Originally designed by J.H. Taylor & F.G. Hawtree, the course at Selby Golf Club opened for play shortly after the club was formed in 1907. Occupying a compact 85-acre property, the course is configured on a relatively flat landscape as two returning nines, extending to 6,377 yards overall from the back tees and playing to a par of 71.
Donald Steel told us about remodelling work he carried out on the course a few years ago: “It was the late 1990s when the Selby by-pass was routed through the northeast corner of the course which had to be rearranged to accommodate it on a more compact footprint. In particular, it involved a new par three 5th hole. I think we were lucky there wasn't more disruption.”
There’s a handful of par threes on the card, measuring between 140 yards at the 5th and 211 yards at the 15th, which equates to a lot of variety off the tee on the short holes. Two of the par fives arrive very early in the round but don’t anticipate an easy birdie opportunity here as they’re rated stroke index 5 (at the 540-yard 2nd) and stroke index 1 (at the 573-yard 4th).
Feature holes on this sandy-soiled layout include short par fours at the 9th and 13th, along with the slightly right doglegging 18th, which plays to a heavily sand-protected home green. Golfers can warm up before playing on the club’s floodlit, covered driving range and there’s a handy half-way house available at weekends offering hot and cold drinks and take-away food.
Played this course in 2020. Some of the best greens I have played on. Very true. The course was a fair test without being overly punishing. Definitely will visit again
Selby, one of Yorkshire's most establish clubs, is set on high ground in North Yorkshire and is easily accessible from both the M1 and M62 motorway networks.
There are a wide variety of holes at Selby; some easy, some difficult and plenty of others in-between to hold your interest throughout the round.
Selby plays predominantly as a firm and fast running parkland course although with natural fescue grasses, broom and gorse at times there is more than a hint of a heathland feel to it.
As you would expect from this sand-based course it is fast draining and usually in excellent condition for 12 months of the year.
There are no real stand-out holes but each one is unique and presents a different challenge. They all come together nicely to create a solid and enjoyable round of golf.
The course boasts one of the most difficult opening holes in the county in the form of a long par four with tall trees lining each side of the fairway and the threat of out-of-bounds down the right hand side. The green is angled to favour a running approach from the left but slopes to the right where deep bunkers wait for anything leaked too far. Other holes where par is most definitely your friend come at the seventh, 15th and 16th.
Selby pride themselves on the condition of their course and favour tight aprons leading up to the greens, often from 50 yards out. My latest visit coincided with their hosting of the annual Yorkshire Order of Merit event, the Auchterlonie Spoon, and these approaches to the green were in immaculate condition and a joy to play from.
If you are a golfer in Yorkshire then Selby should be high on your list of courses to play but even if you are just passing through the White Rose county it is easy to locate and worth stopping by. It's certainly a good and fair test of golf.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.