The Best Golf Courses to Play in Hampshire
Occupying an area of England’s South East that includes the town of Basingstoke, as well as the port cities of Southampton and Portsmouth, Hampshire is blessed with some fabulous golf courses. The land here varies throughout the region, with links layouts across the South coast joined by both parkland and heathland properties further up the M3. Join us as we take a look at some of the best places to play golf in Hampshire!
Often the highest-ranked course in Hampshire, Liphook has absolutely everything going for it! In addition to featuring some of the earlier (and best) examples of true strategic golf course architecture, Liphook is simply stunning. From the drive up to the clubhouse, through to the closing par-5 18th, the course is a true treat for the eyes. But, don’t be sucked in by its beauty as Liphook continues to present one of the toughest tests in the region, thanks to its penal heather and perfectly positioned bunkering. If you’re only able to take in one course in Hampshire, this should be close to the top of your list.
The long-time base of Hampshire golfer, and European Tour winner, Richard Bland, Stoneham Golf Club is rightly thought of as one of the stronger layouts in the county, despite its relatively modest overall length. Five par-5s provide ample opportunity for scoring, providing you steer clear of the heather, and like many of the other courses in the county, undulating fairways and small greens demand precise control over your iron play. The original design was created by Willie Park Jr in 1908, and the creator of Sunningdale’s Old Course certainly left a routing to be admired here at Stoneham.
Not to be outdone, North Hants is the home of Justin Rose, with a Rose-themed room within the clubhouse hosting many of the US Open winner’s memorabilia. The course is greatly pleasing on the eye, and laid out between trees and heather on fast-drying terrain to make it hugely enjoyable all year round. Despite its beauty, North Hants is a course that never lets you settle, from the opening 214-yard par-3, to the closing par-4 with its green adjacent to the clubhouse terrace; it’s a demanding, albeit extremely enjoyable, test of golf.
Blackmoor Golf Club could put forwards an argument for being one of the most underrated in the whole of the South. Its slightly remote location, and lack of a ‘big name’ association are perhaps partly the reason for it not receiving the plaudits that it might, but the course itself is a fabulous offering, with some truly standout golf holes. There’s a great deal of variety at Blackmoor, even amongst the opening six holes; two straight par 4s (one long, one short), two doglegs to the right (one long, one short), a dogleg left (2nd), and a long par 3 (6th). Look out also for the standout Harry Colt par-3s, varying in length and with elevated greens to really test your iron play.
Laid out on Hayling Island at the very bottom of the county, Hayling Golf Club has been around since 1883, and makes great use of the sand-based terrain on which it’s laid. A myriad of designers have had a hand in shaping the course, but the course that’s played today was primarily a result of Tom Simpson’s work in the years following World War II. The stretch of holes from 10-15 are particularly strong, although the course can play extremely differently from day to day dependent on the direction and strength of the ever-present wind! It’s really a must visit for those heading down towards the South coast, and looking to experience the best links course in the county.
Another course tucked away from prying eyes in Hampshire is the Army Golf Club. Winding between trees, this quaint track is thoroughly enjoyable, and offers a hugely warm welcome for all who visit. There are only two par-5s, which need to be taken care of if you’re looking to score well, although other opportunities arise throughout the round in the form of numerous short par-4s. With green fees available from as little as £30, the Army Golf Club might also represent some of the best value golf in the county, with visitors likely to find the course in fantastic condition, particularly during the summer months when both the fairways and greens can run at a fair pace!
On the edge of the New Forest lies our final Hampshire gem. Brokenhurst Manor was designed by the great Harry Colt, and still presents a challenging test of golf more than 100 years after it first opened. Configured in three loops of six holes which circle back to the clubhouse, it’s a splendid member’s course, which also welcomes visitors throughout the year - notably with a strong offering of open competitions. Another mention for two of Hampshire Golf’s favourite sons here too, with Justin Rose and Richard Bland sharing the course record at Brokenhurst Manor; an impressive 7-under par 63.
Those are just some of the best golf courses found in Hampshire. Let us know what your favourite is!
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