Designed by Sandy Herd in 1908 and later upgraded by Alister MacKenzie and James Braid, the course at Hornsea Golf Club – though parkland in nature – lies within a mile of the east coast.
Hornsea Golf Club provides an enjoyable round of golf. Located just a mile from the sea on the East Coast of Yorkshire it's a fast running course, albeit a parkland layout, with a wide variety of holes. The greens are usually in exceptional condition and putt similar to a links course.
Due to the firm nature of the ground the course usually feels to play less than its yardage of 6,600 but is still a good test of golf. A regular feature throughout the round is the ridge and furrows on the fairways which can often result in a downhill or uphill lie and adds an interesting shot-making dimension to your round.
The first half a dozen or so holes head away from the clubhouse and with calm conditions or a tail wind it's a gentle start for the first five holes with three par fours under 330 yards and a reachable par five.
That all changes at the sixth though with a 447 yard uphill par four. This is a fantastic hole with trouble off the tee and a two-tiered green perched in the corner of the property. A driver may give you the best chance of reaching in two but is fraught with danger and a fairway wood or long iron is a sensible choice.
The next is a formidable par three to a basin green before a chance to pick up a stroke at the par five eighth (where you tee off in the shadow of the iconic water tower), but only if you miss the gorse that flanks the fairway on both sides. The same gorse needs to be negotiated off the tee at the ninth before a semi-blind approach to a green that slopes severely from back to front.
It is the closing stretch where Hornsea comes into its own. The 14th is a long par four where a ditch at each side of the fairway nips in just at the perfect driving distance. You can hit an iron and take it out of play but you will then be faced with 200+ yards for your second shot.
The 15th is one of my favourite holes on the course. This time the hole shapes the other way with a series of bunkers encouraging a drive down the right to open up the green.
The 16th is another shallow dog-leg, a par five with bunkers 80 yards short of the green to be negotiated if one is to reach in two. The 17th is a delicate par three where the correct distance and line are essential before the 18th, a strong par four, returns to the clubhouse and boasts a long green that slopes away from the fairway.
There are few courses similar in nature to Hornsea and that is perhaps its greatest appeal.
There are some good holes to be enjoyed here and when the greens are at their best they're a match for anywhere.
Depending upon the sea breeze you must usually make your score early and then hang on over the excellent finishing stretch where pars are very much your friend.
It's an easy walking course with firm and fast fairways and although not a links it is very much a running golf course.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.