Four years between playing visits at Harewood Downs and we now have a seriously up-graded golf course. In the last year there has been significant bunker work carried out by the team at Mackenzie and Ebert – this company really know what they are doing. The bunkers here at Harewood should be the envy of many clubs and for me, there are many courses with bigger reputations and ranking status with an inferior set of sand hazards. Every hole now is defined and protected in a way that will get the wow factor for those seeing them for the first time and equally by the members who will not tire of the impressive job done.
The course has some very strong holes and obviously due to the land, there are many holes up and downhill but as mentioned, now look very strong indeed. The par-5 2nd is worth a mention, a slight dogleg to the right from the tee and then uphill to well protected green. The very next hole at only 148 yards is a perfect example of how this new bunkering can improve an existing hole; hazards at the front and to the left are perfectly placed, so the tip is to aim at the right of the green to stay safe!
The only routing observation worth a mention is that after playing the par-3 8th hole you need to walk back up the hill to get to the 9th tee – members tip here is play the 8th tee shot, then play the 9th tee shot before holing out on the 8th (obviously not in competition) but saves a tough walk and about ten minutes – two tee shots on different holes consecutively – not normal but well worth it.
The back-9 is a little shorter than the front as there are three par-3’s (2 on the front) but what I do like about the five short holes on the course is the variation in their length; 118 yards-201 yards, which gives great variety.
The final hole is now so much better than when I saw it last – the bunker that now eats in to the fairway from the left at driving distance is a great way to give the hole character as the sensible play is to treat this as a small dogleg rather than the straighter previous version.
Very happy to play here again and also to recommend the course to anyone yet to see the changes – very impressive indeed – NB lots of good stuff going on in the clubhouse too with a number of building upgrades too.