Alister MacKenzie was responsible for laying out the course at Bramall Park Golf Club and these 18 holes opened for play in 1922. Apart from when a couple of holes were reconfigured in 1967, the course largely remains true to its original design.
Originally founded in 1894, Bramall Park was re-designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie in 1921 and is one of only two courses in the Cheshire Union attributed to the good doctor. It would be fair to say that this isn't amongst his best known work but it's always been in wonderful condition on my handful of visits and is certainly well worth playing.
The course is a compact parkland layout located three miles to the south of Stockport in an area that is positively packed with golf courses. The holes are routed over a triangular parcel of land closely bordered by woodland, a housing estate and the railway. At less than 6,200 yards this is not a long course but it will test most who play here. There are opportunities to open your shoulders but for much of your round accuracy from the tee is the most important element.
The first can be a tricky opener with out of bounds up the left and a troublesome stream to contend with just before the green. In fact, the first two holes offer ample opportunity to visit the neighbouring gardens but this is the only time that suburbia really interferes with your round. The same stream becomes an even tougher proposition when cutting across the front of the 400-yard 8th hole. Prior to this, the 4th is a short but picturesque par-3, the 6th is an excellent, genuine par-5 and the 7th, another much tougher par-3, plays uphill across a slope to a well-defended green. All are fine holes.
The stronger back nine kicks off with two difficult par-4s which run alongside the railway line, a par at either might well feel like a birdie. Bunkers situated forty yards short of the green must be avoided at all costs on the 11th with the raised green adding another layer of difficulty. All of the short holes are interesting, the 15th being no exception. The green is ringed by bunkers and any shot hit short or to the right will feed away down the hill leaving a very difficult recovery shot. Admittedly I wouldn’t want to play all my golf here but I've always enjoyed society or county card days at Bramall Park and would happily return.