Golf Course Review of Woodsome Hall Golf Club
Woodsome Hall Golf Course
Reviewed by Ed Battye -
Quick Summary: An elegant course in a magnificent setting
Our 5 Star Rating: 3.6
Some golf clubs hit you with a 'wow' factor the moment you drive through their gates. Woodsome Hall is certainly one of those.
It is a traditional club steeped in history but also provides a fair test of golf and recent work to the bunkering at this West Yorkshire course has given it a pleasing facelift.
The front nine at Woodsome Hall is the pick of the two halves. Not only is it played through the most picturesque part of the course but it also serves up the best holes.
The drive at the first can be intimidating because it is right in front of the imposing 16th century Grade 1 listed clubhouse and adjacent to the putting green where everybody will pause (and watch) whilst you hit your opening tee shot.
The second is a tough uphill par four and is followed by the best par three on the course where a long iron is usually required to find a small circular green, with a subtle ledge running through it, and bunkers lying in wait on either side for anything short. The fourth is also a fine hole which has an angled green sitting perilously close to a charming stone wall that if breached is out of bounds.
Holes five, six and seven place a premium on accuracy rather than length and are perhaps the best chances to steal a birdie on the front side.
Meanwhile the eighth is an excellent, albeit daunting, hole. The main reason it is so good is that it sits right on the edge of par. At 474 yards it plays as a long par four but the incline up to the green and the slope of the fairway, which takes your ball away from the ultimate target, in reality make this hole a par five for most golfers. Add in out-of-bounds to the right, two water hazards to hurdle and a taxing double-tiered green and this ranks as one of the toughest holes I've played.
If the almost inevitable dropped shot comes at the eighth then, like many good courses, the opportunity to recover is immediate. The par five ninth isn't without its dangers but it is reachable in two for longer hitters and offers the chance of redemption although the long, narrow and sloping green keeps you honest until the end plus a small brook could spell disaster for those who risk going for it in two but don't quite make it.
The back nine at Woodsome Hall doesn't quite keep the momentum going and is probably the main reason this course doesn't have more notoriety.
The 10th is a reasonable par three, but nothing more, and so is the final short hole on the course which comes at the 13th. The two holes in-between are both short-ish par fours where the result of your approaches isn't evident until you walk on to the greens. The 14th is an uphill par four, improved much with the new bunkering, and where straight hitting is required. There's nothing wrong with this run of holes, which take you to the highest point on the course, but they lack the sparkle of their preceding counterparts.
One thing for sure at Woodsome is that everything is set up for a dramatic finish over the closing stretch. The 15th is a potentially driveable par four but where bogeys can easily be made from just 20 yards short and left of the green, quite often the case of being 'too close'. The par five 16th is an odd hole which has a 90 degree dog-leg and means those cutting the corner successfully can reach with a short to mid-iron. A new tee has lengthened the downhill 17th but with a tail wind and firm conditions it's possible to leave yourself only a short chip and run second shot to a basin green and an approach which has a wicked slope from left to right. The final hole is not long at around 350 yards but with out of bounds, multiple bunkers and trees it's a tricky conclusion to a very enjoyable course.
Woodsome Hall is at its best on a glorious summer's day when all the flora is in full bloom and the course is playing lush but firm.
It's also worth noting the excellent practice facilities available including an indoor centre above the pro-shop.
Club Website: www.woodsome.co.uk
Tournaments: Open golf competitions at Woodsome Hall Golf Club.
Get Reviewed: Find out how to get your golf course reviewed.