Immaculately presented with greens that are fast and true, it was designed by GM's first editor, Harold Hilton
Ferndown Golf Club Old Course Review
Green Fee Range: £85-£115 (Winter fees are valid November to March for £65)
Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,453 Yards
Visitor Times: Groups accepted on Tuesdays and Fridays – 4-balls on all other weekdays by prior arrangement
Ferndown Golf Club Old Course Review
Designed by GM’s first editor Harold Hilton, this is a fine heathland course with sandy fairways and heather lurking to either side of the mown surfaces. With pine trees and firs also lining many of the holes, it’s an extremely attractive layout.
Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland
Opened in 1913, the course was built by 1892 and ’97 Open Champion Hilton – he was the only British amateur to win the British and US Amateur titles in the same year (1911).
Ferndown is also where Peter Alliss learnt his trade, with his Dad Percy the club professional for over 25 years.
It is without doubt one of Dorset’s finest heathland courses and, although not particularly long, it offers all golfers a wonderful challenge.
The ball must be kept in play off the tee, or heather and pines await, and the greens can be very difficult to putt on if you get on the wrong side of the hole.
Course changes since previous ranking
According to General Manager Ian Walton, “2016/17 saw an investment of over £180K in rebuilding all 70 old Course bunkers with all greenside bunkers having ‘blinder’ bunker lining fitted. All the bunkers, greenside and fairway were completely reshaped to ensure a consistent heathland style throughout the course with heath plugging in many areas. All bunkers have been correctly drained and linked to the course drainage system and then the bunkers filled with bucbrick sand giving consistency of playing surface throughout.
We have continued with a regular aeration programme to all playing surfaces incorporating the fairways as part of this programme. The ongoing topdressing programme on the greens has been so successful that this year we did not have to undertake a severe green renovation programme but just did ‘little and often’ topdressing to maintain the greens at optimum level. The recent STRI annual audit saw the greens playing at tournament standard in all areas, speed, trueness and consistency.
We are very excited with our greens bent grass overseeding programme which started in the autumn of 2017 to great success. We were so pleased with the take up that we have just completed another major bent grass overseeding programme on the Old Course greens which we believe will make another step change improvement to the greens putting surfaces in 2019 and beyond with the grass species providing an improved surface for a longer period that is also more drought and disease tolerant.
This winter will see further work on the Old Course improving drainage on 2 troublesome holes 7 & 15 as well as pathway and tee work around the 15th/16th holes.
We are really excited in the ongoing improvement work to our practice range which will have drainage installed throughout, a new grass practice tee the width of the range plus a new teaching bay for the Head professional as well as more artificial practice bays.
Elsewhere we have invested over £230K improving major pathways on the old course, building an on course wooden twin toilet block at the 12th to replace the two portaloos, created an upstairs member/society bar and lounge area (Hennessy Room), improved warm up practice net and most recently a very impressive new club entrance!!”
Golf Monthly Verdict
Immaculately presented with some of the finest playing surfaces