Known as Came Down Golf Club since 1924, the club started out with a Tom Dunn-designed 9-hole golf course in 1896 as Dorchester Golf Club. Ten years after its formation, the club enlisted J.H. Taylor to extend the course to a full 18-hole layout, and with this expansion came another change of name, to Weymouth, Dorchester and County Golf Club. When the third and final name change took place almost twenty years later, it was decided to upgrade the course at the same time and so Harry Colt was asked to redesign Came Down, with reconstruction work delayed a couple of years until 1927.
Located on chalk downland between Dorchester and Weymouth, Came Down enjoys wonderful scenic views of the surrounding Dorset countryside. Samuel Ryder used to holiday in this area during the summer and he eventually became a member of the club. It’s said that his vision for the Ryder Cup, to be played between teams of British and American golf professionals, took shape after listening to local pros talk about the expense involved in leaving club jobs temporarily to participate in competitions.
Today’s course features a number of intriguing holes, amongst them a pair of short par fours at the 3rd (“Spinney”) and 17th (Polly’s Pit”). The 407-yard 7th (“Maiden Castle”) is a tough hole – named after the nearby site of what’s believed to be the largest Iron Age hill fort in Europe – where, after a blind tee shot, an approach shot is played to a well-bunkered green that’s benched into the hillside. On the back nine, the 404-yard 16th (“Slingers”) is another difficult hole, with out of bounds to the right of the fairway helping to concentrate the thoughts of many between the teebox and green.