Fulford - Yorkshire - England

Fulford Golf Club,
Heslington Lane,
York,
YO10 5DY,
England


  • +44 (0)1904 413579

  • Richard Kilshaw

  • Major Charles Mackenzie

  • Guy Wills


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Fulford Golf Club is located just one mile from the centre of the historic city of York. It's a high-class heathland/parkland course, home to the Benson and Hedges International Open during the 1970s and 1980s. This televised tournament immediately made Fulford a household name and gave it nationwide recognition as one of the country's best inland courses.

The club was founded in 1906 but it moved to its current site in 1935 after James Braid identified the land a few years earlier. Major Charles MacKenzie, the brother of the legendary Alister MacKenzie of Augusta National fame, designed the course on predominantly sandy ground. The fairways wind their way between avenues of trees. But there's one particular tree at Fulford that will remain a monument to Bernhard Langer for as long as it lives.

In the 1981 B&H International, Langer hit his approach shot to the 17th into the branches of a large ash tree. Amazingly, the ball remained lodged. Rather than taking a penalty drop, Langer decided to shin up the tree and play the shot from where it lay. From a precarious and unusual stance, Langer chipped out and to everyone's astonishment, the ball landed on the green. A plaque on the same tree now commemorates Langer's remarkable feat.

Measuring 6,779 yards from the back tees, Fulford is a serious test for the handicap golfer, but the course is too short for today's long hitting professionals. Just ask Ian Woosnam. "Woosie" posted the All-Comers' course record in 1985 with an amazing 62.

It is most unlikely that we'll have the chance to score 62, but we'll certainly enjoy Fulford. It's a fine golf course in a beautiful part of the country and, thanks to Langer, it will always be remembered.

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Reviews for Fulford

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Description: Fulford Golf Club will always be remembered for the tree-climbing exploits of Bernhard Langer in the 1981 Benson & Hedges International. Rating: 4.9 out of 6 Reviews: 23

The true glory days of Fulford Golf Club may now be behind it but the course still remains a fine and fair test of golf and is undeniably one of Yorkshire’s best venues.

Its days of staging 23 consecutive European Tour events in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s firmly put Fulford on the global golfing map before modern day professional golf ran riot with many of the country’s classic courses.

The course, located close to the city centre of York on flat land, begins as a fast-running parkland course as it heads away from the clubhouse towards the busy A64 that dissects the course into two distinct parts. Cross the road and you enter a more wooded setting with a touch of heathland about it before re-crossing the road and playing the final five holes parallel to the opening stretch.

After a very solid start, which includes the excellent par-three third, the eight holes across the bridge showcase the best of Fulford. There are three superb par fives amongst this stretch of holes, that change direction often, as well as a number of excellent par fours (the tough 13th is undoubtedly the most note worthy) and a fine one-shotter at the tenth.

As at most of the holes at Fulford being in play from the tee is paramount, however, your task is not an easy one because there are several very well placed bunkers at various lengths from the tee. Quite often the fairways narrow at the ideal driving distance as bunkers pinch the fairway and necessitate accurate driving. Many of the holes are also lined by trees and/or gorse and this makes the course play even narrower. At the 17th you can even be on the fairway and not have a shot at the green because you are blocked out by a large oak.

I always enjoy an annual visit to Fulford for their 36 hole scratch event, the MacKenzie Salver named after the designer Major Charles MacKenzie (brother of the more famous Alister), held in September each year. The Club hold many other opens during the season and I would strongly advise a play here.

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

4 / 6
Fulford
April 28, 2017


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I have friends who think Fulford is “flat and boring” but that’s not a fair assessment of this course which is well worthy of a visit. Flat it certainly is and although there are holes that may seem similar, most have their own distinctive character, just like the famous players they are named after.The best example is Langer, the 17th, which apart from its famous tree whose history is well documented elsewhere, presents players with a challenge from the moment they tee up the ball. Just 354 yards off the whites, your driver is best left in the bag as the only place to land if you want a clear view of the green is well left and short. Whoever claimed that trees are 90 per cent air hasn’t ended to the right of centre on this fairway, where you find yourself completely blocked by a monster that resembles something out of Jack and the Beanstalk. To make things worse, you then have to jab out sideways to avoid the ditch running across the end of the fairway. The greens in October were true and fairly slick, and the rest was immaculately maintained, testimony to the club’s philosophy of leaving nothing to chance. New bunkering is giving extra definition and will be a fine addition to a quality course. Andy Waple @andywaple
5 / 6
Fulford
October 19, 2015


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Don’t expect to find fairways that pitch and roll across an undulating landscape at Fulford as that’s not how the land lies in this particular part of Yorkshire. It’s pretty flat for much of the round so the main aesthetic interest comes from the large, cleverly contoured greens and a wonderful set of beautifully appointed fairway and greenside bunkers, all of which are currently being restored to original specification by architect Martin Ebert.

The opening five holes head steadily away from the clubhouse in the same general direction before a bridge takes you over the very busy A64 to access Fulford Golf Course - Photo by reviewerholes 6 to 13 on the other side of this main road. There’s little movement in the land until you reach the par five 9th hole, where the fairway gently dips and rises from tee to green. It’s followed by a lovely short par three at the 10th which benefits from the clusters of regenerated heather in front of the green adding greater definition to the hole.

A terrific short par four breaks the sequence of long two-shotters at the 12th, two holes ahead of the final par three, a hole that starts the march for home into the wind. The 17th is a fabulous right doglegged par four, the famous “Langer” ash tree dominating the left side of a green that sits behind a cunning ditch.

Fulford’s one of the of the most famous championship courses in British golf, having hosted 23 European Tour events between 1967 and 1991 and since that golden age for professional golf tournaments in the north of England, the course has never reached the same level of national prominence.

The current ambitious bunker restoration program, once completed, might just see people talking about the undoubted quality of Fulford once again.

Jim McCann.

5 / 6
Fulford
October 17, 2015


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steve
October 18, 2015
Very good review and i couldnt agree more. Fulford is an excellent golf course and when i play there you are always made welcome and are presented with a lovely golf course.
What a lovely club and course. 11 of us played it in mid June on the first day of our annual golf tour and were delighted all round. We had lunch on the patio and were delighted when the Club President came out to see us and ask where we were from and wished us a good round. We got a similar warm welcome from some members in the car park before playing and similarly afterwards. The course itself is lovely. Well presented, well thought out, lovely greens and challenging bunkers and hazards (without being ridiculous). Well worth playing in our view, especially for just £35 on County Cards.
5 / 6
Fulford
June 17, 2015


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This is has been a bucket list course I've wanted to play for a few years now and I finally got the opportunity to play Fulford GC last week. It certainly lived up to expectations, a brilliant heathland/parkland course which is a cracking test of golf. The Out and In layout means the wind direction plays a major factor round this track providing it stays consistent. The Par 4's are the biggest challenge round Fulford, long and relatively straight but in general you have gone to hit it straight otherwise the trees, gorse and heather will gobble you up quickly and big scores will be shot. Fulford is a fantastically bunkered course, very similar to Alwoodley and Moortown in that sense so positional play is a must off the tee, even with some very long holes. You then Fulford Golf Course - Photo by reviewerhave the huge greens that have large contours with the challenge with your approaches being getting the distance correct as every green is around 40/50 yards long. My personal favourite holes were the 14th Par 3, a beautiful little hole where the green is perched just over a small beck surrounded by the blossoming flowers/bushes. I can imagine this hole in the summer looks visually stunning. From 14 onwards you have a strong set of very tight Par 4s with the famous 17th been another standout. The hole made famous by "Bernhard Langer's tree shot" is a fantastic hole. At only 350 yards don't be fooled by the yardage, a 3 wood off the tee down the left side is ideal otherwise you'll be blocked out then a 130 yard approach to a relatively large green nestled just over another small beck. Langer's tree really does cut into the left hand side of the green and it is easy to see how he ended up stuck in it. You then have a tricky little Par 5 to finish, arguably the narrowest tee shot on the course where a fade off the fairway bunkers is required. If played well you can then a birdie is very make able on this hole. I just missed a 15 foot eagle putt which would have been a great way to finish but all in all Fulford is a beautiful course which doesn't get the attention it probably deserves. So glad I was able to tick this course my list!
5 / 6
Fulford
April 12, 2015


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Fulford is most famous for Bernhard Langer climbing the tree on the 17th, which is such a shame for a super course. The course was in excellent condition, including fast, true greens. There are lots of holes where straight tee shots are required, but the challenge is choosing the correct club to get close to the flag.
5 / 6
Fulford
May 28, 2013


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Having played Fulford regularly over the last 10 years it was once again enjoyable to make the journey over the Pennines in early September. The course was in decent condition despite the heavy rain over the summer. With the weather and like many courses this year it is a little too green with too much grass. I enjoyed playing Fulford the most when it was brown and fast bringing out its true heathland characteristics. Sadly many holes are more parkland nowadays but still pleasant to play. It always amazed me the size of greens, many 45 yards long. Thankfully I was armed with my Skycaddie. It can be so deceptive on the eye so knowing where the flag is situated is so important often resulting in 3 clubs different from front to back. It is a tough start with three Par 4’s well over 400 yards in the first five holes coupled with a 190+ par 3 at the 3rd. After the 5th you cross the A64 main road and it is these holes, 6 to 13 which are my favourite and show more heathland features. Try to leave your tee shot on the 10th below the pin. It is said members never give a putt on this green. The 13th is one of the toughest par 4’s I know, at 486 yards it’s easy to understand why. Quite simply you need to hit your best golf shots of the day. Back over the A64 and head for home. 14 is a neat par 3, once again club selection is critical. 15 another long par 4 which requires very good shots, again taking note of where the pin is remembering it could be 3 clubs different on what is already a 440 yard hole. The 17th the famous Langer tree hole, I bet he couldn’t climb it today! I’ve noticed in 10 years how the trees have grown putting a greater importance on your tee shot which must be down the left side. Anything right and you simply won’t get over the trees in the direction of the green. 18 is a shortest par 5 which can reward 2 good shots. To play Fulford you need to drive the ball well, not only long but straight. With the strategic relocation of many bunkers a very good hitter of the ball will need to way up the risk and reward factor. I feel the Top 100 website view that Fulford is the 5th best course in Yorkshire is a fair one. Yorkshire is blessed with some terrific tracks. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and will return soon. We all have opinions and mine is an admirer of heathland terrain I wish many more trees would be felled to recreate that feel. Marty B
5 / 6
Fulford
September 04, 2012


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An excellent golf course in a beautiful setting with a plethora of interesting holes. Flat terrain means it is not an arduous walk for older people. Holes are tight and it is essential to make an accurate tee shot on most holes, particularly the par threes. Approach shots are tough, but the greens are straightforward as they are mainly flat. They are, however, the best greens I have played on (by a distance) this year. A friendly club and well organised. One of the best clubs in the north of England.
6 / 6
Fulford
August 08, 2012


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lovely course in excellant condition with great staff. a testing course with lots of varied holes and superb greens. in my opinion a bit of woodhall a bit of hollinwell and a bit of ganton, while not quite up there with woodhall all in all a better experiance and test than ganton.fulford should be on your places to play list.
5 / 6
Fulford
August 07, 2012


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Played at Fulford on a bright but blustery March morning and the course was in good condition seeing as the snow had only cleared a week earlier. I’ve got to say that on looking at the card before playing it didn’t look too testing but I was mistaken. It all starts fairly straight forward, hit straight’ish drives avoiding the bunkers and your’ll be left with shots into large receptive greens that are fairly flat. But its around the 12th where things start getting tricky as you turn and head for home. These holes are Yorkshires equivalent to the ‘Burma Road’ at Wentworth. Most holes seemed to have OOB on the left and trouble on the right and it was a tough test with the wind howling of the left. I look forward to going back in the summer to see it at its best.
5 / 6
Fulford
April 27, 2012


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