Colts Northern Classics
A collection of outstanding Harry Colt designed courses in Northumberland and Durham
Colts Northern Classics
A collection of outstanding Harry Colt designed courses in Northumberland and Durham represent an excellent introduction to golf in the North East.
Brancepeth Castle is situated in the historic village of Brancepeth, four miles south-west of the Cathedral City of Durham on the A690 to Crook.
The course was designed by the famous architect Harry Colt – the man behind Royal Portrush and many fine heathland courses – and laid out on what was Brancepeth Castle Deer Park. The stables and coach house have been converted into the clubhouse.
At 6,400 yards, it still provides a sound test to many of the country’s leading amateurs who meet annually to compete in the club’s open amateur 36-hole stroke play championship for the Leonard Crawley Medal. A regular venue for Durham Championship and inter-club matches, Brancepeth’s well-manicured parkland course has played host to a number of significant events.
Peter Alliss has said if he could choose 18 holes around which to create a course, the 9th at Brancepeth would be one of them. The signature 9th hole is a truly memorable one about which Peter Alliss has said that if he could choose 18 holes around which to create a golf course, the 9th at Brancepeth would certainly be one of them.
In an American golf magazine it was recently adjudged to be the hardest 9th hole in the world. Like the 2nd, the green at the 9th was cut out of the hillside. The difference here is that the tee shot of about 200 yards is played along the length of a narrow green which slopes away from the tee. Having hit what is a very difficult target the player may be faced with a downhill putt on a green which is incredibly fast.The deep ravine cutting through the course, provides some challenging tee shots. No less than an authority as Alliss makes mention of it in his book, the Good Golf Guide.
He writes: “Locally considered the most testing course in the region, not a judgement I would quarrel with. This is no course for the topper and scuffer. Disaster is immediately in wait on at least seven of the holes in the form of the ravine that intersects the course.”
Alnmouth Golf Club overlooks the splendours of both Foxton and Alnmouth Bay on the Northumberland coastline in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. It is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the North East of England. Although the course has a coastal location it has parkland turf and a reputation for the fine quality of the greens and superb presentation. Recently chosen as one of the TOP 100 HIDDEN GEM golf courses in the UK by Golf Monthly magazine.
A special feature of "Foxton", as it is generally known, is a 26-bed Dormy House within the clubhouse offering hotel accommodation, English Tourism 3 Star rating, to groups of visiting golfers in very comfortable twin or single rooms with en suite facilities.
Designed by its members and founded in 1898, the Northumberland golf course is a fine test of ability for all levels of golfer and one that is certainly worth sampling, if you have the stamina that is. Measuring 6683 yards from the first tee to the last pin, it is quite long but is laid on mainly flat parkland so isn't too heavy on the legs. Just off the A1 five miles from Newcastle, it is also fairly easy to find.
It has a standard scratch of 72 which is representative both of the distance of the course as well as the challenges that lie in wait for you there. You will find some tricky little hazards to overcome and successfully negotiate to score well.
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