Rushmore Golf Club Course Review

Rushmore Golf Club on the Dorset/Wiltshire border boasts a fine course laid out over a vast deer park with several memorable holes

Rushmore Golf Club - 15th hole
(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Rushmore Golf Club Course Review

GF £30-£50; Twilight: £25-£30
Par 71, 6,358 yards
Slope 130
GM Verdict – An enjoyable course with a real sense of occasion on the Wiltshire side, a good number of strong holes and enough water to keep you on your toes.
Favourite Hole – The long par-4 8th is very attractive visually as you stare across the dip to the green from the fairway – both inviting and daunting given the likely length of the approach shot.

Rushmore Golf Club - 8th hole

Looking up towards the green on the excellent long par-4 8th hole

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

The best golf courses in Dorset are headlined by the famous Golf Monthly Top 100 heathland trio around Bournemouth (Broadstone, Parkstone and Ferndown). But there is much good golf to be found elsewhere in Dorset, including the fine course at Rushmore in the north of the county right on the Wiltshire border.

Related: the best golf courses in Wiltshire

Rushmore Golf Club - 16th hole

The course at Rushmore plays over a vast deer park on the Dorset/Wiltshire border

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

In fact, the layout at Rushmore actually straddles the Dorset/Wiltshire border, with nine holes in each but no bunkers in Wiltshire due to certain restrictions on the land that side of the border! The entrance drive winds through a mature deer park on Cranborne Chase and there is a real sense of grandeur about the course’s setting right from the off, where the towering sequoias that frame the 1st hole magnificently will really stir the golfing soul.

Rushmore Golf Club - 1st hole

Towering sequioa trees frame Rushmore's 1st hole

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

You start out in Wiltshire and venture into Dorset after the 3rd, where you must successfully negotiate trees in the fairway and a pond short left of the green. The first hole in Dorset is then a pretty, mid-length par 3 over water, while the distant views as you play the 6th – a longer par 3 – are spell-binding.

Rushmore Golf Club - 4th hole

The par-3 4th over water is the first hole you play after crossing from Wiltshire into Dorset

(Image credit: Phil Inglis)

There’s then more water to avoid both off the tee and up by the green on the long par-5 7th and another pond to contemplate in the dip on the superb down-and-up par-4 8th as you stare up towards the green from the fairway with almost certainly quite a long club in hand! This makes for a shot that is both visually appealing yet slightly daunting.

Rushmore Golf Club - 7th hole

Watch out for the water short right of the green on the par-5 7th

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

The uphill par-5 12th features a narrow approach courtesy of yet more water, but it should be stressed that despite a seeming preponderance of water, that isn’t really how it feels on the ground. They are nearly all relatively small accumulations rather than vast expanses, although that won’t be much consolation if you pull or push your final approach here whether going for it in two or hitting a wedge in for your third shot.

Rushmore Golf Club - 15th hole

Looking out over the par-5 15th hole from the 13th fairway

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

Crossing back into Wiltshire, the vista of verdant fairways and wispy golden grasses away to your left from the 13th tee and fairway is captivating, and the par-5 15th that makes up much of this view is a memorable hole sweeping majestically round to the left. Before that, there’s one final expanse of water to cross on the short par-4 13th, where it’s worth leaving yourself your favourite distance in as there is absolutely no margin for error between the pond and the edge of the green. This is no time to be leaving yourself a fiddly half-shot, unless they're your speciality.

Rushmore Golf Club - 14th hole

The uphill par-3 14th will play longer than its yardage

(Image credit: Jeremy Ellwood)

After the uphill par-3 14th, which plays longer than its yardage, you then appear to have a bit of a chance on the run for home courtesy of that par-5 15th and two short par 4s. That said, the par-3 17th might prove a slightly different proposition off the back tees into any sort of wind at 185 yards, so any gains you can make elsewhere would be most welcome.

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...