Bramhall Park Golf Club was founded on 8th October 1894, with the entrance fee and annual subscription set at one guinea for the first fifty members. In the end, seventy-five golfers signed up for inaugural membership and the first round of golf on a basic 9-hole course was played on 10th November 1894, less than five weeks after the club’s formation.
The course was extended shortly after World War I when additional land was acquired then Alister MacKenzie was called in to improve the layout in 1921. His letter to the club outlining what could be done for £2,300 was considered at a Committee Meeting on 1st February 1921 and a report the following month indicated work had started on the new 7th green.
The club also mentions on the history page of its website: “In 1934 further improvements to the course were made following advice from James Braid. These included the addition of 15 bunkers, the laying of 2,000 yards of drainpipe on the 6th fairway and the planting of the poplars down the side of the 10th & 11th fairways.”
Today, the course measures 6,184 yards from the back markers, playing to a par of 35. Feature holes include short par fours at the 2nd and 13th; the first of the par threes at the 118-yard 4th (with a sloping raised green and four bunkers embedded in the severe banks); and the shorter of the two par fives on the card at the right doglegging 496-yard 14th.
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.