Clitheroe - Lancashire - England

Clitheroe Golf Club,
Whalley Road,
Clitheroe,
Lancashire,
BB7 1PP,
England


  • +44 (0) 1200 422292

  • Steve Alcock

  • James Braid

  • Paul McEvoy

Immortalised by the famous artist L.S. Lowry, the Lancashire town of Clitheroe is situated close to the beautiful Forest of Bowland. To the north lies Skipton, the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. Beware of Pendle Hill, especially during Halloween; the Pendle witches come from here.

The Clitheroe Golf Club was originally founded in 1891 and, in those days, golf was played on farmland at Horrocksford. A much better parcel of land was found in the heart of the Ribble Valley at Barrow Gardens and, in 1932, James Braid was commissioned to fashion a new 18-hole course. Slowly but surely the new Clitheroe came of age and, in 1937, the American Ryder Cup Captain Walter Hagen played here in an exhibition match.

Peter commented on our article as follows: “Re: ‘Clitheroe is no championship test’ comment – In the 2010 British Open Championship Regional Qualifying event now held at Clitheroe, only one of the professionals and scratch or better amateurs broke par on a pleasant June day.”

Measuring 6,504 yards from the tips, against a par of 71, Clitheroe is no championship test, but it does represent a strategic challenge for golfers of all levels. Accuracy from the tee is all-important because there are trees aplenty waiting to stymie anything hit slightly off line. The course itself is routed in the same fashion as Muirfield. The outward nine holes run clockwise around the edge of the course and the inward nine run anti-clockwise, sitting inside the outward nine. This cunning routing configuration ensures that when the weather rolls in from Pendle Hill the wind hits you from all directions.

Undeniably, Clitheroe is one of the best inland courses in Lancashire and there are some fine holes to be played here. Arguably the best, and considered the signature hole, is the memorable par three 17th. Despite measuring a mere 150 yards from the back tees, this hole is no pushover. The sloping green is viciously protected by a stream, which runs across the front of the green and to the left. Additionally, numerous bunkers lie in wait. A par here will feel like a birdie.

Combine a game at nearby Pleasington with a round at Clitheroe and you will have played two cracking inland courses.

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Reviews for Clitheroe

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Description: Undeniably, Clitheroe Golf Club is one of the best inland courses in Lancashire and there are some fine holes to be played here. Rating: 3.5 out of 6 Reviews: 8

The county of Lancashire is well-known for its coastal stretch of classic links golf courses. However, once you head inland it is very much more a case of quantity and not real quality.

Clitheroe is an exception to this rule and must vie for the title of best inland course in the Red Rose county.

Clitheroe is a course that will test every part of your game and this is done through a variety of holes. There are three of four really demanding par fours that must be negotiated successfully if you are to score well here.

The majority of these come in a batch of holes from the seventh through to the 12th. Seven is a very good long par four with a taxing two-tiered green whilst the 11th and 12th are also both long two-shotters with sloping greens. The eighth is a 200+ yard par three and whilst the ninth and 10th are not particularly long they have greens which are tricky to find and hold…

Clitheroe is fairly generous from the tee but ensuring you leave your ball below the flag on many of the greens is essential. The course is a regular regional qualifying venue for The Open Championship so expect a true test.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

3 / 6
Clitheroe
March 02, 2017


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Lancashire may be best known for its outstanding links courses but drive just a few miles inland and the red rose county boasts a handful of good quality parkland layouts, Clitheroe being one of the better ones. We played immediately following an autumnal downpour which left the fairways a little soggy in places but the course lacked nothing in terms of presentation and Clitheroe Golf Course - Photo by reviewerthe well protected greens were in excellent condition throughout. The tree lined terrain is predominantly flat but a number of holes have been cleverly routed to make good use of two ditches that run through the course. The difficult 3rd and attractive short 17th both make excellent use of this feature and are two of the best holes on the course. Others that stick in the memory include the much improved 5th, another good par-3 requiring a well struck iron to clear the re-designed pond and the tricky 11th which demands an accurate downhill shot to a sloping green complete with narrow entrance. Anything long here falls away sharply from the back of the green leaving a difficult recovery. The finishing holes are very good indeed. The dogleg 16th may only be a relatively short par-4 but the approach to a narrow green sat between a large bunker and the aforementioned ditch deserves respect. The par-5 finishing hole offers a reasonable birdie chance if you can hit the required draw from the tee. We received a friendly welcome from the members and the pro, who's shop is literally packed to the rafters with the latest equipment. Brian W

4 / 6
Clitheroe
October 31, 2016


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It is around 4 last years since my previous visit to Clitheroe and my memories ring true with the comments of prevaious reviewers re poor drainage and inconsistent greens. Played on 11th June and was very impressed indeed.To put this review in context it had rained heavily for 4 of the 5 previous days yet there was no lying water anywhere on the course, all the bunkers were excellent and the greens as good as any I have played this year. Some of the aprons at the front of the greens were soft and holding ( not surprising given recent weather) which meant judging approaches difficult. The greens were however very true and quick and very difficult to hold a ball on. The course is being used for Regional Open qualifying in afew weeks time and there are several greens on which they could come up with some truly wicked greens.The course itself contains a great mix of holes all of which are accompanied by stunning scenery. Stand out holes for me would be the 3rd ( tough par 4), the 4th ( great short par 4), the 5th (stunning short par 3) and I particularly enjoyed the final 3 which are made up of a great but dangerous short par 4 16th ( wicked green), short par 3 17th (water in play and wicked green) and the par 5 18th which is a very generous finishing hole which provides a great birdie chance.Overall this is a course were you feel you should score well, but to do so will require lots of skill in and around the greensFinally a mention for the catering - sausage sandwich absolutely first class and a very well stocked pros shop which is a veritable aladdins cave of golf gear.A great course which is now firmly back on my list of favourites.
5 / 6
Clitheroe
June 12, 2012


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James Andrews
September 02, 2012
Great course which rewards good shots and punishes anything else. Not the longest course you'll ever play but very challenging.
Played Clitheroe several times , never really impressed me ! Seems to be a bit of a mix up of quality on the greens . Too many holes up and down ,lots of opportunity if you're a bit erratic to be on another fairway - and of course be on the receiving end of a bit of wildness !
3 / 6
Clitheroe
July 29, 2011


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Played the course today in a competition with exactly the same set up as the open qualifier two days before. Enjoyed it, especially off the back tees, but unfortunately the course has a problem with drainage on at least half the holes. I played it a month earlier and there was the same problem. The greens being USGA are quick and dont hold water or a long shot that well, so the contrasting quick greens, with soft run ins make it nearly impossible to judge a running shot into a green. Its strange to have bone dry quick greens with wet, soft areas in front. Major investment needs to be made to make this course extremely good and a fairer test of golf. Perhaps the R&A could fund the project as its one of their regional qualifiers.
3 / 6
Clitheroe
June 22, 2011


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Played this course recently in a visiting four ball, the course was not in the best condition after a wet few days. My gripe would not be the course but the lack of information on bookingas I feel we should have been told that the fairways were not in use and you could play off mats or move your ball to the first cut. Nearly all tees were off mats, no electric trolleys were allowed. Just wish we had been told these things. I couldn't in all honesty comment on the course as the greens were the only part we played on and they were not the best.We couldn't even get a beer as the club house was closed when we got back at 5.30pmNot the best experience.
3 / 6
Clitheroe
March 02, 2011


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John Holt
March 24, 2011
The R & A agronomist made his visit within a week of your game and said he thought the greens were amazing.It just goes to show opinions vary.
This is a well renowned course locally and hosted local open qualifying this year, but i think there are several better courses not too far away. The course has been in very good condition both times i've been although there aren't too many stand out holes, 11 16 & 17 were my favourites. Worth playing but not as good as Preston or Pleasington.
3 / 6
Clitheroe
September 04, 2010


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Played Clitheroe for the first time in Sept and I thought this was great. Well established parkland course with a tremendous Lancs welcome .. Some decent holes and my picks were the 11th and the 17th, the later being a fab par 3 with a diagonal stream to protect the green .... very decent people here - hope to return.
4 / 6
Clitheroe
November 18, 2005


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