The Top 10 Must Visit Courses for Your Golf Break in Dorset
Dorset is best known as one of the most beautiful counties in all of the UK, boasting numerous areas of outstanding natural beauty, offering visitors stunning views of the lush green countryside and the historic Jurassic Coast. Fewer people know of Dorset as one of the UK’s premier golfing destinations, a county that offers the highest quality in golf, from championship Parkland golf and unique Heathland courses, through to fantastic Links that run along the dramatic coastline.
The quality of golf in Dorset means there is no shortage of courses you should add to your bucket list, it is our job as the South West Golf Travel Specialists to inform and inspire about all the best that the South West has to offer.
So leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life, load up the car with your clubs, and venture down to Dorset for a memorable golfing trip with Golf South West.
This is our guide to the top 10, must play courses in Dorset, in no particular order!
Length: 6453 yards
Ferndown Golf Club is a must-visit venue in Dorset, a premier golfing destination that offers 27-holes of fantastic Heathland golf and is known as one of Bournemouth’s “Big 3”. When you visit Ferndown, you follow in the steps of golfing legends such as Faldo, Jacklin, Langer & Norman. The club is a pine and heathland heaven set in beautiful Dorset countryside just a few miles from the seaside town of Bournemouth. The main event at Ferndown is the fantastic Old Course, an intricately designed 18-hole heathland course designed by open champion Harold Hilton and will challenge and delight players of all skill levels.
The course always looks stunning and is playable all year, enjoying pristine grooming from tee to green that earns it comparisons to the world-famous Augusta. Full of subtle hazards, well-positioned bunkers and beautiful heathland settings, the old course at Ferndown will stimulate your golfing senses while hitting the sweet spot of peace and tranquility.
If all of this wasn’t enough for visitors there is also the Alliss course, a challenging 9-hole course with a variety of tee positions and starting points and is a fantastic course enjoyed by members and visitors alike. If you want an introduction to the top quality golf on offer in Dorset then look no further than Ferndown Golf Club
Length: 6393 yards
Continuing with Dorset’s theme of being home to some of the countries leading heathland courses, the next course to take a look at is Broadstone Golf Club.
An unspoiled heathland course that lies within the glorious Dorset countryside. The course is nestled within 250 acres of rolling hills covered in gorse, pines and rhododendron. This 18-holes of unique and challenging golf ranks #1 in Dorset making it a must-visit course when in the county. The beautiful heathland course is laid out upon glorious rolling hills and stretches 6,315 yards through stunning surroundings. The front nine winds its way through rich heathland, while the elevated back 9 offers golfers panoramic views of the Dorset countryside, from Purbeck Hills to Poole Harbour.
The second of the big 3 courses in the Bournemouth area, Broadstone is a must-visit venue for those golfers wanting to indulge in a unique heathland experience that can’t be found anywhere else in the South West. Combine a visit here with rounds at both Parkstone and Ferndown to enjoy a true Dorset golfing experience.
Length: 6282 yards
The last of Bournemouths “Big Three”, the beautiful Parkstone Golf Club has gained a reputation in recent years of being one of the finest courses in Dorset and ranks inside the Golf Months top 100. Like its neighbours in Broadstone and Ferndown, Parkstone is also a delightful heathland course that takes advantage of the natural heather and pines. The current layout of the course has been in place since modifications were made in 1937 by legendary course designer James Braid and offers a unique and varied golfing experience, taking advantage of all the natural contours. The heathland countryside creates a challenging and memorable round of golf.
The layout at Parkstone Golf Club ensures a varied and challenging round of golf, with five excellent short holes being accompanied by five varied par 5’s. All this in meticulously kept surroundings of the beautiful Dorset countryside and playable all year round. If you are looking for a unique and memorable golfing break, then look no further than Parkstone.
Length: 7025 yards
Those who have visited Remedy Oak in the past will vouch for the fact that this exclusive course has to be considered as one of the finest in the south of England, with immaculate tee to green grooming and playability all year round. This parkland course stretches 7100 yards through beautiful Dorset countryside and should be on the bucket list of any keen golfer. The course was designed by former Ryder Cup captain John Jacobs and opened for play in 2005. In that time it has developed a reputation as one of the finest inland courses in Britain and is regularly ranked within the top 100 courses in the UK.
Remedy Oak is a stunning 18 hole par-72 course, set amongst 256 acres of ancient woodland in the heart of Dorset. This majestic parkland course is set in stunning countryside filled with hardwood trees, rhododendrons, heather, wild grasses and water features that come into play on eight of the holes.
Length: 6297 yards
A visit to this traditional golf course is a popular choice for any golfers who are planning a golf break in the Dorset area, the course is full of uniquely designed holes that offer a variety of challenges throughout the round, all while offering visitors stunning views of the surrounding area of outstanding natural beauty.
The course is built upon a high heathland plateau, a spectacular location that offers 360-degree panoramic views of the Solent and out to the east across Poole Bay. The course runs through a nature reserve full of rare plants and birds and although it runs quite short, the exposed location means that wind often comes into play and the fairways and greens are lightning quick.
The course is located near the coastal town of Swanage, a quiet little town nestled in the middle of the Durlston Country Park and only a stone’s throw from the coast. This idyllic location makes it the ideal location for a tranquil golfing getaway.
2 Nights, 3 Rounds
Hotel: The Dorset Golf & Country Club
1 Round: The Dorset
1 Round: Isle of Purbeck
1 Round: Broadstone
Type: Parkland with coastal views
Length: 6264 yards
Lyme Regis Golf Club is a challenging par-71 that occupies a beautiful cliff-top location. The course boasts coastal views overlooking the historical town, world heritage site of Lyme Regis and Portland Bill.
The course runs 6200 yards along the cliff tops and offers up some of the most intimidating holes in the region. There are multiple hazards dotted throughout, requiring concentration to avoid ruining your scorecard!
The town of Lyme Regis, located in West Dorset, is well known for its dramatic coastlines, beaches and fossil-filled cliffs. Beaches on the Heritage Coast snd Jurassic Coast offer a host of history, something we highly recommended checking out whilst visiting.
Length: 7027 yards
The Dorset Golf & Country Club is an award-winning golf resort that offers a real escape from the everyday bustle, nestled between two areas of outstanding natural beauty. The resort boasts comfortable spacious rooms in 5-star log cabins and 27-holes of championship golf.
Golf at the resort comes in the shape of 3 championship 9-hole courses designed by the legendary designer Martin Hawtree. The Parkland, Lakeland and Woodland courses are all free to play for guests at the resort and each offers an unforgettable golfing experience and unique challenge. Combining the Parkland and Lakeland courses creates a lengthy 18-holes that stretch 7027 yards, challenging even the keenest golfers.
Away from the golf the venue also has fantastic accommodation options. There are 16 rooms in the 4* golf hotel and a collection of 5* rated log homes and luxury cottages that come complete with log burner and private sauna.
Fine dining can be enjoyed in the resorts signature restaurant, The Fairways, where visitors can enjoy exquisite dishes that are put together with the finest locally sourced ingredients. Alternatively, a more casual dining experience can be enjoyed at The Clubhouse & Bar, where you can enjoy a Sunday roast and sample a range of local beers and ales.
1 Night, 2 Rounds
Hotel: Kingston County Courtyard
1 Round: The Dorset Golf & Country Club
1 Round: Isle of Purbeck Golf Club
Length: 6307 yards
Founded in 1896, Ashley Wood Golf Club offers a warm and friendly welcome, boasting magnificent views of Salisbury Plain and the surrounding Dorset Countryside. The 18-holes at Ashley Wood are built upon natural downland, due to this the chalk which it has been built upon guarantees that the course remains playable all year round. The course runs 6300 yards, but despite its relatively short length it offers a real challenge to all golfers. The varied holes and particularly the final 5 approaching the clubhouse would challenge even the most proficient golfers. Four of the holes wind their way through Ashley Wood itself, a beautiful ancient woodland that is teeming with bluebells and birdlife, giving golfers a moment of tranquility on their visit.
Ashley Wood is situated on the edge of the Cranborne Chase area of outstanding natural beauty, with views of Salisbury Plain to the north and the Purbeck Hills to the south, the perfect location to take in some of the finest countryside Dorset has to offer. It is highly recommended that visitors take advantage of this while in the area.
Length: 6072 yards
Another jewel in the crown of legendary course designer James Braid, Weymouth Golf Club is one of Dorset’s premier golfing destinations, offering magnificent views and 18 holes of stunning parkland golf.
The course at Weymouth is a well kept 18-hole parkland course that combines an idyllic location with challenging golf. The course is characterised by strategically placed bunkers and subtle doglegs throughout that epitomises James Braids’ focus on shot strategy. The course at Weymouth has received a regional award for being one of the friendliest private members clubs, so you can expect a warm welcome as well as the idyllic scenery and fantastic golf.
If you are looking for high-quality parkland golf in stunning Dorset surroundings, while still being close to the local culture, then the nearby town of Weymouth is dotted with sandy beaches and Georgian houses, all while enjoying views of the surrounding Jurassic Coast. A visit to Weymouth offers the perfect combination of idyllic location, fantastic golf and a thriving evening scene. With plenty on offer, A break in Weymouth should suit many golfing groups.
2 Nights 3 Rounds
Hotel: Buckland Tout-Sains Hotel
1 Round: Dartmouth Golf Club
1 Round: Thurlestone Golf Club
1 Round: Bigbury Golf Club
Length: 6213 yards
The only links course on the list, Bridport Golf Club is a Dorset favourite and features in many a golf tour. Offering a warm welcome and 18 holes of stunning links golf, the course is beautifully nestled in the Dorset AONB and just a stone’s throw from the dramatic coastline of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site. The course has been open since 1911, offering visitors an outstandingly beautiful vista across the dramatic coastline, and an 18-hole course that winds it’s way across the clifftops, featuring the signature 6th a hole, a par-3 with a 90 foot drop. Holes wind their way along the clifftops and follow all the natural undulations created by the land.
If you are looking for a golf break that allows you take to take in stunning views out towards the English Channel, then a visit to Bridport Golf Club may be a perfect addition to your next golf tour.