Bramshaw Golf Club Manor Course Feature Review
After first reviewing the unique Forest Course at Bramshaw Golf Club, Golfshake Ambassador Rob Treanor now shares his detailed thoughts on its sibling, the Manor Course.
Bramshaw Golf Club is home to two contrasting golf courses, with the championship Manor Course laid out amongst the trees of The New Forest in 1972. The club also has an excellent on site hotel called The Bell Inn with a cosy bar, restaurant and well appointed rooms. With so much to do in this area, the club is an excellent base from which to explore.
Front 9 Overview
When imagining what a golf course set in The New Forest might look like, the Manor Course is the epitome of those qualities. Its fairways are lined by the ancient and majestic trees, deer regularly frequent the fairways and there is an atmosphere of tranquil seclusion throughout. The course makes great use of the natural features of the forest in defence. The par five 2nd hole has a wide inviting fairway with trees only troubling the very widest of tee shots. The hole comes alive with the approach shot to the green which demands a forced carry over a brook, making it an intimidating prospect. The wide and deep brook is traversed via a reinforced steel bridge, emphasising the danger posed by the chasm. There is more space around the green than appears from the fairway, the shot just requires sufficient club and maximum commitment!
The Manor Course flows effortlessly through the forest with the routing proving a real asset to the experience. The par four 8th is a majestic hole which uses the contours of the land to mask the green from the tee box. Shortly after reaching the landing zone on the fairway, the terrain falls away to reveal the enticing green at the bottom of the scenery. Grassy knolls protect either side of the playing surface with a bump and run, or full carry offering equal merit for the approach shot. The reason it is such a memorable hole is the natural backdrop of the forest which frames the green superbly.
Back 9 Overview
The second nine opens up with a 308 yard par four which is played downhill. The viewing mirror on the tee acts both as a safety feature but also as a teaser to tempt an effort at the green. It is the kind of hole which encourages strapping yourself in and going for it. There is a little trouble offered by the hidden bunkers on either side of the fairway but anything straight is rewarded with clear passage down to the green. Having reached the green the hole definitely isn’t finished, with the two tiers of the typically immaculate surface making the concluding strokes of utmost importance.
The Manor Course finishes particularly strongly. Looking a peach from the tee box, the 17th is a cracking hole. Playing downhill, the 422 yard par four is lit up by the green in the distance which has a dramatic drop off to its right hand side. Adding to the danger on the right, a ditch flanks the hole its entire length, creeping ever closer to the playing surface as proximity to the hole closes. With so much trouble on one side, this really is a hole to favour the left.
The 18th is a crafty finishing hole. Requiring no more than an iron from the tee to make the fairway bend, the dogleg traverses left before crossing a creek to the two-tiered green. This is not a hole which can be overpowered, instead it requires patience and accuracy. Addressing the approach shot from the fairway, the brook is an easy carry to make the green, though the commanding view from the clubhouse and balcony adds a little bit of extra pressure to the shot. The brook shouldn’t really be in play… should it?
Sat at the upstairs clubhouse bar watching other golfers tackle the finishing moments of their round, it is easy to while away a few hours and contemplate the particulars of your own performance. The club is set in a picturesque location with the course intertwining with the forest seamlessly. The level of upkeep is extremely high with the standard of the greens a real highlight.
It is fantastic to be able to walk off the Manor Course and slide into the excellent hotel just a few yards away. Our feature review of the The Bell Inn can be read here. The on site facilities really do make this venue stand apart for a residential stay with the depth of facilities making an extended trip very appealing. The club also has plans for further development and has planning permission to add a spa to the already impressive facilities.
Bramshaw’s Manor Course is everything you could ask of a course in The New Forest. The tranquil and serene setting weaves delightfully through the forest and offers frequent encounters with nature. The course is a delight to play with a nice blend of shorter holes, doglegs and longer challenges set against the backdrop of the glorious New Forest. This is a venue very much on the up and well worth a trip.
Overall Rating - 8
Course (Conditions) - 8
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 8
Course (Green Condition) - 9
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8
Club Facilities & Clubhouse - 8
Practice Facilities - 8
Friendliness/Hospitality - 9
Pace of Play - 9
Value For Money - 10
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