Located close to the spa town of Harrogate, the Harrogate golf club has been opened 1892, when Willie Park Jnr laid out a 9-hole course over an undulating site. Three years later, the club’s landlords, the Duchy of Lancaster, opened a slaughterhouse close to the clubhouse, forcing the club to relocate further out of town to a site owned by the Slingsby Estate at Belmont Farm.
The Golf Club professional Sandy Herd, who designed other Yorkshire courses at Pannal and Wakefield, set out the club’s new 18-hole layout. Harry Colt subsequently recommended routing the course with inner and outer loops of nine holes and Alister MacKenzie is also credited with redesigning the 17th green to create “an entirely artificial plateau green constructed on flat land”.
The course measures 6198 yards not over long by modern standards but consistantly regarded as a true test of golf. The Harrogate course is laid out on gently undulating, wooded terrain and its tree-lined fairways are routed in two returning circuits of nine holes that each contain their fair share of carefully placed sand traps. Three of the five short holes on the card are faced during the outward half (at holes 3, 5 and 9) whilst the back nine concludes with a very strong finishing stretch of par fours from the 15th onwards.