Teesside has star quality

Paul Corney travels south to experience a wonderful day out at one of our region’s most delightful courses

Early in the 19th century, and due to the increase in the size and tonnage of ships using the Tees, navigation became very difficult due to a loop in the river. This resulted in two new channels being dug to cut out the loop and the subsequent land reclaimed from the water became Stockton Racecourse and Teesside Golf Club.

Founded in 1901, Teesside Golf Club has gone from strength to strength and with significant investment in new drainage and a major landscaping and refurbishment of 70 bunkers, the course is in pristine condition and great fun to play.

During the 1950s and 60s there was a thriving nightclub and theatre scene on Teesside and many famous artists appeared at the  many venues in the area. At a request from The Variety Club Golfing Society, these artists were granted courtesy of the course where they could relax, enjoy a round of golf and generally unwind from their hectic schedules.

Some of the more notable stars include Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, Harry Secombe and Arthur Haynes, Roy Castle and Val Doonican to name but a few. If the Teesside club was good enough for them, it’s certainly more than good enough for me!

The opening hole is a short par four measuring 359 yards. Hit the fairway and you will have a short approach and a possible good start to your round – watch out for the water on the right near the green.

The second is a good par five and at more than 550 yards it is a true three-shotter for most. A good drive just right of centre, a solid second and a pitch should result in a par.

At 397 yards, the sixth is a strong par four played into the prevailing wind. There is out of bounds to the right to watch out for and find the wrong level on the two-tier green and you will be in three-putt country.

The seventh is a good par three and at 190 yards can cause problems. The tees are protected by thick trees, making it difficult to judge wind speed and direction. Club selection is all important at this one, the green is well-bunkered and has a narrow entrance.

At 524 yards, the 10th is a par five where you will be faced with a decision for your second shot. Lay up in front of the water to leave a mid-iron to the green. Longer hitters might go for the green in two but very rarely succeed.

The 13th is another tough short hole where making a par three may prove difficult. The green is a small target with water in front and bunkered on both sides. Make par and you’ve done well.

The 16th is another strong par four, and at 421 yards it requires a good drive to the centre of the fairway avoiding bunkers left and right.

Following your round at Teesside you can relax on the balcony overlooking the 18th green – the signature hole (see factfile) – watching others mtackle the tests of the closing hole while planning your next visit to this excellent course.

Fact File

Teesside Golf Club
Acklam Road, Thornaby, Stockton on Tees Cleveland, TS17 7JS
Tel 01642 616 516 (secretary)
01642 673 822 (pro shop)

Mon-Fri: adults £25 a round (£35 a day), junior £10 a round (£12 a day)
Sat-Sun: adults £30 a round,
junior £14 a round
Group packages available
(For details contact the secretary)

White tees – 6,487 yards
Yellow tees – 6,191 yards
Red tees – 5,620 – yards

18 holes parkland golf
Easy walking
Excellent bar, lounge & dining area
Snooker room
Sky and BT sports television
Good car parking facilities
Four practice areas including a covered four-bay driving range
Putting green
Well-stocked pro shop
Buggy hire £20 a round

It has to be the picturesque 18th – a 410-yard par four with out of bounds to the right and trees left. A good drive to the centre of the fairway should leave a short to middle iron to the huge final green. Watch out for the pond in front of the green.