From New Forest parklands to sand belt heathlands
One of our favourite regions to play golf and one which is rich in golfing quality. A number of the venues listed below play host to England Golf championships and provide unforgettable rounds of golf.
We put these lists together based on our vast experience of providing golf breaks in the South/SouthWest of England. We hope this helps when planning your golf tour and we look forward to hearing your own thoughts and perhaps even your own view on the top 10!
If you are planning a golf break to one of our regions, drop us an enquiry, we'd love to have a chat regarding your plans.
10. Leckford Golf Club (Old)
The first course on our list and one of many that are either designed by or have been tinkered with by the world famous architect Harry Colt.
Leckford Golf Club boasts two delightful 9 hole courses that overlook the beautiful River Test and its surrounding hills and woodland.
Set on the Leckford Estate, owned by John Lewis/Waitrose, Leckford Golf Club features two nine-hole loops, the original Harry Colt designed Old Course and the Donald Steel designed New Course.
The course that makes this list is the Old Course. a 9 hole layout which can be played from 2 tee boxes to make up an 18 hole scorecard. This must be the first 9-hole course which has made our county top 10's, which is prehaps testament to the remarkable work of Harry Colt.
The original design was laid out in 1929, is considered by many to be one of Colt's most authentic course designs. It is known for it's tricky undulating greens, many of which will be tough to read for first time visitors and have hungry collection areas that will readily swallow any inaccurate approach shots.
Leckford Golf Club is a course we highly recommend visiting, with a great days golf. Many like to play the Old Course in its full 18 hole form and add on an additional 9 on the easier, but excellent New Course.
9. Barton on Sea Golf Club (Becton & Needles)
Barton-on-Sea is a links-style course set on the southern coast, just a short drive east of Bournemouth.
The venue boasts a 27 hole setup that consists of the original 18 hole course designed in the late 1800's and mid-1940's, combined with the newest 9 hole loop that was added in 1992. This creates the rare occurrence of having 3 loops of 9 holes of excellent quality, giving visitors the opportunity for variation and fresh challenges on returning to the venue.
The courses are hard to categorise and have elements of parkland, links, lakes and heathland. Renowned for its top conditioning, certainly in the summer months.
The championship loops making this top 10 are the Becton & Needles which combine to create a par-72 that stretches 6,450 yards through the undulating terrain. The highlight is perhaps the 2nd at Becton which provides a mid length par 4 challenge. A stream runs from right edge of the fairway, across the front of the green. A real strategic golf hole which is all about the approach.
Barton-on-sea is a high quality venue where it really is worth playing all 27 during your stay. Whilst slightly shorter, the Stroller 9 is also fantastic with some of the holes credited to Harry Colt, who makes a regular appearance in this list.
8. Bramshaw Golf Club (Manor)
Bramshaw Golf Club is a well established venue that has its origins in the 19th Century, boasting two fantastic courses as well as comfortable on-site accommodation at The Bell Inn.
The championship Manor Course which makes this list was opened for play in the 70's and over the past half century has become one of the premier golfing venues in Hampshire.
The Manor is an exciting parkland layout, characterised by its tight tree-lined layout and where the just 30 bunkers tend to feature as well positioned guards to the greens.
Perhaps the most memorable holes on the course are the 400 yard 3rd which requires a pin point 2nd shot to be worked through two oaks 100 yards from the green. Also the 9th remains in the mind, the mid length par 3 plays to a bell shaped green where the front circular bunker forms the "clapper"!
A notable mention here for the other on-site course, the Forest Course. This course holds the title of the oldest golf course in Hampshire, and is a contrasting test, but one worth experiencing when visiting Bramshaw.
With it's stunning rural location, two golf courses and on-site accommodation at The Bell at Bramshaw, it is a great choice for a New Forest golf break..
7. Army Golf Club
Army Golf Club is a warm and welcoming golf club that has been established for 135 years and is considered to be one of the finest parkland/heathland courses in the South East.
Despite the name, the course does not require the association to the armed forces for members, guests or visitors.
The course is set in 165 acres of low lying woodland and is set out as a par 71 running out at 6,550 yards. The relatively flat terrain makes the course a comfortable walk for most.
The current course layout was opened in the 60's and today the course prides itself on being one of the most interesting and well kept in the region.
A picturesque layout, featuring colourful rhododendrons, undulating fairways, mature woodland and tricky greens, as well as being playable all year round.
The feature hole of the course is considered by many regulars to be the par 4 15th, a recently remodeled hole featuring a generous fairway that invites you to hit long off the tee, followed by an approach shot that must avoid the stream that flows across the fairway in front of the green, good length on your approach shot will be paramount here as you want to avoid landing short and ending up in the hazard.
6. North Hants Golf Club
North Hants Golf Club is an England Golf championship venue situated upon a glorious sand belt that runs through Berkshire & Hampshire. This wonderful heathland course, set amongst stunning pine and silver birch trees was originally designed by the famous James Braid in 1904 and re-shaped by Harry Colt in 1913.
A highly regarded course, it features tree-lined fairways, well-protected greens, and naturally occurring heather and gorse. Being built on a natural sand base allows for great drainage and year round playability.
These days, many know the name due to its association with Ryder Cup hero and US Open champion Justin Rose.
With tough tee shots and tight approach shots, shooting a good score around the course will require your finest play. Accuracy from both the tee and from the fairway are required to keep the scorecard ticking over and the course allows little room for errant shots.
North Hants Golf Club is another fine example of the high quality heathland courses on offer in the area, complete with a rich history and fantastic practice facilities, it is a highly recommended venue, and one that you should definitely be adding to any north Hampshire trip that you are planning,
5. Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club
Brokenhurst Manor Golf Club is an England Golf Championship woodland/parkland venue that is situated in the New Forest, near the village of Brokenhurst, and has an established layout with the club having just celebrated it's centenary (1919).
Some trivia at this point... note the spelling, Brokenhurst Golf Club is set in the New Forest village of Brockenhurst. The golf club actually has the original and correct spelling of the village, after a train company accidently added a "c" and it stuck!
Another one of (you guessed it) Harry Colt's designs, this course is interestingly designed in 3x 6 hole loops that combine to create a par 70. The layout runs 6,200+ yards and is full of meandering steams, well-placed bunkers and fast running greens. There are a number of shorter par 4's which provide a risk/reward element to your round and leads to some interesting decision making on the course. A quintessential heathland course whos reputation continues to build. This has not gone unnoticed by England Golf and is now a host venue to a number of high profile events.
While walking the course, golfers will be treated to stunning views of the surrounding countryside that is full of local wildlife, including roe, red deer, and a wide array of birdlife, creating a fantastic backdrop to enjoy this varied and challenging course.
Simply put, this is one of the New Forest's finest courses and should form a centre piece of any West Hampshire golf tour. A GSW favourite!
4. Blackmoor Golf Club
Blackmoor Golf Club is an England Golf championship venue and Open qualifying course nestled in beautiful surroundings between the North and South downs.
Designed by the legendary Harry Colt the course is short but tough and much like many courses on this list, is regarded as one of the top heathland courses in the South of England.
Designed in 1913, this mature course is laid out over two loops of nine holes, with the outward 9 being the outer loop. 5par 3's and only 2 par 5's mean scoring at this par 69 is never easy.
A host to the famous Selborne Salver, an event which has produced famous winners including Peter McEvoy, Gary Wolstenholme and Ross Fisher, the course is steeped in prestige and history.
Excellent conditioning here a foregone conclusion, known for it's immaculately kept greens, fairways and tees.
2021 saw a three-year renovation programme at the club which involves work on restoring the heathland enviornment, improving bunkering and some landscaping. It will be great to see this course after the additional improvements. For now, it sits 4th on our list.
3. Hayling Golf Club
Hayling Golf Club is a breathtaking true links course situated on the Hampshire coastline, to the East of Portsmouth on Hayling Island. This picturesque golf course is the only true links course in the region and in fact, is the only true links on the south coast between Rye in East Sussex and Mullion, deep into Cornwall.
This Championship Links has played host to a number of big events over the years, including the Woman’s Amateur on 4 occasions, and it’s no surprise as to why.
Having opened in 1883, this venue is now entering its 15th decade and offers a links experience that across 6,500 yards of golf and features some truly unforgettable holes.
As is the way with many links, the course displays fast fairways, fine greens, is playable all year round. It is complimented by spectacular sea views of the Solent and Langstone Harbour. The course went through a Redesign in 1905 by the famous J.H. Taylor and now finds its way comfortably into the top 100 in England and is a must play if visiting the area and the first course which should be on the list should you be considering a Portsmouth golf break.
2. Stoneham Golf Club
At Golf South West we consider Stoneham to be one of Hampshire's "hidden gems".
A members club with a rich history that has perhaps been overlooked when golfers are considering courses in the Hampshire/Dorset area. However, thanks to a forward thinking management team and an association with PGA Tour star Richard Bland, the club has found itself as one of Hampshire's very best and a centre piece to many golf tours in the region.
This established heathland course celebrated its centenary in 2008 and is an England golf championship venue with a history of hosting big events, starting with the very first British Masters back in 1946.
The course boasts a stunning parkland layout that feels and looks more like a heathland. Twisting and turning through the deer park, the course presents visitors with a classic test of golf, where power is not the deciding factor.
Posting a good score will require you to dig deep and use every shot in your arsenal as the course has plenty of variety, with truly no two holes playing the same. The greens are a joy to putt on and feature subtle breaks making even short efforts no gimme!
The club in modern times has spend substantial sums in developing its offering both on and off the course. This includes a course irrigation system, refreshed clubhouse and one of the finest practice facilities UK. So much so, the club now plays host to England team training!
Make no mistake, Stoneham has built a club capable of challenging the very best in the region and would not be out of place in a tour alongside Dorset's "big 4". It is actually the perfect stop off point if you're travelling from the East into Dorset.
1. Liphook Golf Club
Sometimes video and imagery cannot do a course enough justice. Liphook has to be seen to truly appreciate the quality on offer here. To come out top of a list of clubs in a county where there are no shortage of quality courses is no mean feat.
Currently ranked as the top course in the county, Liphook Golf Club is one of the finest courses in the country.
A stunning heathland course that rewards strategic play over a long-hitting “gun-ho” approach. This was clearly in the mind of the course designers a century ago when they laid out the course which is characterised by tight fairways cutting through heather, gorse and trees . Some courses have enough strategic quality to not worry about "Tiger proofing" and Liphook is certainly one of those.
Ensuring accuracy from the tee is required as wayward shots will almost always be punished. Perhaps not the longest course you’ll find, maxing out at 6,500 from the championship tees, Liphook is not a course that feels short as you navigate your way around. With 4 par 5’s and a number of par 4’s in excess of 400 yards, you’ll be forced to balance consistency and solid distance to shoot a low number.
As you’d expect from a top heathland golf course, conditioning is always outstanding with tees, fairways and greens manicured to high standard. Liphook is a very welcoming club, but getting a tee time here due to the incredibly active membership is challenging. We suggest planning your trip with plenty of advance notice and during the week to avoid disappointment.
There we have it. 10 to 1 of the finest Hampshire has to offer. A region which is made for golf breaks, offering everything from city breaks to New Forest rural retreats. Easily accessible from the South West, East and Midlands, Hampshire is a region that needs to be covered by all serious golf break parties at least once!
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Who are Golf South West?
Founded in 2015, we are 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 available for golf travel within the West Country.
Our expert team are on hand to ensure you receive the very best service, choice and advice when planning your next golf break. We are proud to announce our nomination for Best Inbound Golf Tour Operator for England at the 2022 World Golf Awards.
Which regions are covered by Golf South West?
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?
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 backed by Protected Trust Services, meaning your booking is secured and safe. We offer tours to an exclusive and unrivalled selection of venues across the South West 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 Cornwall, Devon, Bristol, Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire and many more!
What is Protected Trust Services?
Protected Trust Services Limited (PTS) provides security for client and consumer funds through market-leading software and innovative management. PTS prides itself on customer service, flexible thinking and cost-effective solutions for its members.
PTS offers a unique and comprehensive solution for businesses to trade through a secure trust account using a performance-enhancing software system developed by PTS.
Protected Trust Services guarantee 100% financial protection to the consumer, ensuring total consumer confidence.
Any bookings made via Golf South West Ltd from the 1st July 2021 are protected under the PTS Trust. Bookings made before this date will continue to be processed through our original system. If you have booked with us before, please ensure you have the up-to-date bank details to make your payments. If you are unsure, please speak to your Golf South West representative.
View the PTS brochure for more information on the protection this affords you as a client of Golf South West.
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.
The money for your golf break is paid into a trust account run by an independent partner, so you have peace of mind that no matter what happens, your money is being looked after.
What happens if we can’t go on our planned trip?
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.
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.
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 every trip AND run an exclusive voucher scheme for our stay and play client bookings.
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!