- +44 (0) 1202 692595
4 miles N of Poole
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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.
The 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.
“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.”
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