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Sean_A

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Over-looking the Vale of Evesham and the Warwickshire Avon lays Broadway GC.  The famous town of Broadway was once, like much of the Cotswolds, best known for raising sheep and indeed has remained prosperous to this day; although the main source of income these days is tourism rather than wool.  Since Victorian times with the coming of the railroad, a great many well heeled English gentry have maintained second homes in the Cotswolds and near Broadway in particular.  The golf course is set near the summit of Willersey Hill at an elevation of 850 feet and affords some of the most scenic views to be had in the Cotswolds.  Similar to Kington, if one is lucky he will catch a glimpse of the Royal Air Force jets practicing manoeuvres below the course. 

The club was originally formed in 1895 and moved to its present site in 1901.  The course was layed out by a local pro and in 1929 Dr MacKenzie was called upon to offer advice.  New greens for #s 2-5 were built on the Drís recommendations and later alterations to #s 8 & 9 were completed by Tom Simpson.   The 1st & 7th were likely also altered, but using local advice.  The back nine was originally designed by James Braid in 1939, but the war halted work and the membership completed the work in the late 50s.  Work on the course continues today as the membership seems keen to make improvements to the back nine and has engaged M Hawtree to come up with some ideas.  The improvements would be welcome because the course really is a tale of two halves.  The front nine plays over the best of the ground, but the architecture takes full advantage of the terrain and the result is what I believe to be the best nine holes in Worcestershire. 

The first is a reachable par 5 that tweeks our interest due to the blind second with oob just to the rear of the green.  However, the primary element to point out sooner rather than later are the Cotswold walls which turn a golden hue with age.  There is no free relief and they do come into play.


The second is a wonderful short par 4 which is reachable, but like all good drivable two-shotters, one must make sure to miss on the correct side if having a go.  Its a shame about the awful short bunker.  Its not a bad placement, but shockingly executed.  A great many of Broadway's holes rely on slope as a defense, yet the camera flattens it all out except for extreme cases.




#3 takes us over a stone wall and onto a fairway which has recently been alpinized!  M Hawtree re-shaped Mackenzie's mounds and used a few to house bunkers - I think to great effect.




To be cont.

Ciao
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 06:17:04 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Bill_McBride

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Of The Escarpment
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 02:38:52 PM »
As we've discussed, this was my first UK course, with clubs borrowed from the pro and a sleeve of balls purchased.  Had a great time playing with a couple of the locals.  I had no idea there was any Dr Mac heritage, but it sure is fun along the escarpment.  Loved the contrast of the 2nd and 3rd in sequence.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Of The Escarpment New
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 05:26:39 PM »
Bill

You likely would have dealt with Mr John Freeman who has been the pro at Broadway since 1964.  His son now runs the show, but the elder Freeman still works as an assistant professional and I think he is not far off tracking down 80.   

Broadway Tour Cont

The 4th, another reachable par 5 and again with a sting in the tail of trouble lurking down right the entire length of the hole.  The following four holes play more around the edge of the hill and essentially make up the bulk of Broadway's best holes.  The first of this wonderful succession of holes is a par 3 heading straight for Broadway in the valley.


The sixth turns back and plays over marvelous ground very similar to links.  With local knowledge, it is best to play to the top of the hill on the right rather than to the fairway. 


I can't stress how much shots leak left.  The photos flatten everything to a huge degree. 


This photo from the rear of the green gives a much more accurate picture of the slopes.


#7, another terrific hole using the hard slopes to great effect. At just over 300 yards, flat bellies having a go will need to take great care with the draw.


If one can scoot past a slight ridge he can drive the flat just short of the green-side bunkers.


So many clubs leave the best angles into greens as rough. 


The second short hole is another butt-clenching.  The 8th plays a bit uphill to a narrow green with little room to miss left. At under 120 yards the shot isn't that difficult sans wind. Although the front flag doesn't look a particularly inviting shot, it is far easier than a back hole location.


In this shot, the length of the green is revealed.  Playing to the very back tier requires a quality of game I rarely encounter.  Notice the bunker now has a roll-over face...its far better looking to my eye.  Hopefully all the bunkers will get the same treatment. 

 
We now head to the flatter section of the hill for the ninth.  There is much more room to open the shoulders off the tee, but the long and uphill approach is much more exacting than the previous holes.  The green, like most on the front is very interesting.  From behind the green looking west.


Unfortunately, the back nine at Broadway is far less compelling than the front nine.  Too many holes are marred by senseless bunkering or a general lack of detail.  That said, there are a few holes which stand out as excellent.  Like Stratford on Avon GC, I don't think the course as a whole warrants much travel and that is despite what has to be one of the best sets of short holes which NEVER gets a mention.  However, because the club offers nine hole rates, I am going to break with convention and recommend one play Broadway on the strength of treating the course like a nine holer.  Skip the back and play the front twice or thrice...it is that good!    2016

Ciao   
« Last Edit: May 29, 2020, 06:17:59 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Sean_A

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 03:31:55 AM »
delete
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 06:22:34 PM by Sean Arble »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 06:25:38 AM »
Broadway is claimed to be the driest course in England. It is good for winter play. Some years ago (ca 10) its greenkeeper was awarded an accolade of best greenkeeper in England, or something like.

When I was at Oxford there was no M40 so the journey back (to Wolverhampton in those days) was across the Cotswolds and my father and I often stopped at Broadway for a game en route. It wasn't as good as Southfield, Frilford or Huntercombe, but it was better than anything else on the way, save Blackwell which was too expensive for us.

Thanks for the photos and commentary, which are always well observed and pertinent.


Bill_McBride

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2010, 09:23:18 AM »
Sean, the day I played, we started on #10, so the more exciting holes came after the turn.  It's been 20+ years so the back nine is obscure today, but I can remember #2 and #3 and #9 and the holes along the escarpment pretty clearly, great stuff.

I can also remember the USAF jet that flew over out of nowhere 100' over our heads and sent us to our knees in terror!  CAPT Sims would have been proud!

PPallotta

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2010, 09:25:36 AM »
Thank you, Sean. A bit 'busier' in look than I'm used to from you/the courses you profile. And, sad to say, I have many limitations in taste and one of them is that I will never like or appreciate alpinization. And with all the contours/slopes you mention, those 'built up' bunkers seem doubly unneccesary.  The 9th, for example, seems like it works very well with a minimum of such obvious alterations to the landscape.  

Peter

James Boon

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2010, 02:08:36 PM »
Sean,

Broadway is a course I'd not heard of, so thanks for this tour. Or at least thanks for the tour of the first nine holes which look a lot more fun than the rather dull looking second nine. The stretch from 5 to 8 look great fun!

The course as a whole reminds me of many of the courses around Derbyshire that I know well, of which Cavendish is obviously the best example; high up on a hill, or the side of a hill, with plenty of stone walls which your ball can rebound off!

Cheers,

James
2022 Highlights: Hollinwell (Notts), Brora, Reay

"It celebrates the unadulterated pleasure of being in a dialogue with nature while knocking a ball round on foot." Richard Pennell

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2010, 02:51:06 PM »
Thank you, Sean. A bit 'busier' in look than I'm used to from you/the courses you profile. And, sad to say, I have many limitations in taste and one of them is that I will never like or appreciate alpinization. And with all the contours/slopes you mention, those 'built up' bunkers seem doubly unneccesary.  The 9th, for example, seems like it works very well with a minimum of such obvious alterations to the landscape.  

Peter

Pietro

Yes, I used to feel the same way about crazy mounding or whatever.  In the recent years I have grown to love Kington and Huntercombe so I am a convert so long as it helps reduce bunker usage and is in the centre of the park.  I am not interested in sticking mounds on the wings of the course.  I hope more alpinization is used on the back nine - the front nine doesn't need anything else doing to it - its terrific. 

Yes, the 9th is a good hole with the combo of a wide open drive and a difficult, long, uphill approach to a small green with a pimple in it (it isn't noticeable in the pic).

Mark

Yes, Broadway is a bone dry course, nothing I have seen plays drier anytime of the year.  However, there is a trade-off with winters of fog and frost.  This is the main reason I never joined.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2014, 04:58:17 AM »
I had another go at Broadway yesterday and I walked away as impressed as ever by the front nine.  The back nine too isn't as poor as I remembered, but there has been a concerted effort to clear out heavy rough and the course is all the better for it. 

There still still doesn't seem to be any traction by the membership to embrace the mounding introduced on the 3rd several years ago..pity.  In any case, see the updated pix. 

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2014, 06:33:45 AM »
Thank you Sean for updating your tour.

When you published 'A Dream course II' I did notice the inclusion of the wee par-3 8th at Broadway and meant to revisit this thread so this updated tour has been very welcome.

The front-9 at Broadway really is an absolute cracker. Deviously cunning in places (eg 2nd green, 6th green, 9th green). Not the easiest to walk but super golf with considerable pre-shot thinking needed, just as it should be, and amazing views.

Such a shame that the back-9 (par-3 13th excepted) isn't up to the level of the front-9. The back-9 is not in any way 'bad golf', it's just a bit lacking in comparison with the front-9 and doesn't have the views either, which probably shouldn't effect ones judgement of a course but subconsciously can do. I do recall the raised 18th green as being treacherous to hit, hold and putt on.

Perhaps the 9's should be switched around - saving the best until last?

I know exactly what you mean by "one of the best sets of short holes which NEVER gets a mention" for as well as the excellent 5th and 8th holes I recall the 180 yd par-3 13th, with the wall tight to the left side, as being a rather fine hole.

I also recall that the course conditioning was quite outstanding and that the clubhouse is distinctly nice and wonderfully positioned with glorious views.

A return visit is needed, especially having noted your comment about a 9-hole greenfee.

atb

PS - I revisited the Clubs website to help with my recollections. The course photos are of an extremely high quality - if only other clubs published such high quality photos - http://www.broadwaygolfclub.co.uk/

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2014, 07:13:03 AM »
atb
 
Yes, the 13th may be the best short at Broadway - great use of the OOB wall.  Its a pity there aren't more 3s and less 5s.  I am not keen on the 5s despite the outrageously sloping 4th.  The 4s are actually a good set with some fine short examples and a few good long uns.  I played with a guy yesterday who hit the ball a mile.

Pin high on #2 (280 yards?) with a 2 iron

Downwind he can drive 3!

He can reach 7 with no problem - driver too much club

11 was a 2 iron just off the green

He reached #14 with a 3 wood!

He was pin high right on #15

Driver-sand wedge to #16..straight over the right wall, trees and gunge!  I hit a good drive and a very good 2 hybrid to this 464 yard par 4. 

He can reach 18! 

I have never seen a driving show like from a guy I played with and that includes some touring pros.  Still, I reckon he didn't break 74...his short game was not anywhere near as good as the touring pros I played with... ;D

Anyway, I notice the club is looking for members and has no joining fee now...£900 a year.  I may consider giving up my vagabond status and joining.  I will see how I feel come spring time.

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 08:12:18 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2014, 08:41:37 AM »
I have never seen a driving show like from a guy I played with and that includes some touring pros.  Still, I reckon he didn't break 74...his short game was not anywhere near as good as the touring pros I played with...;D
Anyway, I notice the club is looking for members and has no joining fee now...£900 a year.  I may consider giving up my vagabond status and joining.  I will see how I feel come spring time.
Ciao

Knowing the green complexes at Broadway my immediate reaction when I went though your playing partners list of tee-shot accomplishments was, "oh, but how often did he get up-n-down?" :)

With regard to the uphill 180 yd par-3 13th hole, I reckon this is one of those holes where the greenside sand bunker is the players 'friend' rather than 'foe', well for a decent sand bunker player that is. If it were a grass bunker that could be a bit different though.

(photo of 13th hole from Broadway GC website)

It is such a shame that photographs do not convey slopes well. If they did the character of some of the Broadway greens and surrounds, such as the 6th, which is soooo easy to double or triple chip or 3, 4 even 5-putt (I've seen it done) would really become more apparent to all. More technology please Mr Camera-Manufacturer.

(photo of 6th hole from Broadway GC website)

I also examined the course from Bings sat-map - http://binged.it/1CJQJ1o - I wonder if I were to call this up in a couple of years time would I be able to see some vagabond just playing the front-9?! :)

atb

Mark_Rowlinson

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 02:21:44 PM »
Sean, Dai and co. You just keep reminding me of how many thoroughly good English courses there are which will never get more than local recognition, yet are such a joy to play. The magazines will publish lists of the top 100 or 200 and we can enjoy arguing the pros and cons, but beyond 200 there is another list that probably stretches to 1000, of courses worthy of exploration. The easier list to compile would be that of the worst courses in England - it would be comparatively short. Maybe we need to recruit Duncan to the team after his slaughter of Didsbury (fully justified, I have to say).

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Mark R

You could well be right  :D

The weather broke in the afternoon and I popped out for a quick 9.  Man, this front nine sure is special.  See updated pix.

Previous Tour Stops


Kington
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,30926.0.html

B&B Channel
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,62038.msg1473736.html#msg1473736 

Little Aston
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,38973.msg1158969.html#msg1158969 

Walton Heath New
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,60107.msg1420813.html#msg1420813 

Cleeve Cloud
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,49796.0.html 

Huntercombe
ttp://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,32228.0.html 

Scheduled Tour Stops

WHO
Formby
Formby Ladies

Ciao
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 06:55:27 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: BROADWAY GC: Hanging Off The Escarpment
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2016, 11:14:37 AM »
Sean, Dai and co. You just keep reminding me of how many thoroughly good English courses there are which will never get more than local recognition, yet are such a joy to play. The magazines will publish lists of the top 100 or 200 and we can enjoy arguing the pros and cons, but beyond 200 there is another list that probably stretches to 1000, of courses worthy of exploration. The easier list to compile would be that of the worst courses in England - it would be comparatively short. Maybe we need to recruit Duncan to the team after his slaughter of Didsbury (fully justified, I have to say).

I'd love to rise to that challenge, Mark.

My wife (in whom I fought hard to awaken an interest in golf) has recently joined Hazel Grove as the ladies at Reddish Vale are very old, few in number, and rather unwelcoming to newcomers.  ;)

She insists that I play with her there far too often for my liking. The place would make a perfect candidate for inclusion in a list of "England's Worst", if only for the members' extraordinarily inflated opinion of their miserable course.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 11:45:31 AM by Duncan Cheslett »

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Duncan, please tell us how you really feel about Hazel Grove!  😀

Matt Dawson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Duncan as you know I learned my golf at HGGC. Back in the day it really wasn't all that bad, prior to the renovations forced on it by the compulsory purchase of the best land for the new bypass.

You may laugh, but it used to be thought of as one of the better courses in the area.

Fully accept its limitations, but are you seriously saying Davenport, Marple, Disley and New Mills are superior? And even they are a country mile ahead of....Werneth.

Duncan Cheslett

  • Karma: +0/-0
Duncan as you know I learned my golf at HGGC. Back in the day it really wasn't all that bad, prior to the renovations forced on it by the compulsory purchase of the best land for the new bypass.

You may laugh, but it used to be thought of as one of the better courses in the area.

Fully accept its limitations, but are you seriously saying Davenport, Marple, Disley and New Mills are superior? And even they are a country mile ahead of....Werneth.

You're right of course, Matt!

I possibly have a personal axe to grind with Hazel Grove, remembering the place back in the 70's as a kid sneaking on to play guerrilla golf with a few mates. The current incarnation is such a disappointment in comparison. My recollections of the old 17th place it on a par with the 16th at Cypress Point!

Marple is truly a dreadful course. I've not played Werneth (or Werneth Low for that matter ;))
« Last Edit: January 09, 2016, 01:04:20 PM by Duncan Cheslett »

Jim_Kennedy

  • Karma: +0/-0
Thanks Sean, lovely looking place.



"I never beat a well man in my life" - Harry Vardon

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Thanks Sean, lovely looking place.

You are welcome Jim.

What do folks think about the roll over bunker compared to the flashed sand?

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 05:53:43 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
I presume Sean you mean the difference in bunker style between what's been used at Broadway for quite a long time now and the Hawtree revisions in this photo reposted from above?




If course appearance, and thus maintenance, is to be as immaculate as possible, then the bunker style that has long been employed at Broadway is probably the one I'd favour. However, if a more  'natural' (scruffy?) look is now the aim for the whole course then the revised Hawtree bunkers and mounds are fine.

Terrific front-9 with a bunch of really splendid holes and a wonderful view from the Clubhouse as well, shame they don't have a Clubhouse webcamera. I really must get back to Broadway again soon.

Atb
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 02:20:05 PM by Thomas Dai »

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
I think there is a lot of merit in the idea of reversing the nines.  When I played there long ago - probably 1989 - we played the back first.  I didn't see anything particularly impressive until the 2nd, our 11th tee, and then zowie, one stunning hole after another!   The ninth hole made a very good finisher after the run of holes along the escarpment. 


Thinking back on that day, the professional sent me off the 10th tee with two members with no explanation other than I would enjoy a match with them.  Maybe the members actually play in that order when they can.  The two older fellows played all 18 with me in some kind of match.  I was happy to earn a couple of quid!

Sean_A

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Ace

Broadway is one of those clubs that has rules as to times and which nine 2, 3 and 4 balls can play.  I think its meant to keep 4balls to one side of the course and smaller groups to the other side to quicken play.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 05:54:45 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022: Erewash, St Pats, The Loop x2, Arcadia Bluffs South, Lawsonia Links, Shoreacres, Culver Academies, Meadowbrook, Dunes Club & Crystal Downs

Bill_McBride

  • Karma: +0/-0
Ace


Broadway is one of those clubs that has rules as to times and which nine 2, 3 and 4 balls can play.  I think its meant to keep 4balls to one side of the course and smaller groups to the other side to quicken play.


Ciao


Makes sense.  So would permanent reversal of the nines!

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