A very good challenge!
Basingstoke GC is a par 70 members parkland style club in Kempshott Park, Basingstoke, Hampshire.
The course is 6,307/6,076 yards respectively off the white/yellow tees. The ladies red tees are a par 72 of 5,513 yards! The SSSs are 70/69/72 respectively! I played off the yellow tees! We had a 2 tee start, my round started from the 11th.
There are 4 par 3s, 12 par 4s, and 2 par 5s!
The course is moderately undulating. Many holes involve negotiating doglegs of various severity. Only the bigger hitters could attempt to take these on but trouble awaits the wayward tee shots! The landing areas on the par 4 & par 5s were more generous than appeards from the tees!
The 4 par 3s were a challenge, one long and 3 of moderate length; greens were well guarded by bunkers and club selection difficult as the front aprons were soft and landing short was of no benefit! Unfortunately my performance on the par 3s was woeful, 3 double bogeys and a bogey! My ball striking for 3 of them wasn't very good and I underclubbed on the 4th.
The greens were generally large, firm, undulating, pacy and tricky! My gross score was +6 over handicap. +4 of those extra shots was due to 4 triple putts! A lost ball triple bogey on the index 1 hole, and a combined +7 score on the par 3s, account for the unexpected additional shots!
The winning score on the day was 38pts; reflecting the difficulty of the course. Many senior opens have winning scores in the low 40s! I had 3 blobs, and 13 holes scoring 2 or 3 points. A very good score was getable with a bit more focus!
The club was founded in 1907. The current course location was designed and built by James Braid in 1928. It was officially opened in a match involving James Braid, Harry Vardon and Miss Helen Gourlay! (The club appear to have agreed to sell the course to a developer for housing and have also 'agreed' to buy the nearby Dummer GC as their new home. TBC)
Visitor green fees are £40 or £60 day ticket. A discount is available to holders of the Hampshire, IoW and Channel Islands County Card. Not a very customer friendly application of the EGU County Card scheme!
I played the course by entering their annual Seniors Open Stableford Competition. The competition entry fee was £37, included coffee/bacon roll, 18 holes, a 2 course meal and prizes!A great vfm way to play the course! This is a very popular competition with 66 visiting competitors!
The hospitality provided by the club officials, proshop staff and members was excellent. The post match food was also of high quality!
This was a very enjoyable golfing challenge. It is playable by golfers of all standards!
The announcement by the club captain at the post competition prize giving confirming that the club was in the process of relocating was just public confirmation of what was already gossip! It may be that next years competition will be staged elsewhere! That being the case if you haven't played Basingstoke as it currently is but fancy doing so do it asap!
Immaculate course, lots of "wow" factor......
Basingstoke is a private members course which I played on the 7th of May 2014 as part of "Senior Mixed Pairs National Qualifier", a game organised by Gary S. with whom I had a lots of mail exchanges regarding attendance/cancellation/fees etc. but I have no regret in having joined the game. It was a super day on an immaculate course, I met many new golfers from the South West (Hampshire, Dorset, Sussex), all belonging to private golf clubs.
A great venue, very well organised on a a course I thoroughly enjoyed as it suits my game, my artistic eyes: I could play this course over and over and never get tired of the very beautiful setting, the mature trees, the new ones with their shapes, colours all very well coordinated, blending well with the natural landscape, every hole is a picture postcard with the soft light of early spring. I could not stop using my camera. We had a fairly decent weather, but still cold for the season, some 2 or 3 holes were played under a very wet sky though.
A very well attended event with lively mixed crowd, I was in a friendly 4 balls where fun helped relax: we played rather well as a Team. Usual bacon rolls/coffee before the game & Gary S.' "pep" talk with the presentation of his own travel & leisure business which combines "cruises & golf", some people like cruises,.... Gary offered complimentary sandwiches with some very nice chips after the game. We had a special price of £35 for the round but I believe it is a lot more expensive if not in a group.
The course is very easily accessible from the M3, it has a large gated Car Park, the Proshop is ok, reception a little cold, maybe not used to see "lone" Lady golfer.... (ie, TSG nomads).
Clubhouse is more friendly, pleasant with large windows letting the natural light pour in, overlooking the terrace, the practice putting green and the beautiful course designed by James Baird well over 1000 years ago.
A gem really, with lots of "wow", extremely well maintained, perfect Tee boxes with ball washers, towels, course map, good signage to the next hole with a flowing design and nice paths. A pleasant walk, not too strenuous, no water hazards but the natural landscape with all the beautiful trees of this parkland/woodlands course provide the challenge with some tight fairways, some dog legs to negotiate too, with blind holes along the way. The Par 3 as usual are my favourites, always gorgeous looking. The greens were superb, extremely well protected by fierce bunkers filled with light soft sand making your escape a pleasure shot (no excuse not to get out, if unlucky to have been in there, it can happen to all of us, ).
A lovely round on an immaculately presented course, highly recommended but could be expensive if not in an organised group.
I believe there is a very strong membership at his private club and I can understand why.
Photos were posted early.