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Lindrick

Lindrick

Worksop, England
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Lindrick Golf Club is remembered passionately because it was here in 1957 that Great Britain beat the USA to win the Ryder Cup. Victory had been a long time coming; the last time the home team had defeated the dominant Americans was way back in 1933 at Southport & Ainsdale. After the 1957 Lindrick triumph, the Ryder Cup remained firmly in the grasp of the USA until 1985 when, at the Belfry, a combined team of GB&I and Europe managed to wrestle the cup from the Americans.

Lindrick Golf Club played host to the 1957 Ryder Cup matches between the USA and Great Britain. Team Captains were Jack Burke (US) and Dai Rees (GB). Yorkshire industrialist, Sir Stuart Goodwin, financed the British Team to the tune of £10,000 and the team selection process utilised a new points system. The result was a win for Britain despite a dominant American 3-1 lead in the foursomes. A 6 ½ to 1 ½ result in the singles was more than enough to seal the first British win in twenty-four years. GB 7 ½ - USA 4 ½. The Ryder Cup was played at Thunderbird in 1955 and at Eldorado in 1959.

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Clearly, the Ryder Cup put Lindrick firmly on the golfing map, but the Sheffield and District Golf Club, as it was originally called, was actually founded in the 19th century, 1891 to be precise, when a course was laid out by Old Tom Morris and Robert Black ‘Buff’ Wilson. In 1894 another nine holes were added, with the direction of play reversed. Tom Dunn then made some improvements in 1897.

Harry Colt was next to be consulted, followed by new holes and a revised layout from Willie Park Junior in 1907-09.

Derek Markham commented as follows in A Matter of Course: The life of William Herbert Fowler 1856-1941: "Lindrick Golf Club had been one of Herbert Fowler's earliest clients, in 1907. On his advice, and that of Willie Park, the course had been extended to 6,010 yards. By the 1920s, further modifications were needed. Three holes required balls to be played over the main road which runs between Worksop and Sheffield, a feature which became increasingly unacceptable as motor traffic grew in density. Advice was sought from Fowler and Simpson, and changes were recommened which were implemented between 1923 and 1925. Minutes of the Lindrick club show a fee of thirty guineas."

A couple of years after this, Alister MacKenzie made further improvements and suggested many others. In more recent times, Fred Hawtree, Donald Steel, Cameron Sinclair and Ken Moodie have all altered the layout.

Lindrick Golf Club is laid out on prime common land and the excellent turf has a mixed heathland and moorland feel. It’s a wild but picturesque course with silver birch trees and gorse lining many of the fairways, which are generous and immaculately conditioned. The greens are subtly borrowed, lightning fast and well protected by bunkers. Accuracy, rather than length, is critical at Lindrick. We're perhaps stating the obvious here, but it's much more desirable to play from manicured fairways than dense rough.

There are a number of strong holes, especially on the back nine and the 4th, a short par five of 478 yards, is certainly fun and memorable, with a downhill drive and a blind approach to a hidden green, nestling in a hollow.

According to the writing of Bernard Darwin in his original article for the Times, At Hollinwell and Lindrick, which was reprinted for his book, Playing the Like, the “secret and engaging dell” in the area of the 4th green, once bordered three counties - “York, Notts and Derby – and so it was once the ideal spot for prize-fighting. If there was an obdurate magistrate on one side of the water there was probably a complaisant one on the other, and the ring could be reformed without much ado.”

In a more up-to-date publication, the 18th is featured in the 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes, a 210-yard par three. It’s unusual to end with a par three and cruel to have such an exacting final tee shot, especially if the match is finely poised.

As with so many golf courses of this era, Lindrick, measuring a little over 6,600 yards, is simply not long enough to host today’s professional men’s tournaments. However, in 1966, it was the venue for the British Masters with Neil Coles emerging as the eventual winner and, in 1977, Vivien Saunders took the Women’s British Open crown. Greg Norman somehow took 14 strokes at Lindrick’s 17th, a par four,during the final round of the 1982 Martini tournament and then went on to win the British Masters by eight stokes at St Pierre a few weeks later.

During the winters of 2015 and 2016, Ken Moodie of Creative Golf Design was busy enhancing various features on the course, building new championship tees, introducing strategic fairway bunkers and reshaping numerous greenside bunkers, which resulted in changes to eleven holes in total.

It was recently discovered that Alister MacKenzie was involved in the construction of the course, working on the layout during 1912-13, when he designed five of the existing holes, including the iconic 18th. He also prepared a 16-page handwritten report on the course and many of his proposals were subsequently actioned.

Lindrick hosted the English Women's Amateur Championship in July 2017 (won by fifteen-year-old Lily May Humphreys), to add to an impressive list of professional and amateur tournaments it has hosted down the years, including both the Ryder Cup and the Curtis Cup.

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Old Tom Morris

In 1835, aged fourteen, Old Tom Morris worked in Allan Robertson's St Andrews workshop making golf balls and clubs. It’s said they were never beaten in a challenge match when paired together.

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