless character. It is rightly regarded as one of the best in the West Midlands and is usually found in excellent condition due to a small playing membership, limited by constitution to 200.

The course, laid out on a smallish site, is tucked away down narrow country lanes yet is only a short drive away from the centre of Birmingham to the north.

It could be argued that the best holes on this picturesque course are the short ones. The second requires a very straight shot between two deep front bunkers, the sixth is a delightful downhill hole, the ninth is played over an intimidating pond, the 11th requires a long shot whilst the pick of the bunch comes at the 13th, possibly the inspiration for the 12th at Augusta following an exhibition match by Bobby Jones in 1930, where you play from an elevated tee to a narrow angled green over a stream.

The variety of clubs required at each one-shotter is noticeable and help make them a very good collection of par three’s. However, it is the greens that really set them apart; all have wonderful contouring that fit the type and length of hole perfectly.

Indeed it is the greens throughout the round that mostly elevate Blackwell from a run of the mill course to one of the leading inland courses in this part of the country.

Blackwell has hosted Regional Qualifying for The Open on a number of occasions and has produced many fine golfers during its long existence. It doesn’t quite have the same grandeur as its parkland neighbour across the city, Little Aston, nor are the greens quite as intricate as those at nearby Beau Desert but a round at Blackwell is certainly one to be savoured.

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

4 / 6
Blackwell
April 30, 2017


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Playing Blackwell growing up was always one of those experiences to look forward to. The greens were the fastest by far in the area, the conditioning always top notch and the feeling of being at an Upper Crust club just added charm to the day.

One such day back in 1979 I was fortunate enough to win The Midland Boys Title there, back when Blackwell was the permanent home of he event and this was my first visit back since.

Inspired to return by a meeting with Frank Pont whose team is restoring the bunkering, I was not at all let down.

First of all the restoration work that is being carried out is quite superb, the Simpson look of those bunkers already completed quite spectacular and a significant contrast to those left behind as yet untouched.

There can be NO doubt to the membership that the project is one well selected and one that future generations will thank the insight being applied to what is a special place.

With one of the smallest memberships in the UK , this select course guarantees a refreshingly swift pace of play, but one that at times has to be slowed down to take in the simplicity of wonderful golf course design.

Simpson illustrates his characteristic three hole loops throughout the 18, ensuring that one is constantly wondering where the wind is coming from !!!

The routing really is superb with optimal use of the topography originally presented to Simpson, the mixture of uphill/downhill and flat par threes in particular is something to soak up, and what demanding par threes they are.

Varying in length from 160 up to 230 the variety of shots required to play them pulls out all the requirements of any cailbre player, my personal favourite is #13 which legend has it was used as the template for #12 at Augusta National after a visit here by Bobby Jones in 1930 after his British Open victory at Hoylake.

A truly GREAT par three with angled green, brook in front of the green and death long as the slope on the green drifts all balls into the brook.

This green like many at Blackwell is delightfully contoured with a multitude of pin placements to make these smallish greens all the more challenging, in fact the green complexes are to be marveled and with the speed of play something that one can easily not notice...so slow down and enjoy...

Blackwell also displays a marvelous set of short par fours with three coming in around 350 yards all played differently and my favourite number 5 a tight dogleg right with exquisite green complex, back left pin placement...brilliant.

A wonderful parkland golf course with the view up to the clubhouse at #18 a lasting memory to take home with you after a day of enjoying what is simply described as wonderful golf course architecture by a true Master in Mr Simpson.

A true English treasure.
5 / 6
Blackwell
October 05, 2016


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Played Blackwell for the first time in October and it was in excellant condition. Greens were an absolute delight to play with extensive undulations and run-offs making them a real test. A great variety of holes I particularly enjoyed the front nine with the par 5 8th and 200 yard par 3 9th over a pond my favourites. Only drawback was the close incidence of quite a few tees and greens which did mean a fair amount of waiting.
4 / 6
Blackwell
October 16, 2015


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I'm lucky enough to have friends who are away members at Blackwell so have played it a number of times.A classic historic members club, classy but unshowy, with a course featuring a good variety of holes with elevation change and mature trees requiring good ball control and some nice risk reward shots.Always in excellent condition due to quality of upkeep and not being over played.Highly recommended, and once again I wish one could award 4.5 balls !
4 / 6
Blackwell
March 20, 2015


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This is a very good course. Not the longest but a good test, it plays nicely and doesn't beat you up, really enjoyable to play and the greens were excellent, very true and quick, perhaps 11 on the stimpmeter which is pretty fast for October. We played 2 rounds in a day and the club were very hospitable, not just that, but the course felt empty. We may play again next year.Thanks for your hospitality Blackwell.
5 / 6
Blackwell
October 14, 2014


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Playing at Blackwell is a treat, one of the very best club/course combinations around and worthy of a place in the Top 100 for the country. A traditional English club with fewer members than most which at times will see the course fairly empty but that just adds to the visitor experience if you ask me, certainly no slow rounds here. From the clubhouse, the walkBlackwell Golf Course - Photo by reviewer to the first tee is literally 3 paces, creating an intimate feel right from the off. This hole is a strong par-4 too, with a semi-blind drive over the hill to the green which is around 415 yards away. The 3rd is a mean par-4, just under 450 yards from a great teeing ground in the trees, suiting a fade from the tee and then uphill for the second half of the hole. I like the 8th hole a lot, a par-5 under 500 yards but crossing the stream that dissects the course twice and a huge dog-leg to the left are the obvious concerns. The back-nine is full of great holes and is without a doubt the better half; all are decent holes but from the par-3 13th all the way to the final green, it is difficult to fault; and the 18th green sits right next to the 1st tee, amazingly close to the bar! I just wonder when time is tight, how many members just play the 1st and the 18th and are back for a libation in about 15 minutes? I think I would, just occaisonally...
4 / 6
Blackwell
August 08, 2014


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I had the pleasure of playing Blackwell Golf Club the first weekend in March. It is without doubt a hidden gem…the first three holes are a stern test…two good shots needed at the first and a long iron at the 178 yard, par 3 second. The 3rd requires you to hit the fairway otherwise you have no chance of reaching the green in regulation. The next 5 holes of the front nine are definitely opportunities for birdies. The key to the par 3, 6th is finding the right tier on the green and the par 4, 7th is definitely drivable. A bold tee shot up 8 hugging the left hand side makes the par 5 reachable in two. 9 is a tricky par 3 over water but having hold out for par…..you pass the spike bar on your way to the 10th tee. A drink at halfway must be taken as this adds to the wonderful experience! The back nine definitely plays tougher than the front…the 11th is a long par 3, measuring 222 yards so a decent ‘rescue’ is needed to find the green. The 13th is uncannily similar to the 12th at Augusta…Bobby Jones visited Blackwell in 1930 and definitely used the 13th to create the 12th we see at Augusta today….a raised tee shot, narrow green, water at the front and bunkers/trouble at the back! The final 5 holes on the course are all par 4’s….I managed to birdie stroke index 1 but it needed to good shots….16 is a long par 4 and on the day I was happy with bogey there…The 18th is worth a mention you can’t see the bunkers from the tee so left centre of the fairway is key. From a good tee shot you are left with a short iron to a very small green and the clubhouse can be no more than 20 yards pass the pin if you over club. But don’t panic if you over club as the clubhouse is an integral part of the course! For a unique golfing experience I thoroughly recommend Blackwell GC…
5 / 6
Blackwell
March 14, 2014


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I played Blackwell a couple of weeks ago as I was lucky enough to be invited by a friend who is a member. I haven't played it since I was at school (unfortunately over 20 years ago) however I am pleased to say it was every bit as good as I remember! The first three holes are a challenge to any golfer but then the next 5 give you opportunity to make a score (I love the shot P4 5th hole - a real risk reward hole). The 9th is one of the best par 3's over water you could wish for and most will need to stop at the spike bar (which I am told is in play!) to recover. The back nine is a good as any I've played. The 13th is a brilliant short hole to a wide but narrow green and the 14th is a beautiful P4 winding its way through the trees. The greens were exceptional, very fast with great grass coverage considering the dry summer. The reception from the members was also top class, extremely friendly and welcoming. I couldn't have enjoyed it more - I am lucky to have played many courses here and in Europe and the US and I don't think I've had a days golf that was as much fun as this one. Couldn't recommend more highly!!
6 / 6
Blackwell
August 07, 2013


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