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Jun 2, 841 days ago

Wiske and reward

Wiske and reward

Romanby in North Yorkshire is as tough as it’s picturesque

Romanby Golf and Country Club was initially the vision of Les Craven, whose family had farmed the land close to the River Wiske in North Yorkshire since 1942.

His son Brian took over the reins and played a key role in developing the club and course which was officially opened in 1993. Colin Montgomerie then opened the additional Country Club in 2000.

Will Adamson’s design follows the natural contours of the North Yorkshire landscape with plenty of water features that include some attractive lakes and the River Wiske.

A lot of investment has gone into what has always been a very good layout and stiff test – close on £100,000 has been spent on new greenkeeping equipment in the last year alone, with improvements to the 12-bay covered driving range and there is a rolling programme of drainage improvement.

Three PGA professionals are on hand to offer teaching and tuition, led by Richard Wood, who also has an extensive golf shop.
But there’s more to Romanby than the golf course – the Country Club is a vibrant social and business centre overlooking the picturesque ninth and 18th greens with a superb lounge bar and brasserie-style restaurant. Little wonder it’s a popular venue for every kind of celebration – it’s also licensed for civil weddings.

Back on the course, its greens are constructed to a modified USGA specification with large teeing areas. It is long enough at 6,663 yards off the back tees, 6,405 from the yellow tees, and 5,635 off the red tees to provide a real challenge.
There’s a fairly comfortable start with a steady par four, but the first of the water holes arrives at the second and by the third you know you have a game on your hands.

The first of the par threes is not short at 186 yards and the fifth is a terrific par five. From the elevated tee, it snakes down past a lake on the right and up to a well-guarded green with a narrow approach. The next is a short-ish par four which uses the natural contours to good effect, and the seventh at 251 yards is a classic risk or reward downhill par four hole… you just have to give it crack, don’t you?

A straightforward par three follows and then there’s another cracking par five to finish the front nine – a real three-shotter with the drive needing to find an island fairway, while the second has to carry a narrowing alley formed by the river and the road.

The second nine also starts with a short-ish par four and it’s just setting you up for Romanby’s own Amen Corner – a trio of challenging holes consisting of the par three 11th over the lake, the 12th which is a 590-yard monster par five, and the par four 13th, ranked stroke index one.

The 11th is a classic, knee-trembling par three with a carry of 165 yards across a large lake. It ain’t the 17th at Sawgrass but it’s just as scary and it’s followed by a monster magic par five. The drive from the back tee, which juts into the lake, must carry the water up to a ridge with bunkers set left and right of the fairway… good luck! But that’s nothing compared to the 404-yard 13th – see the factfile. There’s not a lot of respite at the 14th where there is another tight drive on a hole fraught with difficulties – it has to go over the River Wiske, some 110 yards from the tee to a wide fairway. The tranquil parkland setting then takes over into the final stages and the highest point on the course is reached on the short 15th.

To finish is a straightforward long par five and then a testing par four with a short but spectacular finishing hole – with options. Either drive across the river, leaving a pitch to the angled green, or lay-up and face a slightly longer second shot.

FACT FILE
Contact
Romanby Golf and Country Club, Yafforth Road, Northallerton, DL7 0PE
Telephone: 01609 778855.
Prof: Richard Wood 01609 760777.
Email: info@romanby.com and
richard.boucher@romanby.com
Web: www.romanby.com
twitter: @RomanbyGolf

Green Fees
£20 Mon-Fri (£15 with member)
£25 Sat-Sun (£20 with member)
total distance
6,663 yards (White tees)
6,405 yards (Yellow tees)
5,635 yards (Red tees)

Features
• 18 holes of parkland golf
• 12-bay driving range and six-hole, par three course
• Top-class clubhouse facilities with brasserie restaurant and bar
• Buggy, trolley and club hire
• PGA qualified instructors

Caddy’s tip
Stay away from the water! You can’t up and down it from lakes.

Signature Hole
Lots of options – the 11th, 12th and 18th – but the dogleg, tight drive, 404-yard 13th is the most difficult and best hole on the course with out-of-bounds on the left and then it doglegs left to the bottom of a valley where the river cuts in front of the elevated green. Terrific hole.

OVERVIEW VERDICT
Romanby is a truly great course with plenty of variety and some testing holes and it is always in excellent shape.

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