A tight, tree-lined mature parkland course


Harrogate Golf Club

Date Reviewed
September 6, 2017
Reviewed by Ed Battye
I recently played at Harrogate Golf Club in the 36-hole Vardon Grip 36 hole open competition on an early September day with a tiny hint of autumn in the air.

Located just a couple of miles away from the town centre, on the road to Knaresborough, the course is a mature parkland layout in a lovely woodland setting.

Established in 1892 The Club, which moved to its present site a few years after its foundation, is the oldest of several in Harrogate and is laid out over quite a compact area. It has a long history and is very well respected throughout the country having hosted National Championships and regularly staging County events.

Sandy Herd, Harry Colt and Alister MacKenzie have all had a hand in shaping the course we play today.

The current course measures a little less than 6,198 yards and plays to a par of 69 but with an SSS of 70 it is no stroll in the park. It is played over relatively flat terrain and requires a great deal of accuracy and conservative play due to the tight, tree-lined nature of the holes. There are also plenty of fairway and greenside bunkers to avoid.

The front nine is the shorter and more scoreable of the two loops. The front-nine routed inside the outer back-nine. Indeed if you haven’t made your score within the first 10 or 11 holes you are unlikely to do so.

There are five par-three’s all told and it is the 11th which is the best and most attractive of the bunch; played slightly downhill over a valley to a tilted green protected by flashes of sand. Meanwhile, both par-fives offer a realistic chance of birdie and come at the seventh and 10th holes. The round closes with four formidable two-shotters, three of which played directly into the wind on my visit.

There are no real stand-out holes at Harrogate but there is a nice consistency to the course and, although the narrowness of the fairways and the sloping greens ensure a stiff test, it isn’t going to beat you up.
It was also pleasing to have such short walks from green-to-tee and partly as a result of this our round took a little over 3 hours which is very good for this type of competition.

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