This is a proper golfers golf course. It’s set on natural terrain rolling through the Dorset heathland with rugged bunkers and slick greens. We had so much fun. The course is short on the scorecard but plays much longer with large elevation changes and a meagre par 70.
There are some standout holes. I loved the par 3 6th hole, it forces you to make take on a bold shot carrying your ball over a ravine to the back of the green. Those that do will be rewarded with a bank at the back of the green to carry you ball down to the hole. The 13th and 14th are a fantastic pair of par 4s, 13 is brutal hole which tests you on both your drive and then a long 2nd into a hanging green - 14 gives you something back with a stunning elevated drive and a chance at birdie.
Overall it was a great day of golf; Broadstone has many parallels with Sunningdale New and in my opinion was as fun if not more fun to play. It’s superior to many of the more famous Surrey courses and very welcoming to visitors. I wish I was a member.
Broadstone, in my opinion has the potential to advance itself quite dramatically up the rankings, however, it must be careful. I say that as some of the fairways were not at their best. I think it is to be applauded that the club wants to develop and amend holes or alter bunkers back to the original design. But, it must not lose sight of the condition to one of its core components. In their defence my host tells me that the club is only too aware of this and plans are in order to iron out the issue so I’m sure they will rectify this is due course.
On a positive note, all of the par 3’s at Broadstone are worthy of special mention - they are wonderful holes. It’s difficult to pick out a favourite but at a push I’d say mine is the 6th. The bunkers all seem to be placed perfectly and the green is none too deep. You need to hit a high mid-iron to hold this particular green, which is framed beautifully by trees as you stand on the tee. If you don’t end up on the green, getting up and down is tricky to say the least.
The remainder of the course continues to throw other superb golf holes at you. The 7th is a delight; especially the second shot which is pretty much all or nothing over a massive cross-bunker and expanse of purple heather. The 13th hole is another strong par 4 with a wide landing area for the drive. The approach to this heavily sloping green is particularly challenging. Make a birdie or par here and you can feel particularly pleased with yourself. Other good par 4’s can be found at the 2nd with its very tricky approach. Invariably your approach shot is from an uphill lie to a two-tier green sitting above you. Land short and the ball dies! Go long and there are bushes none too far from the back edge of the green. A testing hole to say the least! The 15th is another lovely hole. Its not too long but the view from the tee is splendid and the second shot to a green that sits out of view behind numerous cross-bunkers has to be well judged to finish close.
I always enjoy playing at Broadstone as it offers a wonderful variety of holes with superb views. Perhaps its only negative is the lack of a good par 5 on the back nine but that is being ultra critical. I’ve given Broadstone a 5-ball marking as I’m sure they will continue to take the course forward. Where there are problems, I know they’ll address them without delay. It is a course I always enjoy playing and on this occasion it was no different. Steve Searle