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Club History

Ivor Bertie Guest, 1st Baron of Wimborne (1815 – 1914) an Ironmaster and landowner who lived in Canford Magna Manor commissioned the Golf Course at Broadstone to be built. On Saturday afternoon 18th June 1898 with 6 invited gentlemen present, Lord Wimborne held a meeting at Broadstone School to set out the rules and terms for the Golf Club.

It was resolved that the Club would be called "The Dorset Golf Club" and the course be known as "The Broadstone Links." Some 150 members were admitted at an entrance fee of 2 guineas and an annual subscription of 2 guineas.

It was officially opened on the 16th November 1898 with a Foursome match between Mr. A J Balfour, First Lord of the Treasury partnered by the Wimbledon professional JH Taylor and John Penn M.P. and James Braid the professional at Romford.

Both professionals were Open Golf Champions and AJ Balfour was to go on to become Prime Minister. Balfour and Taylor won the match by 4 and 3. Other Prime Ministers to play Broadstone were Bonar Law, Ramsay McDonald and Winston Churchill in later years.

In April 1906, the Ladies section was formed with an entrance fee of 1 guinea and an annual subscription of a further guinea.

The Course was laid out by the most prolific designer of his time, Tom Dunn (1849-1902) who was then the Professional at nearby Meyrick Park in Bournemouth. He was reported as saying “that he was not stinted for men, materials or money when he laid it out and built the course.”

In 1914 , Harry Shapland Colt, in the prime of his course architect career redesigned the course by laying out new holes in the heathland from the present 5th tee to the 16th green thus cutting out the parkland holes to make the course entirely heathland. In 1920, the course re-opened as a heathland course.

Broadstone was further redesigned Willie Park, Willie Park Junior, Herbert Fowler (Walton Heath) and then Harry Colt for a second time. Broadstone has one of the best pedigrees of any English golf course in respect of its architects and remains very much as Harry Colt set it out finally, in 1920.

Bernard Darwin once described Broadstone as the "Gleneagles of the South" and added that it was "one of those spots clearly designed by providence for a golf course.” Many of Lord Wimborne’s political allies, MPs, military men of all 3 Services, friends and family were regular visitors to the Club most arriving by rail, the prime means of transport then.

The course being situated close to 2 railway lines was ideally located for visitors who could book tickets and request the train to stop at Broadstone Halt.

1930/1931, Lord Wimborne sold the links and clubhouse to Mr. Frank Toley, a keen member of the Club, who truly loved the course and spent much of his own money keeping it running through the 2nd World War when membership virtually ceased until his untimely death at an early age in 1940.

In 1971 Mr. Frank Toley's widow, after filling the role as President and benefactor for many years sold the Course, the Clubhouse then in Golf Links Road and everything appertaining to it, to the members at the price agreed with Frank Toley some 25 years earlier. The price paid was £18,000, one of the greatest bargains in golf history and a tribute to Mr. and Mrs. Toley's generosity.

1984/1985, the old Clubhouse and car park in Golf Links Road, along with land running alongside the 13th fairway was sold and the present Clubhouse was constructed. Occupation was completed in May 1985.

 

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The Clubhouse (Circa 1900)


Official opening (18th Green)


15th Green


13th Green (Circa 1920)


Professionals (Circa 1930/40)


Original course layout (1898)

 
Ivor Bertie Guest, 1st Baron of Wimborne (1815 – 1914) an Ironmaster and landowner who lived in Canford Magna Manor commissioned the Golf Course at Broadstone to be built. On Saturday afternoon 18th June 1898 with 6 invited gentlemen present, Lord Wimborne held a meeting at Broadstone School to set out the rules and terms for the Golf Club.

It was resolved that the Club would be called "The Dorset Golf Club" and the course be known as "The Broadstone Links." Some 150 members were admitted at an entrance fee of 2 guineas and an annual subscription of 2 guineas.