Longhirst Hall Golf Course

Having opened its doors in 1997, today Longhirst Hall Golf Course has one of the largest member-ships in the region

Shaped from the former Butterwell opencast mine – once the largest manmade hole in Europe – to-day the club has more than 1,400 members across all categories and has earned a track record of hosting top events, including nine years of EuroPro Tour tournaments.

Both the Dawson and Lakes courses have hosted the EuroPro Tour as well as some of the region’s biggest events, including the Northern Golfer Champion of Champions.

The first 18-hole layout at Longhirst officially opened in 1997 with nothing more than its golf holes, a greenkeeping shed, and a shared space in a cricket and hockey clubhouse. By 2003, 11 new holes were added. In 2008, seven more – which would be combined with 11 from the original 18 – were added to create the Dawson Course. The remaining 18 became the Lakes Course. The clubhouse was also added in 2007, before the academy and its floodlit driving range opened in 2014.

Named after Longhirst founder Tommy Dawson, according to its course rating, the Dawson Course is the tougher of the two layouts. Longer than its sister course and featuring significantly smaller putting surfaces with trickier green complexes, the par-73 course is a complete examination of golfing skill from tee to green. Great drivers enjoy many rewards, while those who are loose will generally find their ball, though their route to the green may have to traverse trees, bunkers and some of Long-hirst’s famous lakes.

Meanwhile, the Lakes Course is aptly named with water featuring on 15 of the 18 holes. Just like its sister course, the par-70 Lakes Course has matured beautifully to offer a golfing challenge backed by flora and fauna, and its daunting water hazards. The Lakes is designed to test your ability to control the golf ball. While driver can be used sparingly on a few chosen holes, it’s best to lean on your sec-ond shots to make your score, and avoid making too many splashes.

Longhirst Hall Golf Course, Morpeth, NE61 3LL, tel 01670 791 562, www.longhirstgolf.co.uk