Hessle Tennis & Golf Club, as the club was originally called, started out with a 6-hole course at Hesslewood in 1898. Twenty-four years later, a move was made to property attached to Hesslewood Hall, where a 9-hole course was brought into play.
A further nine holes were added in 1935 and these were located on the north side of the Hull-Ferriby Road. The 18-hole layout was rated as a par 67, with seven par threes and only one par five on the scorecard.
In the late 1960s, it became apparent that the course would get caught up in road development associated with the new Humber Bridge so a decision was taken to relocate five miles north to a 120-acre farmland site at Raywell.
Alliss, Thomas and Partners were chosen for the design and construction work began in December 1972, with the new layout officially opened by the EGU President George Walker on 19th October 1975.
In the mid-1990s, it was decided to convert the greens to USGA-specification putting surfaces and this project was widened in scope to include the redesign of both the green surrounds and greenside bunkers.
Hessle is one of the better parkland golf courses in Yorkshire. The gently undulating property lends itself to some lovely holes, particularly the two-shotters.
The greens also have some superb movement in them (more on that later) and I can safely say that I very much enjoy my annual visit here for the 36-Hole Raywell Classic Scratch Open.
The Club dates back to 1898 but only moved to its current site at Raywell in 1975 when Allis, Thomas and Partner were retained to design and construct the new course.
The par fours definitely highlight the best bits of the layout with the first, sixth, seventh, 13th, 15th and 17th arguably being the best half-a-dozen holes on the course. Some are flat, some are uphill, some are downhill and others play across the terrain resulting in a variety of approach shots required. Some of the holes ask you to work it left-to-right from the tee whilst others require you to shape it the other way.
There are four par fives on the course and whilst none of them are overly long (the longest is 516 yards) there are plenty of sand traps along the way to contend with and tricky greens at the end. Meanwhile the quartet of short holes also present a nice mix ranging from 146 to 203 yards.
Virtually all of the greens on the course are well defended by bunkers and although the fairways are relatively generous the tree-lined nature of the course means that you can’t venture too far offline. All-in-all Hessle is a good test of golf from start to finish.
Arguably the best feature of Hessle is the putting surfaces… Hessle is a course that is well worth a visit and very accessible just off the M62 near Hull.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.