A read through the 20th revision of The Dr. Alister MacKenzie Chronology 1870 – 1934 by the MacKenzie Research Group reveals how busy Alister MacKenzie was during 1913 – inspecting, reporting and planning all over Yorkshire; from Harrogate to Halifax and from Hallamshire to Headingley.
The document fails to mention any of MacKenzie’s work at Crosland Heath so that particular project flies well under the radar of those who normally do such a brilliant job of detailing the Good Doctor’s movements back in the day. Even the Huddersfield Daily Examiner report from 7th August 1913 doesn’t name the architect:
“When the members of Cowlersley Golf Club get their new course at Crosland Heath there is one thing of which they will not be able to complain. They cannot say there is any lack of variety… it requires very little of the imaginative faculty to see that away on top of the hills above the Sands House Inn the players will have a course full of interest from the first hole to the last.”
Crosland Heath Golf Club was founded the following year, operating its new heathland course on a landscape of disused quarries and redundant farmland, with spectacular views available from its high vantage point across to Huddersfield and beyond. Not much has changed here in more than a hundred years since then.
Today’s course measures just over 6,000 yards from the back markers, playing to a par of 71; 36 out and 35 in. Highlights here include the long par four 5th (rated stoke index 1); the short par four 7th (played to a long, narrow green) and all three short holes on the back nine, each of which plays to a different point on the compass.
Crosland Heath, West Yorkshire, is an absolute cracker of a course (Alistair McKenzie design), fabulous value for money, scenic and tremendous welcome from the professional and members.
If you want something different and memorable from a game of golf look no further than Crosland Heath.
The quarry complex is something I haven’t seen before or since (Erewash has a 2 hole quarry complex but at this level) and it’s on the fully exposed part of the course so the wind comes into play a lot making the shots even more tricky.
As previous reviewer describes, the 1st hole par 5 leads you into the quarry complex and in all 5 holes are played in it. So much fun.
The rest of the course is well drained and moorland in character, with some interesting holes, but it is always the quarry complex you will remember. It’s more than the Quarry of course, but these do define this course and it is well worth playing alongside some of the other quality courses within the region.
Crosland Heath Golf Club sits high on the hills above Huddersfield. It has commanding views of the town and down through the Colne Valley and as its name suggests this is a pure heathland golf course.
It's made all the more special by no less than five holes that are played over old quarries.
'The Heath' is one of my personal favourite courses because you have to conjure up a wide variety of shots, especially when the wind blows, which it often does. Some of the recovery shots you are faced with can be quite daunting and as a result many of the holes are played on edge, something I like and what few courses can do. The property is also well draining and thus makes it playable 12 months of the year.
The first hole is a par five and the quarry, which we are immediately introduced to, comes into play for the approach whether it be your second, third or fourth shot! A delightful par three follows, again over a deep depression, where if you miss the green you are in real trouble. The fourth, played tight alongside the out-of-bounds practice ground, and the fifth are both strong par fours.
The 7th is driveable in length but requires you to thread the eye of the needle through a narrow fairway flanked by heather and a deep bunker just shy of the green.
The front nine ends in dramatic fashion with a par three that is virtually an island green as it is surrounded by the quarries, heather and bushes.
The stretch of holes from the 10th to the 15th is played over less interesting ground and it is this middle part of the course that is the weakest but still doesn't disappoint.
Undoubtedly the best hole on the entire course is the 16th. It has a fairway that slopes and angles slightly left to right and is played uphill to a narrow green hidden between two large hummocks. Setting up a birdie chance here requires two of your best shots on a hole that has wrecked many a scorecard.
The round closes with another par three over the quarry, albeit a much larger target this time, before a downhill hole with a blind drive but an inviting green surrounded by bunkers.
If your golf ever takes you to the Huddersfield area this is certainly a course you should play.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.