Designed by big John Jacobs and opened for play in 1994, Northop Golf & Country Club was the first club in Wales to play host to a European Challenge Tour event (2003). Not that this was the first time a national championship had been held here. In fact, the club hosted the Welsh PGA Championship in its first full year of opening.
The course is laid out over 250 acres of mature parkland in two loops of nine holes, with each ending near the beautiful, red-bricked clubhouse. The hardest hole on the front nine is the 441-yard par four 3rd, named “Babbling Brook,” which plays to a green defended by four bunkers.
The signature hole is played at the 16th, “The Quigley,” a 378-yard doglegged par four. The tee shot has a wide expanse of water to avoid on the right and trees to steer clear of on the left before an approach can be played to a green protected by a stream to the front of the putting surface.
In a similar vein to the Buckinghamshire, Northop is a fair course where everything is laid out clearly in front of you and there are no tricks or gimmicks. Maintained to perfection and boasting a high-class clubhouse, this is certainly one of north Wales’s best inland venues and it’s getting better and better as it matures.
Seemed a good test, played out of season so difficult to assess quality of set up but would imagine would be nice.