Attractice parkland course with good but tricky greens


Hessle Golf Club

Date Reviewed
April 28, 2016
Reviewed by Ed Battye
Hessle is one of the better parkland golf courses in Yorkshire.

The gently undulating property lends itself to some lovely holes, particularly the two-shotters.

The greens also have some superb movement in them (more on that later) and I can safely say that I very much enjoy my annual visit here for the 36-Hole Raywell Classic Scratch Open.

The Club dates back to 1898 but only moved to its current site at Raywell in 1975 when Allis, Thomas and Partner were retained to design and construct the new course.

The par fours definitely highlight the best bits of the layout with the first, sixth, seventh, 13th, 15th and 17th arguably being the best half-a-dozen holes on the course. Some are flat, some are uphill, some are downhill and others play across the terrain resulting in a variety of approach shots required. Some of the holes ask you to work it left-to-right from the tee whilst others require you to shape it the other way.

There are four par fives on the course and whilst none of them are overly long (the longest is 516 yards) there are plenty of sand traps along the way to contend with and tricky greens at the end. Meanwhile the quartet of short holes also present a nice mix ranging from 146 to 203 yards.

Virtually all of the greens on the course are well defended by bunkers and although the fairways are relatively generous the tree-lined nature of the course means that you can’t venture too far offline. All-in-all Hessle is a good test of golf from start to finish.

Arguably the best feature of Hessle is the putting surfaces. There are some wonderful borrows on them; many subtle but mostly very pronounced. A number of them have an 'upturned saucer' nature to them which won't be to everybody's liking but it certainly calls for a deft touch and if you escape from your round without a three-putt you will have done extremely well. Some of the larger ones effectively have 'greens within greens' where there are different sections and finding the correct one is vital. This really makes the course stand-out and in my opinion superior, and certainly more interesting, to courses of similar ilk. The actual condition of the greens has always been excellent on my visits here too.

It was a real shame that when I played here for the first time back in 2015 the greenkeeper had decided to set the course up verging on the ridiculous, presumably to protect par. Rather than selecting a good mix of hole locations to showcase their fabulous greens the pins were cut tight in corners and/or on quite severe slopes or crests. However, the return visit the following year was much more acceptable and whilst there were a number of difficult hole locations nothing bordered on unfair.

Hessle is a course that is well worth a visit and very accessible just off the M62 near Hull.

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