I have played most golf courses in Dorset and I am writing a series of articles on my experiences and knowledge of them, losing lots of balls and sometimes temper on some of them.
This is Part 3 of the series.
The next course in my series is Bulbury Woods Golf Club which is situated between Poole in the East and Bere Regis in the West. The course has occasional views of Poole Harbour and the Purbeck Hills. Although not the most difficult course I have played there are several holes which present good challenges of your golfing ability. In recent months a new Head Greenkeeper has been put in place and having played there on occasion for several years I have noticed the improvements he has made in such short period of time. If you play here you cannot be impressed with the quality and speed of the greens
- The start of the round is a straight par 4 with difficulty along both sides of the tee with dense woodland and a deep drainage ditch running through the trees on the right hand side. This ditch also runs across the fairway at a reasonable driving length, I have tried playing out of here in the past but I think you are best taking a penalty and moving on. The green is protected by a nice bunker on the left.
- Walking through a gap in the trees you arrive on the next tee. This is another straight par 4 with trouble on the left from a thick wood with overhanging branches and other obstructions such as individual trees and telegraph poles. It is safer to proceed along the right where the growth is slightly less dense and from which with care you can escape from if you happen to end up in there but do not land your drive in the bunker at driveable length.
- The 3rd hole is probably my most favourite, on the right hand side is a small copse ready to swallow up any ball that is struck in that direction. Just to the left of the copse is a conveniently positioned bunker just to make thing more difficult. After playing your drive and keeping out of trouble you play your next shot to a multi contoured green tucked away around a corner to the left.
- The following hole gives you a false sense of security from the tee. it looks as if you have acres of space but a well hit drive to the left can take you over the fence and out-of-bounds or if you go to the right you can end up in long grass and be blocked out with your next shot. Even if you hit a well-aimed tee shot you still have a mound to go over which makes the hole almost invisible. Overhit your shot and you can end up running down a steep slope.
- Hole 5 i SI 1 with a double dog leg which I have not seen before but I am sure there must be similar elsewhere. you tee off across a depression in the landscape towards a grass bank. I f you overhit too far left you can end up blocking yourself out for the next shot. The best shot is down the middle but avoid the bunker at driveable length and the fairway which slopes left to right here. If you are in the middle of the fairway you can probably just see the green to the left. The green has some nice contours on it and is protected by bunkers and trees.
- You walk through the gap in the trees to the left to the next hole which is a gentle par 3 but with OOB on the left and a severely sloping green
- The next hole the 7th, is another par 3 but longer than the last. The green is on a plateau and surrounded most of the time with longish grass.
- Onto the 8th hole. The fairway on this hole slopes quite substantially from right to left and is lined by trees on both sides with a hidden ditch on the left. The green is to be found at the end of an almost 90 degree dog leg. Your tee shot needs to be near to the top of the sloping fairway and of a decent length. The shot into the green is over the stream which you will now be able to see. The green is well protected with deep bunkers and another drainage ditch at the back. A truly nice and challenging hole.
- Moving onto the 9th which is another hole with trees lining both sides of the fairway and drainage ditches running across it and the stream on the left hand side. the green is relatively flat so once on it putting is not that onerous.
- At the start of the second 9 you play the next hole across the entrance road to the club from an elevated tee. watch out for cars entering or leaving but most of the tee they stop and watch you. This is another longish par 3 and is usually a hole where you can make a decent score.
- The 11th is a dogleg to the left so with a good shot from the tee you can negotiate the bend and go for the green or in that direction. Another green well provided with bunkers to punish errant shots.
- Carrying on to the 12th hole you will find another long par 3 yet again with dense growth on the left and trees to the right which if you go through will make a second shot difficult.The green has some undulations with 2 big bunkers at the front .
- The 13th is another tree-lined par 4 and although straight it is a tight hole with a big bunker on a driving length and you can easily be in trouble. Once you get there the green is flat and does not really present any problems
- Playing the 14th if you avoid the trees on both sides of the fairway there is only a bunker on the right hand side to catch you out. The next shot into the green needs care as you will find a deepish bunker at the front and behind the green is a lake and a slightly overhit shot will result in a very wet ball.
- Depending on which tee is in use on the 15th hole you could be faced with a tee shot across the corner of the lake on the right hand side. Whichever tee is used you will be confronted with a drainage ditch along the left which in turn protects the OOB and another ditch running across the fairway just short of an average driving length. The green has no obvious undulations so you should double-check your putting line.
- The par 5 16th is my least favourite hole on the course. The tee is set back among trees which means your tee shot needs to stay straight down the narrow funnel. Once past the trees on the right you are in a more open area with the fairway sloping from right to left. Your second shot needs to keep slightly to the right and the shot into the green is across a large bunker. The green slopes slightly back towards you, but be aware if you do not putt past the hole the ball will soon be back at your feet or even further back from where you stsrted.
- The 17th hole is very similar to the 9th, both being long par 4's down hill. This hole also has drainage ditches crossing the fairway so you need to give careful thought about what club you are using or you can end up in one of them. The green is again quite flat so if you have reached this far safely you should be able to get some points.
- Lastly you are on the 18th tee. This hole has a slight dogleg to the left but a good straight tee shot will land you up in a good position for the shot into the 18th green. There are 2 bunkers either side of the green and if you should happen into either of them you are expected to make a donation to the Captains charity.
- Game over, you can now retire to the clubhouse for a drink and something to eat from their reasonably priced menu.
If you are looking for a course in Dorset which is reasonably priced and a good golfing challenge, get to Bulbury Woods and Have a good game