Broadway Golf Club was founded in 1895 but moved to its current location on Willersey Hill in 1910. Despite its Worcestershire address, the club is affiliated to the Gloucestershire Golf Union, so we’ve assigned Broadway to the county of Gloucestershire rather than Worcestershire.
Set at altitude of nearly 900 feet, Broadway affords some of the finest Cotswold views imaginable across the Vale of Evesham to the distant Malvern Hills on a clear day. A nameless local professional laid out the original 9-hole course, but the club had the foresight to call in Alister MacKenzie in the late 1920s and the good doctor built a number of new greens, including the greensite on the drop-shot par three 5th which is perhaps Broadway’s signature hole, with the town as a backdrop.
Tom Simpson later altered the 8th and 9th holes before James Braid was called in to fashion a new back nine for the club just before the outbreak of the Second World War. It would take another two decades before the club completed work on the second nine, which plays over much less interesting terrain than the front.
Sean Arble, one of our regular contributors, commented as follows on golfclubatlas.com: “Unfortunately, the back nine at Broadway is far less compelling than the front nine. Too many holes are marred by senseless bunkering or a general lack of detail. That said, there are a few holes which stand out as excellent. Like Stratford on Avon GC, I don't think the course as a whole warrants much travel and that is despite what has to be one of the best sets of short holes which NEVER gets a mention. However, because the club offers nine-hole rates, I am going to break with convention and recommend one play Broadway on the strength of treating the course like a nine holer. Skip the back and play the front twice or thrice... it is that good!”
Like a few that have reviewed this before me, I would agree that the first nine is excellent, and the back nine is considerably easier and more forgettable. This contributes in making Broadway a very enjoyable outing on a mature course with some breathtaking views, but at the same time not a standout.
The front nine is formed of a series of challenging holes on the top and side of the hill overlooking several nearby counties, with cotswold stone walls and cleverly designed short par 4s the order of the day. A standout however is the par-3 5th, hitting down to a green 30 feet below the tee with a view ocer Worcestershire to the Malvern Hills beyond. That hole gets the plaudits, but the short par 4 6th and 7th are worthy follow ups, both played over undulating fairways with strategic tee shots the order of the day.
The back nine is clearly an add-on, still very well kept and not without their enjoyment, but it feels a bit put together and doesn’t pose the challenge or beauty of the front. Too many bland par 4s leave you wishing for a continuation of more of the same.
Finally got to play Broadway in August 2019 after 3 aborted attempts in 2018/2019 due to waterlogged course. Greens were in good condition but very hard, fairways were a tad long but there was lots of grass clippings around which was odd. Course was fairly uninteresting especially off the tee. Best stretch of holes was from 5-8, starting with a downhill par 3 at the 5th. Holes 11-13 felt like an infill in a separate field and included two par 4's under 300 yards. Uninspiring and Tadmarton Heath is a better bet in the Stow area.