This month we head south into Yorkshire to visit four of the county’s finest courses
Ripon City Golf Club
Set in beautiful parkland, the 6,084-yard course at Ripon City will challenge players of all abilities.
The rolling Yorkshire landscape 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 gathered in the clubhouse behind the green 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. The new clubhouse balcony will create a great place to relax for the 2018 season while new head greenkeeper James Kelledy has been receiving great praise for his work in recent months.
Ripon City Golf Club, Palace Road Ripon, HG4 3HH, tel 01765 603 640, www.riponcitygolfclub.com
Whitby Golf Club
The spectacular clifftop course at Whitby Golf Club, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017, is a must-visit.
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 to firm and fast conditions.
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.
Whitby Golf Club, Low Straggleton Sandsend Road, Whitby, YO21 3SR, tel 01947 228 892, www.whitbygolfclub.co.uk
Romanby Golf and Country Club
You’ll find great views and challenging shots at Romanby Golf and Country Club, which sits on the River Wiske and follows the natural contours of the North Yorkshire landscape.
The course features an array of water features, including the river Wiske, while the greens here have been constructed to a modified USGA specification.
You will find excellent putting surfaces right through to the end of the season, as well as a warm and friendly welcome in the clubhouse before and after your game.
Romanby Golf and Country Club Yafforth Road, Northallerton, DL7 0PE, tel 01609 778 855, www.romanby.com
Fulford Golf Club
Fulford, the Yorkshire course made famous by Bernhard Langer in 1981, remains a great test for golfers of all abilities – as we found out on a recent trip.
Widely regarded as one of the best courses in the North of England, Fulford staged 23 consecutive European Tour events between the 1970s and 1990s and saw major champion Langer climb an ash tree on the 17th during the Benson and Hedges tournament in 1981. The 6,900-yard course is now considered too short to host a tour event but it remains tough enough for any handicap golfer with its mix of three par fours of more than 400 yards in the first five holes, three superb par fives and a couple of brilliant short holes.
Fulford Golf Club, Heslington Lane, York, YO10 5DY, tel 01904 413 579, www.fulfordgolfclub.co.uk