FineGolf in NE England

Added on October 23rd, 2012 by
Posted in New courses reviewed

cleveland golf club reviewed, finest golf coursesConsidering the wide geographical spread of the North East area in Frank Pennink’s Golfer’s Companion from Yorkshire to Northumberland, he chose to include comparatively few clubs from this area in his brilliant book.

Predictably, he selected Ganton and the three heathland clubs north of Leeds, Moortown, Sand Moor and Alwoodley and then went all the way to Goswick, the delightful links just short of the Scottish border, that I am told, by an expert, has a high proportion of fine grass.

Brancepeth Castle golf club reviewed, finest golf coursesHe also chose an upmarket traditional club, The Northumberland, inside the High Gosforth Park racecourse, north of Newcastle, before finally completing his selection with the tenth oldest club in England, the links at Seaton Carew.

I therefore was fascinated and pleased to discover three more courses among the industrial and mining areas around Durham on a recent trip, to add to the FineGolf website.

The first of these is Cleveland on South Tees-side, the oldest golf club and the only links course in Yorkshire, which had the finest greens, with high fescue content, I have played on for some time. READ FineGolf’s Cleveland REVIEW 

South Moor golf club reviewed, finest golf coursesSecondly, and unusually for FineGolf, the deerpark, parkland course at Brancepeth Castle near Durham. Designed by England’s most prolific golf course architect Harry Colt in 1924, with its famous deep ravines and where the recently retired honorary secretary Arthur Chadwick has been so pivotal over the Club’s years in bringing this course to a standard where it achieves Finegolf’s accreditation.

Thirdly, South Moor, a hillside/moorland course between the old mining town of Stanley and some large wind turbines. South Moor, built on ridge-and-furrow farmland in 1923, attracted Alistair Mackenzie (the famous golf course architect who gained world recognition) to incorporate an area of moorland for an eighteen hole design. Interestingly, although there is a lack of definitive history to confirm unequivocally, it is felt there are still four or five Mackenzie holes and greens to this day and holes eight to seventeen are fine challenges on running ground. READ FineGolf’s South Moor REVIEW

Seaton Carew golf club reviewed, finest golf coursesThe fourth course that we played on this long weekend was of course the renowned championship links of Seaton Carew on North Tees-side. Though some have remarked disparagingly with regard to its domination by a nearby large nuclear power station, along with other industrial plants that encroach on the inland side and the normal wildness of the links view, in fact these distractions are distant and add in a funny way to the character of the experience, which is one of outstanding championship ‘running’ golf.

I have no hesitation in recommending a trip to Cleveland coupled with Seaton Carew and Ganton, as it adds tremendous value to a long weekend of top class, scintillating golf giving that FineGolf ‘joy to be alive’ feeling.


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