Seaton Carew - Durham - England

Seaton Carew Golf Club,
Tees Road,
Seaton Carew,
Hartlepool,
TS25 1DE,
England


  • +44 (0) 1429 296496

Dr Duncan McCuaig founded the Durham and Yorkshire Golf Club in 1874; this was the first golf club in the North East of England and originally it was laid out as a 14-hole course. Other golf clubs in this area were formed towards the end of the 19th century, so in 1887, the club changed its name to Seaton Carew Golf Club. The course was extended to 18 holes in 1891.

Another doctor called MacKenzie came along in 1925 and modified the layout. Ten years later, Dr Alister MacKenzie went on to design Augusta National, home of the Masters. Continuing the doctor theme, the 3rd hole called “Doctor”, a short par three, remains as per its original design and serves as a tribute to Dr McCuaig, Seaton Carew’s founder.

There are now 22 holes at Seaton Carew, following Frank Pennink’s addition of four new holes. The members now have a number of playing options. The Old course, an out and back layout, is the original MacKenzie design. The Brabazon course incorporates 14 of the original holes; Pennink’s four new holes come into play at the turn. The Brabazon, an uneven par 73 (35 out, 38 back), is now considered the championship course and is tougher and longer than the Old course.

The club claims that it can make five different 18-hole layouts, but we're bemused as to how and why. According to Frank Pennink's Choice of Golf Courses: "Seaton Carew has the special merit of always being dry and playable, and four new holes near the sea should raise their already enviable status to a links of major championship quality. They will replace the 7th to 10th." Clearly the club decided to keep all holes open to confound all but the most knowledgeable scholars by devising a few too many permutations.

In 1985, Seaton Carew hosted the Brabazon Trophy (English Amateur Stroke Play Championship), producing a tie for first place between Peter Baker and Roger Roper.

Don’t be put off by the industrial surroundings of chimneys and chemical works; this excellent golf course is one of the best on the East coast of England, a real MacKenzie treat. There are a few ridges of sand dunes and the fairways undulate gently, but otherwise this is a relatively flat links course, always at the mercy of the wind.

The 17th hole, called “Snag”, is one of many great holes at Seaton Carew. The late Derek Hornby, a historian and author of the History of Seaton Carew poetically describes the 17th. "The seventeenth's dangers are countless, beginning with whin, gorse and dune, the rough and gathering bunkers, and the green's undulating tune, to veer even slightly is fatal, the cost is distressingly high, many the card that's been torn up, just here with home oh so nigh".

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Description: There are now 22 holes at Seaton Carew Golf Club - the members therefore have a number of playing options. The club claims that it can make five different 18-hole layouts, but we're bemused as to how and why. Rating: 7.1 out of 10 Reviews: 18
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MattDunn
Played this the day after playing Ganton and whilst the links is very different it is a fine track and an excellent test of golf. This is classic links golfs as good as most links courses I've played north or south of the border. The greens were firm and fast, a real treat. The rough was tough enough to punish a wayward shot, but not so bad that you couldn't find your ball... not when we played anyway. The back 9 played into the wind so several holes became difficult to reach in regulation without hitting a driver. The front 9 played a little easier and shorter with the wind behind, so the emphasis was on accuracy not trying to overpower the course. This is great value for such a good links course, and it has little competition in the locality.
June 05, 2009
6 / 10
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James
Had it better views (ie not Teeside heavy industry) then Seaton would undoubtedly stand in the top 20 courses in England; it is a wonderful golf course. From a playing perspective, the course isn't long by modern standards: on the 'Old' layout, unless the wind blows hard, bigger hitters will have short irons into virtually every green. Indeed, this is a track where - on a calm day - you can put together a good score, provided you drive it straight and take care with your yardages. However, like most good links courses, Carew is a test, and truly calm days are rare. If the wind gets up, then very, very few players indeed will break 80. If it really howls, then breaking 100 is a decent achievement. Slicers in particular will have a hard time here: the course is basically an anticlockwise loop on a thin strip of land so OOB down the right hand side is a constant factor.There are a number of really good holes here (the par 3's are all especially impressive) but as others have said, it's the closing run that really stays in the memory; and anyone who pars in from 15 onwards is a very useful golfer. At under £40 a round, with a welcoming clubhouse and decent facilities, Seaton Carew must be one of (if not the) best course between Goswick and Moortown. Yes, the views are awful, but I bet you find the golf far more attention-grabbing.
August 18, 2008
8 / 10
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Ian Wise
I love playing at Seaton. True championship links course and a fine test of golf. As stated before, rough is punishing and fairways are generally tight. With the wind blowing, shooting anywhere near handicap is an achievement. I played the Old Course, and was in fantastic condition. Front 9 are good, with my fav hole being the 4th 'Dunes'. For me, the run from the 9th to the 18th are all excellent holes, with the standouts being the 10th 'Lagoon' and the 17th 'Snag'. I know the views of industrial Teeside aren't pleasant for some, but you would be a fool to miss out on such a cracking links track because of that. I played after 2pm on a weekday for £30, which is excellent value.
June 29, 2008
8 / 10
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Peter Madeley
Visited Seaton Carew for the first time on 30 May with some trepidation having read about the industrial scenery surrounding it. I was made completely unaware of this by the wonderful links course layout - narrow fairways, wind, deep bunkers, sandhills - all the key elements are there. The wind was from the north-east, which helped on the front nine and gave me confidence for the back nine!! The challenge didn't disapoint. The 16th, 17th and 18th are classics. I can't wait to return.
June 01, 2008
8 / 10
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barry moulder
TOUGH, TOUGH, TOUGH, I love links golf but myself and my playing partner got absolutely destroyed here. The wind didnt seem overly strong in the car park, once on the first tee though with OB lurking all down the right made the wind seem 5 times stronger. You need to hit fairways, if you miss any greens or fairways, your ball is lost, end of story, the grass is evil. However the friendliest staff on earth will greet you, and for a links it is incredible value, we paid £22. If you hit a low ball unlike me and miss the wind you will love it, otherwise bring the A+ game and enjoy the sea air.
July 31, 2006
6 / 10
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Keith Baxter
A links course for the purist and a fair and honest test of golf, it’s also excellent value for money. There are no unforeseen tricks and everything is laid out in front of you except for one semi-blind drive and the odd hidden bunker. You need the full repertoire of shots to play Seaton, this is certainly not target golf country and you need to run the ball in low or land the ball short of the green to get close to the pins. This is a course that gets better and better as you plot your way round and, without a shadow of doubt, it’s well worth making the detour to play. Ignore Tom Doak who once wrote he was "too chilled by the setting to even walk the course" - what a fool.
April 26, 2005
6 / 10
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Hugh
If you can overcome the stark views, you'll love Seaton Carew. This is a serious links course and you'll need to manufacture your best shots because the wind howls across this exposed strip of land. I made a special effort to play here and I wasn't disappointed. It's unpretentious and at the same time traditional...a complete experience.
March 04, 2005
6 / 10
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Steve Smith
Seaton Carew, hidden within industrial Teesside, is proof that a classic course can be found in an apparently unpromising area.As Donald Steel wrote in his "Classic Links Courses of Great Britain & Ireland", playing the 17th( "Snag") alone justifies a visit to Seaton Carew.Though not long by modern standards, the wind, dunes, and whins make the course a severe test on occasions.
May 27, 2004
8 / 10
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