This month we visit some of the finest courses in and around Harrogate
Harrogate Golf Club
This month’s tour starts at the stunning parkland layout at Harrogate Golf Club. Laid out by Sandy Herd in 1892, the MacKenzie-style greens and mature trees defend the 6,198-yard, par 69 layout while demanding accuracy from the tee and a sharp short game. A challenging layout, the course is one of the finest in the region in the summer months with its fast, undulating greens testing the best players, while offering a superb test of golf for players of all abilities. Just two miles from the centre of the town, the spectacular setting makes for a great day on the course while the colonial-style clubhouse is a great place to relax with good food and plenty of space to share stories of your round.
Harrogate Golf Club, Forest Lane Head, Harrogate, HG2 7TF, tel 01423 862 999, www.harrogate-gc.co.uk
Masham Golf Club
One of the friendliest clubs in the area, the nine-hole layout at Masham Golf Club has a storied history dating back to 1895. Sitting in picturesque parkland alongside the River Burn, you’ll find the course in excellent condition year-round thanks to its sandstone base and natural drainage, and the excellent attention to detail of the green staff. Tree-lined fairways protect this relatively short course – though few are brave enough to try and overpower it from the tee. You’ll also find top quality ales on tap from Masham breweries Black Sheep and Theakston while PGA professional Andy Marshall has a fantastic shop here.
Masham Golf Club, Burnholme Swinton Road, Masham, Ripon HG4 4NS, tel 01765 688 054 www.mashamgolfclub.co.uk
Pannal Golf Club
The beautiful heathland and woodland course at Pannal proves you don’t need to have a 7,000-yard plus layout to provide a serious golfing test.
At 6,614 yards, it might be considered short by modern standards but it remains one of the area’s toughest courses, while offering stunning views of Almscliffe Crag to the west, the Vale of York to the east and from the signature 17th hole to the north across a green valley to the impressive Crimple Viaduct and the spa town. With challenges throughout the round, its no wonder Pannal remains a host of top national tournaments.
Pannal Golf Club, Follifoot Road Pannal, Harrogate, HG3, tel 01423 872 628, www.pannalgc.co.uk
Ripon City Golf Club
Set in beautiful parkland, the 6,084-yard course at Ripon City promises to challenge players of all abilities.
The rolling Yorkshire landscape provides natural elevation changes and frames many of the holes, while a combination of water hazards and bunkers will punish players who are too aggressive or find themselves out of position.
The finest example of this is found at the par three 14th. This 162-yard hole is played over water to a green protected by a bunker at the front left corner. Members and visitors in the clubhouse behind make this an even more daunting prospect.
Improvements to the course in recent years have added to the classic English parkland design, while maintaining the original style of the course and its architecture.
Ripon City Golf Club, Palace Road Ripon, HG4 3HH, tel 01765 603 640, www.riponcitygolfclub.com
Optimum Custom Golf Clubs
We all know that custom-fit clubs can produce big improvements for all players and a visit to the experts at Optimum Custom Golf Clubs is recommended if you’re looking to fine-tune your game.
Based in Ripon, Optimum is a member of the International Clubmakers Guild and the team of experts specialises in club-making and fitting for every club in your bag from driver to putter. A number of top brands are available including Miura Golf, Wishon Golf, Tour Edge Exotics, Kronos Golf, Accra Golf and True Temper – including Rifle and Project X shafts. Based in Bishop Monkton, near Harrogate, club fitting and testing takes place at nearby Ripon Golf Range and Academy.
For more information tel 07879 848 332, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.optimumcustomgolfclubs.co.uk