The Isle of Purbeck is your archetypal, peaceful English golf course, located serenely on a peninsula close to Swanage, overlooking Bournemouth to one side and the English Channel on the other.
Formed in 1892, the club lies beside a heathland nature reserve and is just minutes from white sandy beaches, making this an ideal place for an adventure.
Mrs Darrell-Waters, the club’s owner, certainly thought so.
Sat outside the former clubhouse, Darrell-Waters, better known by her maiden name – which she retained throughout her marriage for literary purposes – would sketch out the latest adventures of her heroes, Noddy and Big Ears
Enid Blyton, as she was known, also based some of the adventures of her adventurous quintet, the Famous Five, at the golf club.
Blyton wrote more than 700 books throughout her life, selling more than 600 million copies and making her among the highest-selling authors in history.
In Five Have a Mystery to Solve, Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the Dog pay a visit to the golf club.
At least they could have put Timmy to good use if they wanted a fourball…
Within the narrative, the club’s groundsman, Lucas, named after one of Blyton’s real-life friends tells the story of a forbidden island, where no one is allowed to tread.
Reignwood Investors are suddenly listening intently…
Darrell-Waters was the name of Enid’s second husband, Kenneth, who purchased the club in 1950.
The former owner, Harry Palmer, was too ill to keep it going and so the Darrell-Waters purchased the club for a minimal fee.
Isleofpurbeck.com explains how Palmer had purchased the club in 1942 with a 60-year lease.
Over the years it had been known as the Purbeck, the Swanage and Studland, before Palmer changed its name to Studland Bay in 1947.
In 1951 Blyton was made captain of the club, and the club stayed under their stewardship for the next decade, before being sold in 1965.
Enid Blyton herself was an accomplished golfer. If only she’d made Anne or Georgie a golfer too, and who knows what it could have done for the popularity of the ladies’ game.
Instead, Anne displays a rather more limited knowledge of golf, as this extract from the book shows:
“Anyone would think that golf balls smelt like rabbits or something, the way Timmy sniffs them out!” said Anne, as Timmy ran up with yet another Ball. “Golfers must be jolly careless, losing so many balls!”
Last week we learned what weapon of war was invented in Burhill’s clubhouse. You can read all about it HERE.