In this month’s Special Focus we visit some of the white rose county’s finest golf courses
Beverley and East Riding Golf Club
Drive towards the town of Beverley in East Yorkshire and as the grand Beverley Minster pierces the skyline in the distance you’ll reach the Westwood – an expanse of green to the west of the town where Beverley and East Riding Golf Club shares pastureland with the famous racecourse, and cows in the summer.
Laid out across the rolling moor, the course isn’t long by modern standards at 6,017 yards but its thick rough, ever-changing playing direction and the wind whipping across the Westwood can make it a tough test.
The rough, which grows deep in the summer, is managed by the cows for much of the season – the club covering just a portion of the expansive landscape, while the greens are ringed with wires to keep the cattle off. The fences rarely come into play, and players have the option to replay the stroke without penalty or play their next from where the ball lies. Being in the right position in the fairway is key to scoring here, with attacking the green from the correct side often far more important than getting close.
When travelling to Harrogate, Knaresbrough Golf Club is often the first club you’ll arrive at given its proximity to the A1. Lengthened and improved continually since it opened in 1920, much of the present course was shaped by Hawtree & Sons in the 1980s and early 2000s, with the 6,778-yard layout having a modern feel while retaining the best elements of its original design.
Recent years have seen significant and continued investment in the course, including a remodelling programme overseen by architect David Hemstock, with the parkland course continuing to host elite events and championships.
Off the course, the service and welcome are first-class with homecooked, locally sourced food available daily.
The Dr Alister MacKenzie-designed course at Sand Moor Golf Club, laid out in 1926, is just five miles from Leeds city centre – making it an ideal location for a one-day trip or part of a longer visit to north Leeds and its incredible golf courses.
With stunning views over Eccup reservoir, the course has not stood still in its near-100 years, with Henry Cotton advising on changes in the 1960s and Andy Watson Golf Design currently ensuring the course maintains its unique character and challenge as it nears its centenary. Measuring 6,446 yards, the success of rounds at Sand Moor often hinge on the four challenging par threes – each still true to the Good Doctor’s designs.
Yorkshire’s most northerly district, Teesside is blessed with great golf courses from its coast to its hidden patches of parkland just a stone’s throw from the region’s industrial heartbeat.
Formed in 1952 as part of ICI Wilton’s Recreation Club to play matches locally, Wilton Golf Club’s nine-hole course opened in 1956. By 1963, membership was more than 600, and a year later the course was extended to 18 holes. With the opening of a clubhouse in May 1967, popularity continued to rise and membership grew to more than 1,000 in 1974. A new clubhouse followed in 1979 and in 1999 the club was purchased by its members – who continue to develop and enjoy it.
The course, which measures 6,220 yards from the white tees, opens with a series of relatively newer holes before crossing onto the older section of the course with its many ancient trees and stunning backdrop of Wilton Castle.
A relatively short course, scoring at Wilton is all about your second shots and iron play, with the small greens being well-guarded by bunkers, false fronts and many slopes and undulations. Good wedge players will undoubtedly score well here, while all will receive the warmest of welcomes in the clubhouse after their rounds.