This is a very fine parkland layout, housing firm running fairways, with even a hint of heathland towards the far end of the course. The par is 71, SSS 72 and the maximum yardage 6,575.
Founded in 1892 Headingley is the oldest golf club in Leeds, set on the edge of the beautiful suburb of Adel. The current course was laid out and shaped in the early 20th Century by a number of eminent architects including Dr. Alister MacKenzie and Harry S. Colt. Each has left a lasting mark on this very enjoyable venue.
In a completely rural setting the course benefits from many wonderful views and has several memorable holes which make full use of the varied and dramatic terrain.
The standout holes include the downhill opener which features an approach, potentially from an elevated position, played over a stream to an inviting green. The seventh, the first of back-to-back par fives is also an excellent hole where the player who can drive it long and straight has a chance to reach this 556 yarder that has a superb large, angled and multi-tier putting surface.
There’s also a really good stretch of holes at Headingley between the demanding 456-yard par-four 12th and the short but tricky 17th. A wide variety of strokes are required on this six-hole run but it is the green locations of the 13th, 16th and 17th that really set the pulse racing. Each one is very natural in appearance yet features significant contours around and about them which make approach and recovery shots very interesting and asks the golfer to use some imagination and creativity.
Many of the other holes feature tree-lined fairways, many that slope significantly and where approaching the green is favourable from the bottom side.
Leaving yourself under the hole is also important at Headingley since many of the greens have some significant slopes. I can imagine that downhill and sidehill putts will become very taxing when the surfaces are running at their quickest.
Headingley is definitely a course you should seek out and play if heading to Yorkshire. It isn’t in the same class as nearby Alwoodley, Moortown or Sand Moor but it’s not too far behind the last of that trio and certainly makes for a highly rewarding days golf.
There is something about Elie that puts you under a spell. It is a truly magical links that, after just one round, has won a place in my heart and mind forever.
There’s very little that hasn’t been written about the golfing mecca that is St. Andrews.