We return to Hampshire to play Blackmoor for the second time and North Hants for the first time.
This will be the Society’s second meeting at Blackmoor Golf Club, nine years after our first visit. Harry Colt originally laid out Blackmoor as just 12 holes, first opening for play in 1913. The outbreak of the Great War prevented the expansion to 18 holes until 1924.
Blackmoor is sandwiched between the North and South Downs at the western end of a glorious sand belt which cuts a swathe through Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire. The course sits on a picturesque tract of purple heathland, from which the club takes its name. Consisting of two loops of nine, the fairways are surrounded by pine, birch and oak as well as the ever present heather.
At 6,170 yards, Blackmoor may not be the longest of courses but accuracy from the tee is all important. It is only too easy to be blocked out on the second shot! The par 3s all have the stamp of Harry Colt, namely elevated greens well guarded by bunkers. The course is noted for the quality of its greens throughout the year and the sloping 18th green presents a final challenge to all golfers.
From 1998 until 2003, Blackmoor was a regional qualifying course for the Open Championship where golfers from all over the world began their quest for ‘The Claret Jug’.
Another first for the Society as we make our inaugural visit to North Hants Golf Club, home to US Open winner and Ryder Cup star Justin Rose.
Located near Fleet this delightful heathland course is set amongst stately pines and silver birch with heather and gorse in abundance. Originally founded in 1904 by James Braid, the the course was re-shaped in 1913 by Harry Colt for the princely sum of £25 and in the 1930s Tom Simpson made further modifications. Although it’s not the longest course, measuring 6,565 yards from the tips, North Hants was used for Final Qualifying for the 2004 Women’s British Open.
The club also stages an annual amateur competition called the Hampshire Hog. Michael Bonallack was the first ever winner in 1957 and since then Sandy Lyle and Gordon Brand Jnr. have emerged as victors. In 1995, at the tender age of fourteen, Justin Rose won the Hog with a record score of 134. When he turned professional in 1998, Rose was still a North Hants junior member and now he’s an Honorary Member.
No doubt each and every club member follows his progress with great interest.