There cannot be many locations in the UK with a better varied selection of quality golf courses than Dorset and Hampshire. Links, parkland and superb heathland abound and we set out each day looking forward to a different challenge, never to be disappointed. The comfortable Best Western Hotel Royal supplied a hearty breakfast, good selections for dinner each evening and a friendly obliging staff to make for a most pleasant stay in Bournemouth. Our experimental 2016 UK 5 day breaks offering the option of reduced durations seemed to hit the spot with approx 24 participants for the first three days and 15 for the final two.
We commenced with a team event at the excellent links course of Barton on Sea, lo and behold, on what must have been the first breathless day since its inception! Glorious views over to the Isle of Wight and the opening nine holes are a good test without the wind, while the newer back nine were maybe left a bit defenceless as the scoring over that stretch proved. The team of Rosemary, Topsy, Patrick and Barclay on 98 pts prevailed by one from Denise, Binnie, Richard and Mark.
There can be fewer more scenic courses than our second day venue at Isle of Purbeck G.C. The condition of this exposed heathland course does suffer a bit from the elements, but on yet another breathless day, the far reaching views from Studland over to Swanage and millionaires paradise Sandbanks, more than make up for that. Liz, Roger and Andrew were the victors with 85.
Our main competition with the full compliment was a 4bbb at the ever popular Brokenhurst Manor. Always beautifully presented, this semi parkland/heathland course set in the New Forest is simply delightful. We listed the 10 lowest handicap gents in order and drew partners, which included 8 ladies, from a hat and the scoring was very good indeed. Martin and Jill had the best 9 holes of the day, 25pts on the front nine, but obviously got too excited finishing fifth with 38, while Roger and Katrina’s 42 was pipped by an excellent 43 from Andrew and Rosemary.
With reduced numbers of 9 gents and 6 ladies, a ladies v gents match took place on the penultimate day at Bulbury Woods. A relatively new, tree lined parkland test, that on paper looked short and rather easy, how wrong can one be? Taking the best two from three on each hole, the leading team score of 68 was accumulated by Mike, Bill and Martin. Two ladies teams totalled 123 points and averaging the gents 3 team scores came to 123.33, leaving, always the most keenly contested event of any tour where numbers permit, declared a draw!!
Broadstone GC, one of my very favourite courses and always in the GB & I top 100 list was fittingly our final days venue. Beautiful, undulating heathland and most holes situated in their own individual setting, in my view, golf does not come much better than this. If Bulbury the previous day surprised with low scores, the high quality of scoring here equally surprised me. A mixed 4bbb produced a top 3 of Rosemary & Richard, 39, losing out to Patrick and Topsy on count back, both beaten by the excellent 40 points accumulated by Mike & Liz, pictured below also celebrating the Queen and Prince Phillip’s birthday!
As I said, golf does not come much better than this area, however, take a look at the North Wales tour commencing July 24 and you will find a different, but equally enjoyable choice of golf and highly recommended accommodation on offer, but be quick, there only 3 or 4 places left.
The Lopesan Links Open Championships Mar 2020
With Coronavirus raging, golf tournaments around the world, including The Masters, cancelled, Tours suspended, hotels and countries in lock down,...