Huddersfield Golf Club was founded in 1891 and its course was laid out by Tom Dunn, who was one of the most prolific architects of his day. Subsequent revisions to the layout were made by Sandy Herd (the club’s first professional, who won the Open in 1902) and a host of others, including Herbert Fowler, Alister MacKenzie, Fred Hawtree and Donald Steel. In 2004, Cameron Sinclair also upgraded all eighteen greens to USGA standard.
Today, the layout extends to 6,514 yards from the back tees. First time visitors teeing off on the tough (and long) par four 1st hole (“Camborne”) may be a little surprised to see golfers on the long par four 9th (“Hall”) cut across their path as the old-fashioned routing crosses over the two fairways at the start and finish of the front nine holes.
The toughest hole on the card (stroke index 1) is played at the 512-yard 5th (“Gernhill”), an uncompromising par five that doglegs right across a row of cross bunkers to a green surrounded by another three sand traps. The 419-yard 12th (“Wells Ing”) is another stiff test, the hole veering sharply left to a green that’s protected by a solitary bunker to the front of the putting surface.
The course has hosted many prestigious competitions, both amateur and professional, down the years. The PGA used to hold the Lawrence Batley Seniors Tournament here and the Ladies Golf Union and English Ladies’ Golf Association have used the course for national and international events, including the Ladies Seniors Home Internationals in 2014.
Huddersfield Golf Club is probably not given the sufficient coverage it deserves on a national scale. It's a very, very fine golf course.
As a regular host to the Yorkshire County Championship, former venue of a European Seniors Tour event and lauded by locals it is well respected within the White Rose County of Yorkshire. But ask golfers further afield and the majority don't know about 'Fixby'.
The club has teetered on the edge of the various English 'top 100' golf course rankings in the past but has never managed to establish a foothold within them. It's a shame because this course is well worthy of inclusion and certainly the effort to pay a visit.
It has an excellent location in terms of access; close to the M62 and just over t'hill from Lancashire but it lacks support in numbers from other quality clubs around it that other venues, in say North Leeds, may benefit from. The course also has a beautiful setting, glorious grounds and a magnificent clubhouse located in the centre of the large estate which is reached thanks to an enticing drive through part of the course. From a playing perspective this can however disrupt play at the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth holes!
The fast-running and well-draining moorland-esque course draped over a big property will test every element of your game and a good score here is always well deserved. At times, when the rough is thick and the wind is up, it can perhaps become a bit too difficult but it always remains fair.
The greens, re-laid at the turn of the millennium, have improved the putting surfaces and surrounds immensely. If you miss a green there is always a number of ways in which you can play your recovery shot and the condition of them in the winter months is usually exceptional.
A similar restoration of the bunkering, which is becoming outdated and tired, would breed new life into this course and elevate it to one of the country's best.
Huddersfield is definitely a thinking course and one that requires a number of rounds before you truly understand how to score well around it.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.