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2 miles S of York
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Charles A. Mackenzie, Mackenzie & Ebert
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. A major renovation has recently been completed by Mackenzie & Ebert.
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.