It’s one of several fine courses that support the undisputed top trio of Alwoodley, Ganton and Moortown.
Originally named ‘The Sheffield & District Golf Club’ (look out for the old tee markers) Lindrick certainly compares comfortably alongside the likes of second tier bedfellows such as Huddersfield, Pannal, Fulford, Halifax, Sand Moor, Cleveland and Hallamshire.
The main advantage that Lindrick has over the majority of other venues in this part of the world is the exceptionally firm and fast ground conditions that it boasts. It was brilliant to see so much roll on the ball in the early season and I suspect that the members enjoy good quality golf for 12 months of the year on this lovely parcel of heath and moorland turf that stretches out across Lindrick Common.
As you might expect there is an abundance of gorse, which was in full bloom during my most recent visit in April 2017, and this certainly adds to the challenge along with the tufty rough lining several of the fairways. The silver birches that flank many of the fairways frame the holes beautifully whilst the property is also a location of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) which recognises the course as containing some unusual and rare examples of the UK's flora and fauna.
Lindrick often finds itself hosting the County Amateur Championship and is undeniably a very fine test of golf, especially at the elite amateur level. Due to the firmness you are continually asked to work the ball, whether it be from the tee or into the greens; very rarely does the ball end up close to where it lands.
Although the fairway bunkering from the tee is a little bit hit and miss the approach and greenside traps are extremely impressive and often act as the main defence for a hole. And whilst the penalty for missing on the wrong side is not as severe as some courses of similar ilk there are certainly a few ‘no-go’ areas. The greens fit particularly well with their surrounds and the contouring of the putting surfaces is absolutely superb; from 100 yards and in Lindrick is a true delight and undoubtedly its strongest feature.
The best holes on the front nine in my opinion are the dog-leg second, which has a simply fantastic green complex, and the ninth where the fall-away nature of the green, at this 436-yard two-shotter, calls for plenty of imagination (and a healthy dose of luck) on the approach.
There are a number of strong holes on the inward half too. The 13th is of epic proportions with an invigorating drive before a wonderful uphill approach to a green that is well guarded by sand, gorse and steep slopes. The 16th is also a stand-out hole and again it is the green complex that makes it so very good; tilted from front-to-back and right-to-left you really don’t want to miss it on the right because of this, however, a deep quarry to the left means that only the brave will not bail out to the right. The iconic par-three 18th works very well as a finishing hole too, sitting under the shadow of the clubhouse, and is easily the pick of the short holes.
There’s little to be critical of at Lindrick because for the most part it goes about its business in a solid, subtle and reserved manner. The new 12th, on the opposite side of the busy A57 road to its predecessor, is perhaps a little out of touch with the rest of the course, both in style and location. The hole itself is actually bedding down nicely now but the 300-yard trek from the 11th green to the tee and then the 200-yard walk from the green to the 13th (blue) tee adds an unwelcome extra half a kilometre walk onto your round. The road is a bit of nuisance in all honesty; whereas some roads that dissect a course can add a certain charm this is an ugly commuter rat-run and although a couple of tunnels have been built so that you don't actually have to 'cross' the road anymore Lindrick suffers due to its presence.
Elsewhere, the par-five fourth, with its famous sunken green location that backs on to the River Ryton, is a bit of a marmite hole too. I personally don’t mind it but will never argue that it’s a great hole. Bernard Darwin was more blunt when he stated, “It’s the worst hole on the course” however he added that “…it should never be altered!”
I wouldn't class Lindrick as one of my personal favourite courses but overall there are many more positives than negatives and located mid-way between the M1 and A1 it’s a very accessible venue and one I would suggest you seek out. The Club has an important place in history too, as one of an elite number of golf courses to have staged the Ryder Cup. Indeed, it was here that Great Britain defeated the USA to win the Ryder Cup back in 1957.
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.