Broadstone - Dorset - England

Broadstone Golf Club,
Wentworth Drive,
Broadstone,
Dorset,
BH18 8DQ,
England


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Originally known as the Dorset Golf Club, Lord Wimborne founded Broadstone in 1898 and Tom Dunn designed the course. “Broadstone is, I think, rather an easy course to remember,” wrote Bernard Darwin, in his 1910 book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, “which is the same as saying that the holes have each got very definite characters of their own; at any rate, although I have seen them but once, I can play them all quite clearly in my mind’s eye, save only the park holes, which, truth to tell, are not much worth remembering.” Harry Colt was later commissioned to redesign Broadstone, utilising a glorious tract of heathland to the west of the railway line to build seven new holes. Thus, Broadstone became a quintessential heathland course and little has changed since.

Broadstone Golf Club - 8th holeThe course is laid out on glorious rolling terrain. The elevated homeward nine provides panoramic views of the Purbeck Hills and Poole Harbour. Measuring 6,315 yards from the back tees and 5,467 yards from the forward tees, Broadstone is not a championship layout. Having said this, a number of important amateur tournaments have been held here – including the English Women’s Amateur (1929, 1973, 2010), The Women’s Amateur (1951) and Women’s Home Internationals (1951) – testing some of the very best golfers. And although Broadstone cannot offer length from the tee, it can offer beauty, with profusion of heather, gorse, birch and pines.

In many ways, Broadstone is a shorter, cross between Sunningdale and Walton Heath, undoubtedly Broadstone is an outstanding heathland course and worthy of inclusion on any serious golfing itinerary.

“I feel entirely at peace with Broadstone,” wrote Darwin, “which has some really fine holes, and is as pleasant a spot to play golf in­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­—as breezy, and pretty, and quiet—as anyone could desire.”­­­­­­­­­­

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Reviews for Broadstone

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Description: Broadstone Golf Club is laid out on glorious rolling terrain. The elevated homeward nine provides panoramic views of the Purbeck Hills and Poole Harbour. Rating: 7.9 out of 10 Reviews: 53
TaylorMade
Craig Robinson

Its a fine course in Dorset, but certainly wasn't as good as i was expecting.

They had some fantastic holes, the third played up from the hill down over a lake springs to mind, and of course the 7th, a three sectioned par 4 was fantastic. But i just wasn't blown away at all. The course was great but a little too difficult for the average golfer and after a while the holes became too repetitive, especially the last 3, which are probably the least interesting last 3 holes i have played in a long while.

Course was in good condition though and people were friendly in and around the club. Don't think that i will be rushing back but am very happy to have tried it, at least for the 7th hole.

June 07, 2022
6 / 10
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Andy Cocker

Broadstone GC is an excellent heathland course, set over a wide ranging property where every hole, except 1,2, 3, 17 and 18 played in splendid isolation.

Having read the previous review, I'd disagree with what makes a heathland course. Heathland by definition of the Woodland Trust is characterised by heather, gorse, bilberry and bracken with trees of silver birch, oak and pine. Broadstone has this in abundance. I agree that solitary pines, like one sees at Woodhall Spa, look superb, but the presence of oak and birch are totally in keeping with a heathland course.

The land is a rolling terrain with rises and falls and as mentioned above is expansive, sometjing which you really appreciate as you wander around the property.

I agree that the starting and finishing holes (1 and 18) which start in a more parkland setting, could do with a bit of a rethink - the 1st is a short par 5, the opening tee shot played at an angle to the fairway, but its not a hard hole and the 18th is a bit of a non descrip closer, but with the exception of these and the 7th (more later) this is a strong course with memorable holes; as Darwin himself said, a course you can remember long into the memory.

The 2nd is a strong par 4, played uphill to an elevated green, before returning back down the hillside to another short par 4, the main protection being water in front of the green, a large pond fed by natural brooks.

Then 3 excellent holes - a sweeping dog leg right par 4, before a gem of a very short par 4, played across a valley, where risk v reward is on offer. Pull your tee shot and you can wave your ball goodbye, but a good drive leaves a short flick onto thebgreen and birdie opportunity awaits. This is followed by the 1st of the par 3s, an uphill 160 yard shot, played to a large and relatively flat green.

Then the 7th. I loved the traffic light system before you could tee off, quite innovative, but a hole with in effect 2 blind shots on it, isn't a good design in my view. The tee shot is blind, and so is the 2nd depending on where your drive has ended. Whilst you can see the green, the valley in between is obscured, so take time to walk up and look down as to where you can play your lay up shot to (if thats whats needed) before taking aim. Your ball could easily be lost in the heather which potentially isnt visible to you.

Any negative thoughts are soon removed on the excellent 203 yard par 3, played to a Mackenzie green, before the front 9 is closed out with a fine par 5 played along the top of the hill.

The back nine has some stronger holes and starts with a good 405 yard par 4, followed by another delightful par 3, at 174 yards, an all carry shot across the valley.

The 12th is reminiscent of the 11th at Hollinwell, played up hill and in a funnel, a nice looking hole.

The pick of the back 9 for me is the 14th. You get your 1st views whilst on the 13th green, a fantastic visual treat, as the 14th sweeps down a valley before rising to a raised green, with severe banking run off to the right.

The closing stretch starts with another long but downhill par 3, before an excellent dog leg left long par, the green protected by bunkers as you make a long approach shot in.

17th is downhill as you head parallel back down against the 2nd before the rather underwhelming finish.

Having played 3 courses on my Dorset trip, Broadstone quite rightly was the best of the 3; some strong memorable holes, a vast property where you're in solitude with birdsong all around - a visual treat for a days golfing.

I'd certainly return.

May 26, 2022
7 / 10
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Matt Collings

Reviewing golf courses all comes down to expectations. And sometimes they just don’t match up. Unfortunately that is the case for me with Broadstone. Don’t get me wrong, this is a really really good golf course, but just not quite what I was hoping for, nor expected. Holes 5-16 are great. Beautiful, tough, interesting holes with great bunkering (although the soupy sand was horrible, but that’s probably just because I’m not used to it). Holes 10 (a par 4 nestled into the slope to the left and OB to the right) and 11, a gorgeous par 3, were my personal highlights. But, in my opinion the start and finish to this course really let it down, they feel like they are on a completely different golf course. I have a big thing about trees on golf courses, and a heathland course (IMO) should have pine trees and nothing else (within reason), the dark greens and the browns, along with the heather, framing the green grass. Here, especially on the early on late holes, the deciduous trees dominate, and they just don’t look right. I understand Broadstone has done a huge amount of work on tree removal, but I think there is scope to remove a lot more. Areas include left of 1, right of 2 & 3, right of 4, right of 17 and left of 18. This review isn’t meant to come across as being negative, it really is a great golf course, but I think it could be even better with better starting and finishing holes.

April 30, 2022
6 / 10
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Josh

I have to admit that I hadn't heard much of Broadstone before my journey down in early March. I was looking forward to Parkstone so much that I was probably blindsided and didn't expect much however I was happily surprised by the end when I could reflect on the course and how it definitely deserves it's top 50 spot.

I hadn't seen many pictures or done any research before driving into the clubhouse. I tend to like it this way as I can be as unbiased as possible on my thoughts. Although the clubhouse is sat in a great position overlooking the first and eighteenth hole, I feel like I have to address how underwhelming the view is. I think in all honesty my least favourite holes were these two mainly due to the tired bunkering and with how good the rest of the course is. Maybe in the summer it's a much more visually stunning with the heather in full bloom I don't know but this was the only criticism I had when it came to the layout.

The course is set out on a enormous piece of undulating terrain. If I've got this right, you can see the 13th green from the 5th green, which has to be at least a mile apart. You'd be forgiven for thinking you couldn't get all the way over there in just 18 holes. With Broadstone lucky enough to spread holes over such a generous piece of land, you get a great feeling of isolation on some holes but on others a more communal feel which is attributed to the great layout. (and fantastic halfway house)

Although, having played Parkstone the same day, I'm not sure it should quite rank above their neighbours. To be fair to Broadstone, I personally think Parkstone is criminally underrated and deserves to be recognised as one of the top 20 in England. I still think the rank of Broadstone is a very fair representation however.

The controversial 7th hole is an interesting one but if it gets people talking it means it's a little unique, and that to me is what good courses should be about. Whilst golf is very much soaked in it's tradition, it's great to see some courses almost break the stereotype with quirkier and more fun layouts and that I think can only be good for the game. It almost reminded me of the par 5 at The Addington where you'll run out of fairway with a driver and have a difficult downhill shot over all kinds of trouble.

My favourite hole here has to be the 6th, a perfectly framed uphill par 3 from the tee to a tricky sloped green. I can imagine in the summer many have suffered from putting off these greens as it's a kind of course where your putter needs to be in form!

To be fair to Broadstone, I got a call a week or so ahead of time to be told that one hole was closed and the greens had just been spiked. Whilst this isn't ideal they were very happy to offer a good discount on the price and given the time of year (early March) just looking at the pictures now from the summer, the course is completely transformed by the heather and is now one I would really like to come and visit at that time.

Like i mentioned before this place is fully deserving of a place in the top 50 and is definitely worth a visit if you're down in the area.

For pictures, reviews, daily content and to follow my journey through the top 100 come and find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ginger.golf/?hl=en-gb

March 07, 2022
8 / 10
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Matt Andrews

Was looking forward to playing this in a recent open. More undulation than I was expecting and a good solid walk. Not many standout holes although the par 3s are all strong if not a little similar. Hit the green in 2 at SI1 7th but a poor hole where any drive not finding the left side of the fairway and short of the mound leaves a shot with no options as my 3 playing partners found out. Bunkers full of stones and light on sand while wider course presentation solid but nothing special. Big undulating and testing greens were reasonably true but surprisingly slow, particularly for a comp. Layout not as good as Blackmoor or Isle of Purbeck, and condition reasonable but short of expectations for a top100. I came away distinctly underwhelmed but the food in the clubhouse was excellent.

August 14, 2021
6 / 10
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jason

Personally I felt this was a course that either had fantastic holes or then had ordinary holes. I think when the course was built it would have been way up there in the rankings but sadly you feel that the land and equipment available at the time has now compromised the course against the more modern ones built.

All the par 3's were excellent , but all the par 5's were mundane at best.

Some great par 4's but then some ordinary ones.

Greens were very slopey and quick and the flags on the days we played were nothing short of evil and placed on tops of slopes that meant usually an 8 footer back.

Too many uphill shots onto greens where you couldn't see the bottoms of the pins also.

The course is traditional Harry colt design, in my view could be made out of this world with serious money spent, but as it is I would say a good day out but not one that will last overly long in the memory.

June 01, 2021
6 / 10
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Neil White

“We’ve been coming here 50 years,” chuckled the old-timer after his group had teed off ahead of us and we wished them an enjoyable round.

What a joy. Five decades of playing Broadstone – a course which is so memorable it is difficult to imagine ever tiring of it.

My only previous experience of this great sport in Bournemouth was as a child – at the crazy golf of the Winter Gardens near Boscombe Pier and pitch and putt of Tucton Bridge and Hengistbury Head.

I mused at how my proficiency on both forms of the game had helped the strategy around this top 100 course.

Well, certainly skill at pitching and putting is central to a good score at Broadstone.

Every hole sticks in the mind and requires a dead-eye short game to avoid deep bunkers and gorse and a hot putter on greens which have the subtlest of borrows.

And, yes, there is a bit of crazy golf too – in the shape of the controversial 7th hole, the like of which I have not previously encountered on my top 100 travels.

Broadstone is certainly not stuffy. We were happily accommodated for a round at the start of a long weekend golfing in Dorset and several people offered cheery greetings as we prepared to play.

No wonder the folk are happy – Broadstone puts a smile on the face from the first hole until the last.

The opener is a short par five which sets a pattern of tee shots over gorse before a decision is made about whether to clear a ditch and bunker to go for the green in two.

Being a cowardly golfer, I opted for a lay-up and chip and then discovered that the green was not quite as tame as it looked.

The 3rd is one of several holes with an elevated tee, giving a precursor to the amazing views at Broadstone.

It is a lovely-looking downhill par four which again needs carry before requiring an attack over quite a large pond.

The short fifth is a gem – bigger hitters than me will go for the green but I was pleased to belt my ball over the intimating array of bunkers in the middle of the fairway only for it to find its way into one on the right.

The sixth par three has a gorse valley in front of a green on the side of the hill. I was thrilled to find the dancefloor only to three-putt.

The 13th is a cracking par four – which bends from right to left with a hollow and a chasm of a bunker protecting the target. Well, it seemed ruddy enormous to me as I took two shots to extricate myself.

The 14th is probably my pick of the holes. Looking down on the fairway from the tee on a gorgeous summer afternoon, prompted echoes of the Algarve, thanks to the light sand in the many traps and the way the hole drops, ascends and curves.

I met the tamest of deer as I was preparing my opening to the 17th – another sublime hole which drops down to a green, protected by a ditch and bunkers.

I have reserved my thoughts on the 7th until last.

As I child in Bournemouth, I played lots of crazy golf and was taken to many comedy shows. I reckon before he designed this hole, Harry Colt must have done the same.

There is a sign before the tee which warns that neither of the fairways are visible when approaching them.

Neither? Yep. The first shot is over a gorse-riddled ridge onto even land but the second shot is the killer because if it is hit straight, the chances are that it will go into another layer of gorse because the slither of fairway is in a valley down to the left.

The green is on high, protected by the inevitable deep traps.

I could say that prior knowledge is a prerequisite to success but Mrs W would disagree. It is a par 5 for ladies, and she nailed a 50ft putt to claim glory.

So, yes, we loved Broadstone but there are a couple of slightly negative points worth mentioning. Namely, that the greens were surprisingly slow, presumably because of the deluge of rain we have had over the past month and some of the fairways were not as pristine as expected, probably for the same reason.

The 16th has suffered most and overseeding has taken place but I’m afraid the seagulls were enjoying the feast.

I thought the condition might have caused a rethink in the hefty £105 green fee although, to be fair, there are cheaper times to play than a Friday.

Nevertheless, Broadstone was a real pleasure.

May 29, 2021
8 / 10
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Gavin Hale

A very, very nice Harry Colt layout. At around 6,400yds, it's a bit on the short side - but with the prevailing wind and usual fast running heath land layout, this is a very challenging course.

No fake scores to be had here, I'm afraid. This a a stern but fair test. Standout holes for me:

Short par-4 5th - really nice risk and reward driveable par-4.

Stunning par-3 6th - getting on the green is the start of your problems!

Controversial par-4 7th - sublime 2 shotter.

Really clever par-3 8th - became a firm favourite over time with the ridge running diagonally across the green front from left to right.

Classic long par-4 13th - two quality strikes (like the 7th) to hit this one in regulation.

I say controversial 7th due to the differing opinions I see on reviews.

For me, it's a fantastic hole using the natural terrain. I've hit everything from 7-iron to 3-wood into the green. The feeling of hitting it in regulation and making a 4 is what makes it great.

And what's not to like about the approach shot into the 16th? Stunning with a slippery green - a strong par-4.

I've always liked the 17th. Visually pleasing elevated tee shot with copse of trees pinching in on the right and angled trees and gorse on the left.

So many options and when protecting a good score, it offers a birdie chance, or triple bogey chance depending on how you decide to try and play it.

18th is a little underwhelming as a finish (16th would be a better finishing hole) but still a challenge, and the par-5's are both a little weak lengthwise.

But you'll struggle to find 4 finer par-3's than the 6th, 8th, 11th and 15th on any golf course anywhere! Colt classics.

Until Remedy Oak came along - this was definitely the best course in Dorset in my opinion (see Remedy Oak review). I used to think Parkstone was the prettiest, Broadstone the toughest and most rewarding and Ferndown usually the one in best condition. Remedy has shaken things up a bit and offers a length the others can't complete with.

But Broadstone is still a must-play if you're a fan of Harry Colt, or want to play quality golf in Dorset. It has history and a class of its own.

Enjoy.

May 22, 2021
7 / 10
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Andrew Pratt

One of the prettiest golf courses I have played. Every hole was a visual delight. Played the course in September, conditioning was good.

A thoroughly enjoyable day out with friends. Warm welcome in the club house.

The only reason this course doesn't get a better rating from me is that it was just a little short to give it some teeth and for it to challenge a little further up the top 100 list, however I am sure it plays longer in the winter.

Well worth a visit. Thanks for the memories.

October 26, 2020
6 / 10
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Jordan Preece

An unbelievable golf course for many reasons...layout, views, playability, the challenge each hole brings...I could go on and on!

Greens were slightly disappointing but if you put a 10/10 green on this course it would be top 5 in the world!

You MUST play this course if you are a fan of golf!

October 10, 2020
8 / 10
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