Parkstone Golf Club Course Review

The major improvements of previous years are now fully bedded in on this tremendous layout with a host of very attractive holes

Parkstone Golf Club

The major improvements of previous years are now fully bedded in on this tremendous layout with a host of very attractive holes

Parkstone Golf Club Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 – 80

Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 78 2017/18 - 82 2015/16 - 91

Summer Green Fees

Round: £125wd; 36 holes: £199wd inc. one-course meal

Visitor Times: Weekdays only from 9.40am to 11am and 2.10pm to 3.30pm (Tuesdays after 2.10pm only)

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,282 Yards

Website: www.parkstonegolfclub.com

Changes since previous ranking

No significant course changes other than sand-capping on several holes to improve drainage.

Parkstone Golf Club Course Review

Parkstone, Ferndown and Broadstone - Bournemouth’s big-hitting heathland trio - have all been spurring each other on to greater heights.

Parkstone is a Willie Park Junior creation dating back to 1909. But it is largely James Braid’s modifications in 1937 that define this top-drawer layout, which offers a thoroughly desirable mix of examination and enjoyment.

Bournemouth’s big-hitting heathland trio

The 5th is one of many attractive holes at Parkstone

It is also one of many courses around the country striving to rediscover its heathland roots, initially on the advice of Donald Steel late last century and more recently under the masterful supervision of Martin Hawtree.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

Restricted in terms of overall lengthening by the slopes and course boundaries, the focus of this work has been to make the bunkers more consistent, visible and relevant, with green complexes upgraded to match.

Bournemouth’s big-hitting heathland trio

The 6th hole sweeping around to the left

A return to nature

Tree clearance to promote light, air movement and heather regeneration was given a welcome shot in the arm when Natural England declared the course an SSSI with a requirement to return it to open heathland.

Initial resistance to the idea of tree clearing has now come full circle, with the course really reaping the benefits of re-finding much of its original character and feel.

Bournemouth’s big-hitting heathland trio

The pretty little par-3 7th is the first hole the other side of the road

The tempting vista from the clubhouse patio almost physically drags you down onto the 1st tee, and from there until you putt out on 18, every hole presents a new and thought-provoking challenge. Just as importantly, all 18 are a delight to the eye.

There are several thrilling tee-shots including those at the 3rd where you play from a causeway crossing water, at the elevated 8th and 12th holes, and at the closing hole, a potential card-wrecker of a par 3.

Bournemouth’s big-hitting heathland trio

The 13th hole at Parkstone
(Image credit: Picasa)

Each of the short holes is a gem, and although the course is fairly short by today’s standards, there’s an entertaining mix among its five three-shotters.

The bunkerless 17th is the pick of the bunch as it sweeps up and round to the right to a green set in the pines.

Assessor Feedback

I looked at the club’s website gallery and thought this must be airbrushed and glossed to look this good. But my doubts were suppressed when it was just as good in the flesh!

Parkstone is truly pretty - not quite St George’s Hill ‘pretty’ but close. The elevation changes provide wonderful vistas across the course and towards Poole Harbour.

Loved the elevation changes that accentuate the views, especially on the downhill par 3s.

GM Verdict

The major improvements of previous years are now fully bedded in on this tremendous layout with a host of very attractive holes.

 

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...