Came Down Golf Club

Course overview

The definition of a hidden gem and the birthplace of the Ryder Cup. You didn’t expect that did you?! Welcome to the historic Came Down Golf Club.

Located between Dorchester and Weymouth, on the west side of Dorset, Came Down is one of the finest downland courses you’ve probably never heard of, let alone played… but you definitely should have.

The course is set high up, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Dorset countryside and nearby coastline. With a chalk base, drainage here is excellent and the course rarely sees play on temporary greens even in the depths of winter, hitting peak condition from the end of spring throughout the playing season.

The names of those who have had a hand in crafting this course over the years read like a whos who of 20th Century course design; Tom Dunn, J H Tayor and Harry Colt have all played their part in ensuring Came Down is a joy to play. Stretching out to just a little over 6,200 yards from the back tees, length is not a factor that defines this layout. In true Colt style, the design incorporates the natural contours of the landscape in a way that allows reward for good shots, whilst punishing the bad. The signature par 3 12th is a particular example, with a green set into a bank that slopes from left to right and is protected by front bunkers. Miss left and you’ll be in all kinds of bother, but catch the front edge with a well-worked lower lofted shot and let the natural contours do the rest.

Dating back to the late 1800’s, you would expect the club to have a story or two, but few can boast a history quite like Came Down. During a conversation with the club professional Ernest Whitcombe, Came Down member Samuel Ryder was surprised to hear of the financial limitations which prevented most British golf pros of the time compete in major competitions against their often wealthier American counterparts. On hearing this Ryder arrange a match between his coach Abe Mitchell and Whitcombe. The match drew national interest and from this, the idea of a contest between golfers on either side of the Atlantic grew. Samuel Ryder put the idea into action, acquired a trophy with its now famous top and a year later in 1927 the inaugural Ryder Cup was held at Worcester Country Club, Massachusetts. The golfer on top of that trophy was modelled on Abe Mitchell, whilst Whitcombe was one of three brothers, and Came Down Golf Club club professionals, who went on to make a combined 11 Ryder Cup appearances over the next 20+ years.

So there you have it. A Dorset golf club steeped in Ryder Cup history, designed by some of the World’s greatest architects and perfectly located as the centerpiece to a Dorchester/Weymouth golf tour or as a first or last day when playing the Jurassic Coast or the popular Bournemouth golf tours.

Visitor information 

  • Midweek and weekend play is possible around club fixtures

Course Information

  • Downland
    Downland course
  • facilities course bar
    Bar
  • facilities course buggies
    Buggies
  • facilities course driving range
    Driving range
  • icon-free-parking
    Free Parking
  • facilities course golf lessons
    Golf lessons
  • facilities course pro shop
    Pro shop
  • facilities putting green
    Putting green
  • facilities restaurant
    Restaurant
  • facilities course short game area
    Short game area

Distances and pars

  • White

    Par: 70

    Yards: 6,261

  • Yellow

    Par: 69

    Yards: 5,896

  • Blue

    Par: 72

    Yards: 5,245

  • Red

    Par: 72

    Yards: 5,560

Course location

Dorchester DT2 8NR

The local area

Located just of the A35 which connects the Dorchester/Weymouth area with the Jurassic Coast and East Devon/Exeter on one side and Bournemouth, onwards to London on the other, Came Down is easily accessible for those travelling from either side of the country. A popular stop of point for those travelling to well-traversed golfing destination Bournemouth, or as a centre point which ties together a golf tour involving the likes of Weymouth, Bridport, Lyme Regis, Isle of Purbeck and West Dorset to name a few.

Recent GSW client feedback

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General FAQs

  • Who are Golf South West?

    Founded in 2015, we are first and foremost the West Country golf travel specialists. We provide our clients with bespoke golf tours and stay & play golf packages for small groups and golf societies alike.

    We are both a domestic golf tour operator working directly for our clients and regional golf DMC who act as an agent for international outbound operators hoping to have their clients experience the beautiful West Country and it’s golfing delights!

    We work closely with our venues to ensure our customers receive the best value and service available for golf travel within the region.

    In 2023 we welcomed 2 new brands into the GSW family. Golf South East and Golf North West. Both offering the same expert service which our clients have come to expect from Golf South West, with experts in each respective region.

  • Which regions are covered by Golf South West?

    Golf South West is the West Country’s premier golf tour operator covering the regions of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Dorset, South Wales and Hampshire.

    We also work with selected, popular golf resorts across the UK including those under the management of Marriott, plus 4 time Ryder Cup host The Belfry, Celtic Manor and many more.

    If you are planning a golf break, we are the only call you need to make.

  • What is the best way to get in touch?

    We are available by phone 0117 256 5966 (Monday – Friday, 9am to 5pm), WhatsApp, email, enquiry form or via social media channels.

  • Why choose Golf South West as your tour operator?

    GSW is run by golfers and endorsed by golf professionals across the South West of the UK.

    We are a fully insured, experienced and recommended golf tour operator, who are insured by an ABTOT bond, meaning your money is secure and safe.

    We offer tours to a largely exclusive and unrivalled selection of venues across the Southwest of England and Wales, including some courses which can be tricky to access.

    We are also proud members of Golf Tourism England and IAGTO, who only work with only the best and most reputable companies in the industry.

    You can rest assured that as a client of Golf South West you will not only receive the best service, advice and choice, but you will also find the best value golf breaks in available in the West Country.

  • Who are ABTOT?

    A name and logo you will very likely recognise if you have taken a holiday in the UK. ABTOT insure non-flight inclusive package travel.

    ABTOT is an approved body (approved by Department for Business and Trade) which oversees the bonding process to ensure that ABTOT Members financial protection are at an adequate level to meet their insolvency requirements in the event of their financial failure as defined by The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.

    In plain English, ABTOT work closely with their members to ensure that we as a tour operator are keeping your money (as our client) money is safe and secure in the event of any solvency issues.

    The rules for membership acceptance are stringent so you can rest assured that any tour operator displaying the ABTOT logo is a trusted company in their sector.

  • How do GSW keep money safe?

    We are extremely proud of the service we provide and a large part of this is ensuring our client’s money is safe. Our practices comply with the 2018 package travel directive meaning that your money is safe with both ourselves and the venues your choose to visit.

    Our bond is provided under our ABTOT membership. The ability to display this recognisable and trusted logo does not come easily and only the most trusted tour operators pass the application. We are proud to be members of ABTOT and by booking with an ABTOT member you can rest assured that you are dealing with the industries finest and most trusted tour companies.

  • What happens if we can’t go on our planned trip?

    Holding deposits are non-refundable, but they are transferable* to a new date or break. We aim to be as flexible as possible and will treat each situation on a case by case basis. Full deposits are non-refundable so please only commit and pay for those in the party who are definitely able to attend the trip.

     

    * Some venue restrictions apply. Terms vary depending on the venue and cancellation term booked. Phone GSW consultant can advise you of this.

  • Can we make changes to our break?

    Managing a group can be a thankless task and changes to the group leading up to your break are an accepted element. We make changes as stress free as possible (just see our reviews for evidence of this!). Changes can be made up to 6 weeks prior to your break. Some changes are unavoidable so for legitimate reasons we will endeavour to make last minute changes after this period, but as we would have paid our venues at this point, this would be at the discretion of the venue(s) you are visiting. Please note a £25 admin fee will be applied for changes inside 6 weeks.

  • Why book with a tour operator?

    Good question, could you not do this all yourself? The answer is yes you could. You are able to locate the ideal hotel with the accessibility you need to the clubs you plan to play. You could go back and forth with your target venues and line up the tee times.  You could also contact each venue individually to advise them of group number changes and requests during the build up to your trip.

    Alternatively you could;

    – Talk to us about the trip you are planning.

    – Receive quotes for perfectly crafted package meeting your ideal requirements.

    – Secure the booking with small deposits staged in a way to make your life easier as an organiser.

    – Have your funds fully insured and independently held by PTS, our client trust provider.

    – Have changes made to whole tours with just one call or email.

    – Receive exclusive extras such as free places.

    – Pay less with our packages than going direct to venues.

    Why can we do this?

    Quite simply we have spent years (since 2015) forging strong relationships with hotel, golf club and golf resort venues across the South West. We are the expert tour operator for the region and are know for our high quality and personal service to our clients (just see our Google and TrustPilot reviews).

  • Who uses Golf South West?

    The majority of our clients are UK based domestic travellers. We deal with groups of any size, from single travellers and couples, to large golf societies.

    We also are the favoured golf DMC for the South West of England and preferred regional partner of Golf Tourism England. We regularly work with tour operators from Europe, America and elsewhere to provide bespoke tour packages allowing overseas travellers to experience the beautiful West Country.

  • How are package prices displayed on our website?

    Prices on our our website are displayed in two ways. The first is on our Resort pages where pricing tables show the from prices for low, mid and high season golf stay and play package rates at golf resort venues.

    The second is on our example tour package pages. There are often 4 prices shown here, two for low season and two for high season. The struck through price typically shows the highest price the tour can be and is often active over weekends in that season. The offer price is typically a mid week price.

    Every tour quote we offer is bespoke and will vary based on a number of factors including the date, availability, group size, room type, time of day for the tee time, etc… Our package pricing is a guide to the cost of the package and is not a firm price. Please enquire for an exact cost.

    We aim to provide as accurate a price as possible and therefore try to avoid using shoulder/mid season pricing or twilight green fee rates when displaying rates. You may find an intermediate price for breaks in months of April & October at certain venues.

  • Why are golf resort prices the same as elsewhere?

    Put simply, all tour operators work from the same contracted rate card when it comes to stay and play golf resort packages. When it comes to golf tours, that is a different matter, but golf resorts are a level playing field.

    If you find a vastly different price, it’s likely you’ve been misquoted and usually this does come back to bite.

    The question this poses is why book a stay and play golf break with Golf South West if you can book direct or with one of the large operators and receive the same price?

    Benjamin Franklin once said “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after
    the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

    We have a small team so booking through us means you receive a personal service. You are more than just a number to us, we are a tour operator where you will likely get to deal with the same contact throughout the process, who will get to know you and your group and respond efficiently to your queries.

    We know our venues and the people who work there. This ensures a smooth process from initial enquiry to the end of your stay.

    Financially you have an extra layer of protection as your money is securely stored in an independent trust account and is fully insured when it is released to the venue(s) you are visiting.

    We are fortunate to have some exclusive “extras” with selected venues across the South West. We offer 1 in 16 free on most trips AND run an exclusive credit system to reward repeat bookers.

    We often feel we add further value to our clients when it comes to our bespoke golf tour packages, but you can rest assured that when making a stay and play golf resort booking, Golf South West will offer you an extremely high level of service, financial protection and may even offer you a saving or an exclusive extra!

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