This month we visit some of Yorkshire’s finest golf courses
One of Yorkshire’s finest modern layouts, Owston Hall will reopen this season with a new design philosophy aiming to present a more enjoyable layout for golfers of all ages and abilities.
Opened in 1996, the layout just north of Doncaster has been softened from its 7000-yard original design following a re-routing, the creation of four new greens and five new tees, and the creation of a new golfing philosophy to make golf enjoyable. The new layout can be played from 4,000 to 6,000 yards and while it maintains elements of the challenge presented in the past, the extreme length of the course has been removed.
A past host of the EuroPro Tour and numerous professional events, the course has a great pedigree and a tour-ready presentation year-round. The team led by head greenkeeper Jauquin Ruiz, who arrived in 2018 from Royal Madrid and The Grove, presents a stunning course year-round, priding themselves of having the greens and tees in play year-round.
The course will welcome professionals back in the next 12-18 months too with the Yorkshire PGA and a women’s PGA event to be hosted by the club, while regular opens and a range of packages for visiting groups ensure there is always a great atmosphere around the club.
Away from the golf course, Owston Hall is also home to a luxurious hotel, spa and leisure facilities as well as first-class dining and events.
Owston Hall, Owston, Doncaster, DN69JF, tel 01302 722 800, www.owstonhall.com
Thirsk & Northallerton Golf Club
The classic English parkland layout at Thirsk & Northallerton is a fun challenge for players of all abilities.
Stretching back to 6,564 yards, it will test the best players from the back tees with its mix of demanding driving holes and tight approaches. Many of the greens present equally stern challenges, particularly when the pins are tucked away behind bunkers and into the smallest corners.
While the more generous fairways allow you to let loose with driver before requiring an accurate approach to a narrow green, far narrower tee shots through corridors of ancient trees reward those who find the fairway. There is a great deal of risk and reward here, making for an enjoyable round on every visit.
Played from the forward tees, the course is equally as much fun with the chance to take on challenging shots and plenty of opportunities to plot your way around.
Despite being more than 100 years old, the club is continuing to improve the golf course year-on-year with investment in machinery and drainage proving a great success recently.
Thirsk & Northallerton Golf Club Northallerton Road, Thirsk, YO7 4AB, tel 01845 525 115, www.tngc.co.uk
Richmond (Yorks) Golf Club
One of the shortest courses on our list, Richmond Golf Club makes up for its lack of length with a mix of five stunning par threes, which may well be the best mix of short holes in the region.
The key to good scoring at Richmond, which was founded in 1892 and has been situated on the current site at Bend Hagg on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales since 1904, is a sensible approach from the tee and a hot putter. The undulating greens offer a great deal of defence.
The finishing hole at Richmond offers a great story for the end of every visit. A par three played through a narrow gap in the thick trees to a green sitting on the edge of the clubhouse veranda; birdies are met with warm applause, while not making it out of the trees may result in a few laughs from your playing partners.
Richmond (Yorks) Golf Club, Bend Hagg, Richmond, DL10 5EX, tel 01748 823 231, www.richmondyorksgolfclub.co.uk
Ripon City Golf Club
Set in beautiful parkland, the 6,084-yard course at Ripon City Golf Club aims to challenge players of all abilities while offering a number of scoring opportunities – and a very friendly welcome.
The rolling Yorkshire landscape provides natural elevation changes and frames many of the holes, while a combination of water 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 even more daunting.
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. The newly redesigned first and 18th will be fully in play in April and the new balcony on the clubhouse will provide the perfect place to relax after your round.
Ripon City Golf Club, Palace Road Ripon, HG4 3HH. Tel 01765 603 640, www.riponcitygolfclub.com