Alan Hedley marches through a visually stunning North Yorkshire course and enjoys the challenge
Catterick Garrison sits very well in that group of North Yorkshire courses which provide a demanding, yet enjoyable, test of golf.
Founded in 1930 and redesigned in 1938 by Arthur Day, Catterick has a long-established link with the nearby army garrison which was responsible for the original course.
The course had been a six-hole and a 12-hole layout before Day created 18 holes in 1938 and the course currently measures 6,378 yards from the back tees.
Not long by modern standards, but with rolling fairways and well-protected greens set in beautiful parkland and moorland with mature oaks, elms, copper beeches and conifers, it is visually stunning.
The subtly-contoured greens and the prevalence of fairway riggs will test your game. Take it lightly and this course will bite!
There are also several changes in elevation and the course opens with three par fours, the first a long, uphill 400 yards-plus with out of bounds flanking both sides of the fairway.
It’s followed by a dog-leg; you need to get the drive to the corner, especially into wind, and you’d be wise to keep as far left as possible to reach the green.
Another strong uphill par four with out of bounds along the right comprises an early test off the tee. Here the second shot will be a blind one unless you hit a very long drive.
Then it’s on to a cracking par five of 574 yards with no bunkers. However, you must stay out of the gorse, and take some time to check out the great views from the tee.
There’s nothing for being short at the par three fifth, while the sixth is the signature hole (see factfile). The seventh will tempt you to bite off a chunk of the corner in order to get closer to the green, but a good steady drive will leave a reasonably easy second shot.
It is followed by a solid par three and the ninth is also fairly straightforward, but does have a narrow raised green which needs care.
The back nine begins with a hole that is just 375 yards, but the green is perched at the top of the hill and is tricky to find. Another raised green follows at the long par five 11th and anything right could leave you blocked out.
At 263 yards, the 12th is a drivable par four, but don’t hook it as there is trouble left. It is followed by the shortest par three on the course, but one of the best as the green is narrow with a ridge and there is a massive bunker short of the green.
Another 400 yards-plus par four dog-leg follows with a blind drive and out of bounds to the right.
The 15th is the start of a tough finishing stretch of four par fours and has an uphill second shot to a tricky green.
There are no bunkers on the spectacular dog-leg 16th with out of bounds right and a ditch left, and the 17th isn’t called Destructor for nothing! With out of bounds left, ditches on either side of the fairway at the bottom of the hill plus a monster bunker, it is a card-wrecker.
Again the clue is in the name at the last. With trees either side, out of bounds left and water right, you want a straight drive on this dog-leg called Devil’s Elbow and you’ll be very happy with a four.
Then to the modern two-storey clubhouse with the all the facilities you’d expect and the main bar’s glass sliding doors opening on to a balcony with panoramic views across the 16th, 17th and 18th.
Contact Catterick Golf Club
Leyburn Road, Catterick Garrison
North Yorkshire, DL9 3QE
Tel: 01748 833 268, Pro 01748 83 3671
GREEN FEES Weekdays £30 (£15 after 4pm)
Weekends £35 (£15 after 4pm)
TOTAL DISTANCE White tees – 6,378 yards
Yellow tees – 6.042 yards
Red tees – 5,421 yards
FEATURES 18 holes of parkland/moorland golf
Clubhouse with lounge and balcony
Plenty of car parking
Well-stocked professionals shop
PGA professional tuition
CADDY’S TIP Finding the fairways from the tee is the only way to score here
SIGNATURE HOLE The sixth hole; at 304 yards this dog-leg par four proves a hole doesn’t have to be long to be testing. It’s a tempter as well because you can go for it with a really big hit, but it’s dangerous as there are a number of trees and two front bunkers.
A good drive will leave a simple pitch, but the green is no easy matter as it’s elevated and two-tiered.