49a Links Road,
- +44 (0) 1202 707138
3 miles W of Bournmouth
Contact in advance - handicap certificate required
We’ve classified Parkstone Golf Club as a seaside heathland course. It’s certainly not a traditional links and neither is it very far inland. It's an unusual and unique course, located on a beautiful sandy tract of undulating heathland, affording magnificent views across Poole Bay and Poole Harbour. The fairways are lined with the delights of pine and heather and the picture in spring is an especially pretty one when the rhododendrons are in full bloom.
The land was originally part of Lord Wimborne’s Canford Estate that stretched all the way from Wimbourne to Sandbanks, a natural peninsula, jutting into the sea at the entrance to Poole Harbour. The Water Company built two reservoirs and a pump house. Little did they know the water would come in handy to irrigate the new golf course that Willie Park Junior laid out in 1909. The great revisionist, James Braid, appeared on the scene in 1932 and Parkstone was subsequently lengthened and altered.
Little has changed since Braid’s alterations. The course presents a delightfully tranquil and varied challenge amongst the heather and pine. Parkstone is not overly long, measuring 6,300 yards from the back tees, but it’s sufficiently challenging for golfers of all levels. You cannot help but be taken in by the charms of Parkstone and the mesmerising experience.
This is ‘Alliss’ country. Peter Alliss learned his trade down the road at Ferndown where his dad, Percy, was the professional for 25 years. Peter became the professional at Parkstone in 1957 and remained at the club until 1970. Percy and Peter Alliss became the first family on either side to have father and son representation in the Ryder Cup. The Garrido family joined the Alliss family in the father and son record books in 1997 when Ignacio was a member of the winning 1997 Ryder Cup Team at Valderrama.
We thoroughly recommend a trip to Parkstone. It is a gorgeous place to play golf and it’s an interesting and varied course to boot.
A truly fantastic course. Being the first of many to tick off in the Dorset area me and my playing partner were left very satisfied.
On arrival you are welcomed by a very helpful pro shop who will talk you through the layout of the property and what to expect on your experience.
From here make your way up to the terrace and have a quick coffee to soak in the views, to which sit high over looking the course.
We opted for a warm up in the nets/Putting green but Parkstone does have a driving range and short game area which is a 5 minute walk away from the first tee.
From the moment we stepped on the first tee we was in love with the course.
Fantastic use of gradient changes and subtle run offs all the way through the course right up to the punishing false fronts of the greens.
Its refreshing to play a course which demands more accuracy and skills as apposed to power and yards. Missed placed tee shots can be hard to score on from the heather & rough but this the price to pay for missed fairways.
You will find on certain holes (6th comes to mind) blind tee shots mixed in with dog legs, these can be tricky for first time players but none the less a great defence for a par 5 as accuracy is rewarded.
Could not fault the greens especially for this time of year. They ran very fair and very true....much to my disgust with a few approach shots stopping and running back off the green.
One final quirk that both myself and my playing partner were pleasantly surprised at was the call up system on blind tee shots. It was nice to not here bells being rung all the way round the course. Parkstone have installed a light system to which you press on the tee and then when passed further down it signals to the tee box that its clear to play. I yet to see this anywhere else.
If I was to be born again as a scratch golfer I'd be reborn as a 20 year old woman. I'd be able to play all the golden age courses as they were designed, rather than be forced to play un-exiting 7000 yard monsters because only that length provided a true challenge.
Parkstone is a perfect example of a nice short course. Why play 7,000 when 6,200 exquisitely crafted yards provides sufficient challenge for most male members and, going back to my initial sentence, would provide the same challenge to a good female player off the back tees.
From first to last Parkstone offers challenges, subtle slopes, manicured fairways, even more manicured tee boxes and lovely greens. The par threes are lovely, demanding accuracy on the shorter holes (eg 16) and offering a bail out on the longer ones (eg 18). It offers you options for glory (for example a second or maybe third shot over the corner of the ridge on 17) but punishes the poorly hit shot - there's no nice bank to roll down - it's carry all the way or fail. It even offers carries over water - on 3 and I think it was the par 5 thirteenth.
I've been a bit conservative with my marking - it definitely warrants an overnight stop, but flying in feels a bit too much - maybe travel three hours and spend a night might be a better qualifier - if so I'd definitely give it a five, because it certainly is one of the best courses in the region. It hasn't got the grandeur and vistas of Broadstone or the exclusivity of Remedy Oak, but I felt it at least equal of those and a bit more interesting than Ferndown. I'd love to be a member.
I’ve commented before on how Dorset seems to go ignored by so many golfers, well Parkstone is perhaps the jewel in the crown. When I first played the course I felt baffled the course was not in the UKs Top 100 so am delighted to see it in there now. The routing at Parkstone is fantastic and quite how they pack so much golf onto the property is astounding. A worthy mention must go to the captain at the time who came out to greet us before we tee’d off and told us we were members for the day! Oh, and that 18th hole…something else.
Played in the Wimborne cup this year. Quite simply stunning! The changes to the course of removing non natural trees to make the existing heather and pine trees more of a feature has been a complete success. The course is like a picture postcard! The condition was fantastic with probably the best tee’s and greens I have played in many a year. The roll off areas surrounding the greens are better than most golf clubs actual greens. The thing that makes this club the best in Dorset and the Bournemouth area is the clubhouse atmosphere and friendliness.
If you're visiting Dorset, have time for only one round, and want to play the prettiest course in the County - I'd suggest Parkstone.
Lots of undulation and elevated tees (the 8th, 13th and 16th you could throw a blanket over and offer fantastic views over the harbour and to Brownsea Island - and plenty of mature firs framing most holes.
It's a little on the short side (lots of 3-wood and wedge holes) - but firm fast fairways and greens and lovely routing will keep you interested from beginning to end.
My favourite holes?
par-4 dog-leg left 8th (3-wood/wedge into the breeze),
par-4 15th (needing a long straight drive with trouble on the left)
par-3 18th (all the par-3's are interesting but 18th is a really strong finishing hole that I suspect has ruined many a good medal score).
Conditioning is usually good.
So Parkstone is the prettiest - but not the toughest (once you know where you're going). Broadstone is tougher and more rewarding if that's what floats your boat.
And if it's conditioning, exclusivity and a true Championship test you're after, then has to be Remedy Oak (see my other reviews of these Dorset gems)..
Better still - come to Dorset for long enough to play all 3. All different - all enjoyable - and all will leave you smiling no matter how well you play. We're very lucky to have such quality courses in such close proximity.
One of my favourite courses will definitely return love it nice blend of holes in a lovely setting
Parkstone is fantastic and very underrated in my opinion. 44th in England is an insult, it should be at worst top 25.
It sits an a great piece of land with brilliant elevation changes, which at times offer views of Poole Harbour. It is a classic heathland course that wouldn't look out of place in Surrey, and is a fair test that won't beat you up.
The 1st is a lovely opener, which is followed by a good par 3 and then a really good par 5 which starts with one of the coolest tee boxes you'll ever see, jetting out into a lake. 4 5 and 6 are all good holes too, but the course really gets going on 7, a beautiful uphill par 3 to a 3 tiered green well guarded by bunkers. The 8th tee is my favourite spot on the course, where you can see 7 holes, as well as the sea on a clear day. 9 is a great road hole par 5, tucked away in the corner of the property. 11 is the only bad hole on the course, a very odd par 5 where your wedge shot is blind, and extremely uphill. 12 is one of my favourite par 4s anywhere. The tee shot must drop over 100ft to a fairway way below you, and then you're left with a fiddley wedge to an elevated green with a huge false front. 13 is another vert high tee box with great views, and a lovely par 4. 16 is a great downhill, playing extremely downhill, and hard to judge, despite being only a wedge. 17 is a stout par 5, and 18 a marvellous par 3 to finish.
Parkstone is a must play, and deserves a lot more credit than it is currently given.
In my opinion this is my favourite of the 3 Bournemouth heathland courses. A real treat to be able to have played all of them now and nice to finish with such a beauty. Not a weak hole on the course. There had been a lot of rain for the last couple days in the lead up to my round here yet the course was still in great condition, a few wet lies but no really noticeable puddles. The greens were fast and relatively undulating, and the bunkers were magnificent. It honestly is a joy to play golf in this area as it is a lovely place and is surrounded by beautiful houses and flats. The layout is spectacular with lots of ups and downs and plenty of blind shots to be played.
The front 9 starts off fairly straight forward, a short start but must be kept straight as the heather is just like any other... very penalising. My favourite holes on the front 9 would be the par 4 1st which is a great opener, lovely looking hole with a wide fairway and a lovely view from the practice green. The par 4 8th is also a fantastic hole, an elevated tee shot with the line being just to the right of the overhanging tree overlooking the fairway, the more you take on, the less you have in but the riskier it gets.
The back 9 becomes a little tougher, 10 is a long uphill par 4 with a big fairway bunker on the left to avoid, and 11 is a tough uphill par 5 with a tight drive and a blind approach shot into the green. The 15th is a great looking golf hole which is equally challenging. A 440 yard uphill par 4 with heather all up the right makes it very daunting but it looks fantastic. The par 3 15th is most peoples favourite and I understand why. A 150 yard straight downhill par 3 with a great view of the green makes it a really fun hole to play and a nice little hole in 1 opportunity for those with a sharp wedge game. I find a par 3 finish a little unusual but will not knock it as its a great and tough finishing hole, can create some real difficulties when trying to close out a good score.
Although Ferndown and Broadstone are far from shabby, I just feel like Parkstone is just a slightly better course and I don't think it would look out of place whether it was in Surrey, Hampshire or Berkshire.
Played as a party of 12 yesterday and had a superlative day in glorious sunshine. Not a lot to add to the recent reviews, but the combination of fine undulating ground, blooming heather, exciting golf, tough fun greens and some of the best presentation I've ever seen is hard to beat. It certainly doesn't feel short, and they've worked within the compact parcel really well, but there inevitably isn't the isolated man vs elements feeling of a Sunningdale or a few longer par. 4's. That aside it's hard to think of many things that could be improved, it's clearly a thriving club that welcomes visitors. From the helpful staff to our volunteer greeter, nothing was too much trouble. Would love to go back, and would join in an instant if in the area.
Day one of our Dorset tour and it is exciting that of the four other courses we have booked two are even higher ranked than Parkstone.
What a superb course. Some great holes with fabulous bunkering and fast true greens. A real treat well worth its position in the rankings.