Wetherby Golf Club’s £350,000 investment for the future

While many golf clubs are struggling in the current financial climate  one Yorkshire club is going from strength to strength and investing for the future. Wetherby Golf Club, founded in 1910, has now completed a £350,000 investment in a redesign of the 17th and 18th holes of this beautiful parkland course, which has been undertaken by one of Europe’s leading golf course architects, Jonathan Gaunt. Construction and earthworks being contracted to NLS Contracts.

Believed to be the largest golf development project  undertaken in Yorkshire in 2017, the new 17th hole is a par three of around 160 yards, playing over a wetland to a green that measures around 600 sq m. “One of the  features on the course was the old railway embankment that runs through our property,” explained  Secretary Manager, Darren Tear. “With the old seventeenth, we had a walk back of around 100 yards  to the tee, which was not ideal. Now, the flow is much more natural and the path through the embankment is more attractive. The hole is a strong one, with plenty of teeing options – and the big green gives us plenty of pin locations of varying difficulties.”The carry to this par 3 hole is over wetlands fed by the numerous natural springs that flow through the course.

The new finishing hole, the 18th, is a 550 yard par five. “The hole meanders down a valley along the side of the railway embankment to a theatre style green 25 yards in front of the clubhouse,” said Darren. “It will give us a much more satisfying and high-quality finishing experience. There’s a good variety of hazards on the golf hole too, ideal for the 18th, with a pond around driving distance, and a natural stream that cuts across the fairway.”

The major construction having been completed by mid July the course and new holes have enjoyed favourable weather conditions that has encouraged growth and “greening” up of seeded areas of greens and fairways so that all new areas are clearly defined and give an impressive view of these new finishing holes.

Another advantage of the redevelopment, and the removal of part of the old railway embankment, is that it opens up a full vista of both the Par 5 1st hole from its raised tee to the raised green and the full sweep of the new 18th,. The construction of the 18th green and the opening up of the embankment gives an uninterrupted view of the opening holes along the River Wharfe. This is immediately noticeable for members and visitors walking from the car park to the Pro Shop and 1st tee. A feature that can be enjoyed from the clubhouse and the raised patio outside the clubhouse. It is rare at any club to have views of both the 1st and 18th from the same vantage point.  “It is now provides a magnificent aspect and a memorable one for visitors with the view from the club house lounge and outside terrace being equally impressive,” said Darren.  “We take great pride in offering both members and visitors exceptional facilities at this friendly Yorkshire club and are sure that everyone will be very impressed with the improved course.  While work has been undertaken we have had two temporary par 3 holes in play and members and visitors have been  patient and understanding in bearing with us as the work was completed.  Next year they will be able to experience the new course and we are hoping it will be open for Captain’s Day  June 2018.

Club President,  Chris Rollason, commented, “One of the first major tournaments to be played on the new course will be the 2018 Wharfe Trophy for top amateurs in Yorkshire and the North of England which is part of the Yorkshire Order of Merit.  We think the players will be impressed with the new layout and will find it a welcome additional challenge.  The fact that the 18th can be seen by those in the clubhouse, and on the terrace, will provide an additional element of theatre to the end of any round or competition.”

“We are looking forward to welcoming visiting parties to our new facilities in 2018 and to continuing to attract new members to Wetherby Golf Club.”