This month we visit some of Yorkshire’s finest courses – from classic English parkland designs to coastal masterpieces
Bedale Golf Club Our tour of begins in the heart of North Yorkshire at Bedale Golf Club – a classic English course within walking distance of the historic market town.
Opened in 1894, the course is set in the stunning countryside of the Yorkshire Dales with tree-lined fairways presenting a tough prospect from the tee on many holes and well-bunkered greens making scoring tough. The signature hole, the 409-yard par four 13th, showcases Bedale perfectly with a tough drive over or around water to a narrow fairway before an approach to a tricky green protected by three front bunkers.
The clubhouse is very welcoming here, with food served daily, and provides great views out over the first and 18th fairways from the balcony.
A new swing studio was opened earlier this month, adding to the new academy course which gives members and visitors a chance to sharpen their short game skills before their round.
Just three miles from Junction 51 of the A1, a visit to Bedale is a must. Bedale Golf Club, Leyburn Road Bedale, DL8 1EZ, tel 01677 422 451, www.bedalegolfclub.com
Flamborough Head Golf Club Heading out to the east coast, Flamborough Head offers a year-round treat with this clifftop links course affording breathtaking views out across the North Sea from nearly every hole.
Measuring just 6,198 yards, Flamborough is not the longest links course in the region but it is a demanding test.
Avoid the rough at all costs, it is deep and will take a great shot to escape from, while the greens are large, undulating and fast in the summer months.
The clubhouse at Flamborough, beside the historic lighthouse, offers stunning views of the golf course and out to the North Sea as well as a warm welcome and great food. Flamborough Head Golf Club Lighthouse Road, Flamborough East Riding, YO15 1AR. Tel 01262 850 333, www.flamboroughheadgolfclub.co.uk
Masham Golf Club Both Peter Allis and Bing Crosby have noted Masham Golf Club as one of the friendliest clubs they have visited, and we can certainly agree.
The nine-hole course has a storied history dating back to 1895, added to in 2016 when Dan Brown won the English Amateur Championship. Sitting in picturesque parkland alongside the River Burn you’ll find the course in excellent condition year-round thanks to its sandstone base. Tree-lined fairways protect this relatively short course – though few are brave enough to try and overpower it from the tee. You’ll also find top quality ales on tap from Masham breweries Black Sheep and Theakston while PGA professional Andy Marshall has a fantastic shop here. Masham Golf Club, Burnholme Swinton Road, Masham, Ripon HG4 4NS, tel 01765 688 054, www.mashamgolfclub.co.uk
Moor Allerton Golf Club When it comes to golfing history in Yorkshire, few clubs can compete with Moor Allerton. Sight of European Tour events featuring the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Greg Norman and Tony Jacklin to name a dew. Meanwhile, the storied list of club professionals which includes Howard Clark and Peter Allis, a visit here is a must just to take in the history.
Testing the UK’s best young players each year on the EuroPro Tour, the Robert Trent Jones Sr design – his only UK course – remains a stern challenge.
The rolling Yorkshire countryside creates a number of tactical challenges, while strategic bunkering and large, contoured greens ensure only the best all-round players can build good scores here.
As well as great history and a superb 27-hole golf course, you’ll find top quality food from the club’s new catering team – making this one of the finest all-round golfing experiences. Moor Allerton Golf Club Coal Road, Wike, Leeds, LS17 9NH tel 0113 266 1154, www.moorallertongolfclub.co.uk
Pontefract & District Golf Club For more than 100 years Pontefract & District Golf Club has been offering superb golf and a warm Yorkshire welcome.
Established in 1904, the course remains true to its original Dr Alister MacKenzie design, with tall trees bordering the tight fairways and fast, undulating greens defending the course from the length of modern drivers and punishing the over-aggressive players with penal rough, well-placed hazards and challenges escapes.
Pontefract & District is primarily a tactical course and it will take a number of visits to unpick the best lines and positions, and many more to unravel the secrets of MacKenzie’s greens.
An easy walk on undulating parkland, you’ll find top food and drink in the clubhouse after your round, while you share the many stories of holes played with precision, and the mistakes punished by this classic course. Pontefract & District Golf Club Park Lane, Pontefract. WF8 4QS tel 01977 792 241, www.pdgc.co.uk
Richmond (Yorks) Golf Club One of the shortest courses on our list, Richmond 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 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.
The rolling Yorkshire landscape again provides natural elevation changes and frames many of the holes, while a combination of water hazards 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 an even more daunting prospect.
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. Ripon City Golf Club, Palace Road Ripon, HG4 3HH. Tel 01765 603 640, www.riponcitygolfclub.com
Whitby Golf Club 2017 marks the 125th anniversary of Whitby Golf Club, now laid out over the spectacular clifftops between Whitby and Sandsend.
From its commanding position on the edge of the cliffs, and with views around the North Yorkshire coast to Kettleness and across to Whitby harbour and pier with the Abbey ruins dominating behind, it can be tough to concentrate on getting your ball around the course.
Not too long, nor too difficult, the layout punishes the wildest players with thick rough, while bunkering and run off areas will catch out many players who are not used the firm and fast conditions in the summer.
As with all links courses, the true difficulty of the course is defined by the wind – benign conditions will yield good scores here while a stern test awaits should the wind blow across the clifftops. Whitby Golf Club, Low Straggleton Sandsend Road, Whitby, YO21 3SR, tel 01947 228 892, www.whitbygolfclub.co.uk
Woodhall Hills Golf Club Ending our tour of some of Yorkshire’s finest courses for this month, Woodhall Hills sits between Leeds and Bradford in 130 acres of moorland with stunning views all around. Founded in 1905, a number of layout changes have been made in the club’s history while continued investment ensures you’ll find a superbly presented course.
Many of the fairways are flanked by mature trees here, while a mixture of bunkers, hazards and tactical challenges will test every part of your game – as will the rolling moorland which features on every hole and will come into play a number of times during your round. The spacious clubhouse, where a warm welcome is guaranteed, retains many of its original features while being relaxed and comfortable for members and visitors. Woodhall Hills Golf Club, Woohall Road, Calverley, Pudsey LS28 5UN, tel 0113 255 4594, www.woodhallhillsgolfclub.com