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Rudding Park review
Located just outside the elegant spa town of Harrogate in the heart of rural Yorkshire, Rudding Park describes itself as 'the most comprehensive golfing facility in the North of England'.
Indeed, a full on Monty esque outburst looked on the cards when a fly had the temerity to enter my vision as I lined up what was to prove a rather ragged third shot to the green.
The six hole lay out was opened in 2008 by Bernard Gallacher and as Geoff explained has proved popular with a variety of clients, be it those members looking to squeeze in a quick hour during lunch or after work, the youngsters learning the game at the academy or even Lacoste Tennis Shoes Women
Having run Prada Womens Shoes Fall 2017 up a chunter inducing seven on what is a largely tame par four, solace arrived in the shape of an elderly gentleman from the four ball behind who handed over the errant club covers and seemingly with them a serving of perspective as tranquility returned to Red Ralph Lauren Canvas Shoes
From the tee the hole slopes from left to right and, with a large fairway bunker lurking and more sand guarding the green, accuracy is a must and par will always feel like a satisfying score.
A really eye catching hole, it marks the beginning of a challenging closing stretch including the tough par five 16th which plays all of its 468 yards into the wind.
That it did was probably also down to the scenic, sleepy surrounds which lend an air of serenity to a venue which feels untouched yet remains immaculately kept.
Although only opened in 1995, it has a look and feel of maturity beyond its relatively tender years and manages to strike the right balance between accommodating the amateur golfer whilst still offering a challenge to the more experienced player.
Testing tee shotAnd in the nick of time to be honest, with the tee shot from the 13th as difficult as anything on the course, demanding accuracy and decent length to navigate past and over an imposing tree to the right and a hedge than runs directly in front of you.
The stunning par 72 course runs through the heart of the site's 19th century parkland and, with friendly weather conditions abetting our two ball, the Martin Hawtree designed lay out certainly cut a picturesque trail.
Quite some claim, but with an 18 hole championship course, a six hole short course constructed to USGA specifications, a Golf Academy featuring a floodlit 18 bay covered driving range as well as a stunning 50 bedroom hotel with award winning restaurant, it certainly has most bases covered.
The 14th is arguably the course's signature hole; having re entered the boundary wall of the original estate you make your way through a short woodland track to a par three that would not be out of place at Augusta surrounded by rhododendrons and mature trees with the green protected by bunkers to the front and right.
I blame my partner for managing to leave his driver in the car and ensuring that a leisurely saunter to the first tee turned into a bit of a dash to go and retrieve it and get back in time to sneak ahead of a four ball who looked ready to pinch our earlier tee off slot.
With any wind usually aiding, the downhill par four 17th offers a realistic birdie chance providing your drive is true, but while not much further the 388 yard 18th proves a deceptively long closing hole.
With the sixth a par five back into the prevailing wind with a tee shot again disrupted by water Palladium Boots White For Men
These legs would have been happy to join them at that stage, but our work was not yet done with a trip around the Repton Short Course with Golf Academy Manager Geoff Harris next on the agenda.
Early angstStill, having escaped with a bogey five on the card and secured another at the second following a rather more convincing effort with the driver, any early angst soon dissipates.
Sadly this party did not have the opportunity to test out the capabilities of either hotel or restaurant during a flying visit, although there were words of praise for the bacon rolls picked up from the halfway house on the 18 hole Hawtree Course.
The fifth hole presents the first par three test with water once again in your eye line as you take to the tee and, with a bunker also protecting the front of the green, there's plenty to think about as you wield your iron.
The 436 yard par four seventh runs parallel back alongside it before you exit the original boundary walls of the 19th century estate and head into a green expanse next door which houses holes eight to 13 with rolling Yorkshire countryside as far as the eye can see.
And what a way to kill an hour. any concerns that our jaunt might turn out to be six holes too far proved wholly unfounded with the course a really pleasing and fun contrast to its big brother.
A couple of closing sixes ensure a rather erratic round is signed off in fitting style under the gaze of a couple of groups who had long since retired to the welcoming patio area in front of the clubhouse.
this time a stream running across the fairway course management skills are required if your scorecard is to retain a respectable look.
the odd bridegroom and party staying at the hotel and looking to kill an hour on the morning of the big day.
And the course has certainly entertained some big names with the likes of Bill Clinton and former mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, amongst those to have tested themselves over the 6,883 yard track.
On paper the first is a relatively straightforward downhill par four, but throw in a hurried tee shot that barely gets off the floor and scuttles into the second cut down the right of the fairway and it becomes that bit more testing.
Two further par threes appear in that stretch, the eighth and the 11th the latter a good test at 191 yards with a bunker waiting for anything short and left.
Water features on eight of the 18 holes and the sand hazards on display provide a subtle, unobtrusive test in keeping with the history of the location of the course.
With some encouraging early form having disappeared without trace, along with a couple of club covers, spirits waned rather especially following a wild slice from the tee at the 12th which is all uphill for the first 200 plus yards.
Having negotiated the brutish third which demands a tee shot over water and, for all but the mighty hitters, two further blows uphill to a large testing green, the front nine winds back past the imposing hotel building.
The second also requires a clean strike with a stream lying in wait for anything short, but having found the green in regulation and walked off with pars all was once again well with the world.
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