Slaley Hall (Hunting) - Northumberland - England

Slaley Hall,
Hexham,
Northumberland,
NE47 0BY,
England


  • +44 (0) 1434 673350

  • Daniel Hodson

  • Dave Thomas

  • Keith Pickard


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Slaley Hall (Hunting)

Critics have described Slaley Hall as the ‘Gleneagles of the North East’, the ‘Woburn of the North’ the ‘Augusta of the North’ and the ‘Gleneagles of the South’ but it was Golf World which described Slaley Hall as the “Manchester of the North East – every time a tournament goes there, such is the deluge.” Regardless of the weather, the Hunting course at Slaley Hall is a challenging layout, located in a county devoid of many top-notch golf courses.

The Hunting course opened for play in 1989 and was designed by Dave Thomas. The resort at Slaley Hall is now part of the QHotels portfolio, formerly the De Vere Group. It’s a big golf course, carved through a dense pine forest. Rhododendrons and cherry trees provide welcome seasonal colour, but it’s the pines that will punish the wayward shot, for they are predominant throughout the round.

Dave Thomas is renowned for designing unique and interesting holes and he’s done himself proud at Slaley Hall. His bunkering design is masterful. No doubt there was some land to be moved, but he appears to have skilfully used nature’s features effectively, especially the streams on the front nine.

As we have already said, the Hunting course is a big course, measuring over 7,000 yards from the back tees. The layout plays across varied ground, and whilst the majority of holes are park-like in nature, there are some holes that have distinct moorland characteristics with springy crisp turf. Either way, the Hunting has been immortalised by the European Grand Prix, formerly called the Slaley Hall Northumberland Challenge, and it’s seen some famous champions, including Retief Goosen and Colin Montgomerie.

There’s an American feel to the course and the resort in general. With plenty of tees to choose from, make sure you select wisely, because the Hunting plays its length. The layout is invariably in good condition and there is absolutely no doubt that the Hunting is one of the better young courses in England.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Slaley Hall (Hunting)

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Dave Thomas is renowned for designing unique and interesting holes and he’s done himself proud at Slaley Hall. His bunkering design on the Hunting course is masterful. Rating: 3.9 out of 6 Reviews: 15

Having read the mixed reviews for the Hunting Course at Slaley Hall my expectations were not high but I left rather underwhelmed. Its set in beautiful hilly countryside and uses the undulations to great effect on some holes, I just felt there were too many dull holes which were just a long grind albeit with some good strategic bunkering in places. It’s generous from the tee and the bunkers although numerous are not too hard to avoid, the best sequence of holes is from 5-9. Despite this years heatwave the general condition was good but some of the tees looked tired and the green complexes had bare areas in places, greens were pleasantly fast and had good roll. One big negative was the pace of play, if you’re playing between Friday or Monday expect a 5 hour round even with a buggy. The attached hotel sells a lot of cheap weekend golf packages and has no handicap restrictions for what is not an easy course, watching players hitting 100 yard drives then waiting for the green to clear before hitting their 2nd does little to improve perceptions of the course. If you’re in the area it’s worth playing but not worth a diversion.

3 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
September 21, 2018


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review

Once upon a time this was the top course around, but has sadly been left behind in recent years by Close House, Northumberland and Rockliffe Hall. The course is starting to show a lack of investment with signs of tiredness. If wanting to play three courses in the region swerve Slaley and play Colt, Northumberland and Goswick instead.

3 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
July 26, 2016


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Response
Charles
August 03, 2017

I have to disagree. i played the Colt course at Close House and the Hunting course at Slaley on successive days last month, and considered purely as golf courses the Hunting course is in my view clearly superior. The facilties are another story (the attitude and training of the staff at Slaley could certainly be better) but once out on the course I don't think there's any doubt that the Hunting course is better designed.

Played the Hunting yesterday and was very disappointed! Being a member of DeVere Oulton Hall myself I heard rave reviews about Slaley Hall. However the course in my opinion is very over rated and for a championship course was in poor condition for this time of year! There were some good holes like the 2nd, 5-9, 13th and 18th but the rest was very average. Drainage pipes in fairways, inconsistent greens and some bunkers with no sand put a dampener on the day and came as a bit of a shock!
3 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
August 13, 2012


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review
Response
James Wood
January 12, 2016
I feel that I must respond to your harsh and somewhat untrue review of Slaley Hall , especially the Hunting Course. Although I am not a member at Slaley, its fair to say that I must play this course in excess of 10 times per year. It doesn't matter what month it is, or whatever the weather, the green keeping staff at Slaley Hall absolutely keep this fine course in tip-top condition. I myself have played Oulton Hall twice, and to be honest I am not one to slag off other courses or the staff, but it is not a patch on Slaley and cannot understand how you can give such a poor review of a cracking course.
I'm to going to stand up for Slaley and De Vere. Play this course midweek in summer as a de vere club member when its not packed out with weekend traffic and its a truly great value experience on a nearly great course. The front 9 on the Hunting is as good as any i've played... the back 9 disappointing relatively, especially the back to back par 5's. I've recently played the Hunting for £20 and the Priestman (a fine track in its own right, but perhaps not in as good a condition) for £12 twi-light. Its remarkable value, the issue is the de vere model is to pack them in which makes weekends a different proposition. If you want an equally good course with better service in the area, go to Rockliffe Hall, but you will pay for the privilege
5 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
June 28, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review
Slaley Hall hmmmmmmm. DISPOINTED! My first and last time!The day started with us arriving at 9,45am for a 10.50 tee off on the Hunting Course. After 15mins trying to find the breakfast bar we ordered a tea, coffee and two bacon butties. We sat down at 10am with our drinks, 20 mins later after 3 other parties arrived and all eaten, we asked for our butties, which "are sat on the bar ill get them now" 10mins past still no food! we left, paying for our drinks to the amazment of £3.00 a drink! The Course its self was in poor condition, All the tee boxes were boggy underfoot, yet other tee boxs were hard! The greens were like putting on a mine field with un-repaired pitch marks and scruffs! Yes it had been raining previous days but this was far from what we expected. A championship course in poor condition! Whilst playing our tricky shots into the 18th i was amazed that 4 quad bikes flew past roaring away........After our round and STARVING from a early 8am drive, We looked forward to meal and drink, But once again the shocking services and attitude of bar staff put a downer on it again. Told we would have to wait for our food was one thing, but not even taking our order was another. We got a drink from the bar, A VERY EXPENSIVE ONE £5.00 a pint! and £5.00 for a larger shandy! Say no more......Eventually the waiter came back asking if we would like 3 burgers with chips, AS he made a ERROR again with someone's order. We kindly fully accepted these under the presumption the food was free, a good will gesture, how wrong were we, the bill before our cutlery.... a cold burger and chips! The poor service made the day one to remember for all the wrong reasons!I can say given a summers day the course could do its self proud, but on this occasion i rate this a Triple bogey!!!
1 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
March 07, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review
Response
AJ
March 08, 2011
A typical Devere establishment, I know as a former member with Devere, it's a thin veneer. Scratch the surface and unfortunately something that could be excellent is revealed as shabby and disappointing. When golfers pay through the nose for something, they don't mind if it's good! Devere need to get this message, but all they seem to be interested in is traffic. They are actually putting people off golf, as this may be their first experience of the game. What they do is promise a relaxed atmosphere, via the website and literature, but once you are there it's easy to become dissatisfied. Anyone with an eye for detail could set Devere straight. It's not just them though, I've had similar disappointments with other chain hotel courses.
TF
March 11, 2011
I played this course last week. I will leave the review of the bar/food to others (although I should add we had no problems with this at all). The tee boxes were indeed soft underfoot - but this was because work had been done on them to improve the drainage. Overall I thought the course was in good condition for the time of year and the recent inclement weather. The main problem was the pace of play - too many 4 balls refusing to let smaller (and faster) groups through....
MM
May 13, 2011
Totally agree. I played the Priestman last year. The attitude of the staff in the bar and the pro shop was terrible and the condition of the course was not at the level expected for the fees being paid. A complaint was submitted and the attitude of their response guaranteed I will not be visiting again.
I have just played both courses (May 09) I have to say that the front 9 on the hunting course is without doubt the best 9 holes I have ever played. The back 9 and Priestman are not to the same standard but are still decent tracts.You have to use your head play the right shots. I took irons on about 5 holes and a 3 wood on a couple more. You have to play the course not the score card. Go for it on the par 5's take it steady on other holes, the 9th for example took a 3 wood off the tee followed by a 7 iron then a sand wedge and 2 putts for a bogey. 2 points for me zero for my fellow players who took driver off the tee and found the Rhododendrons.
5 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
May 21, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I am declaring myself disappointed, NOT with the course but with the ranking of Slaley Hall (Hunting). Ranked 127th in England is no place for this championship course to be sat at. I have played on both The Priestman and The Hunting course and was overwhelmed with their brilliant design, layout and condition of the course. As a result I recently became a member.Although both courses are fantastic, my favourite is the Hunting. The design of the course is by far the best in the North East. I agree with other players that the 9th, 13th and 18th are great holes although my favourites are the 6th, 7th and 16th. These holes put a smile on my face every time I’m about to tee off, these are the holes when I forget about safety and just grip-it and rip-it. I forget about playing it safe and just go for it, especially the 16th every time I play this hole I set my line (over the trees) roughly 15mtrs left of the large pine tree on the inside corner of the dog-leg and hit it with all the power I can find (only for the big hitters as it roughly 300+ yards).Although I say these are my favourites, I do really enjoy playing all holes even the 11th and 12th where some players say that they are boring and plain. I disagree with these insults as these holes are equal if not better than the best holes on other course in the North East.The beauty of the course is breath taking and the condition of which they are kept through out the year is unbelievable. The greens especially are kept in fantastic condition; the ground keeping staff are truly gifted people. The hotel is just as beautiful as the course, the restaurant, bar and facilities allow you to enjoy a relaxing environment which is managed by great staff. The golf shop staff and professional have immense knowledge of the game and full of courtesy and politeness.
6 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
January 06, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Played it in late September on a 2 for 1 offer. £45 and thoroughly enjoyable. technical from the first tee shot. My personal favorites 2, 3,6,9,16.Fantastic bunker placement, greens fantastic, great facility, the so called 'poor' holes 11-13 were enjoyable. Used the long irons off several par 4's which is refreshing. Cant wait to go back in the spring, some great DBB offers including 2 rounds of golf. Looking to knock 4-5 shots off next time. Well worth a visit.
6 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
November 11, 2009


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Played the Course today off the back tees and it started off raining but it was in excellent condition.This is a credit to the greenkeeping staff as I spoke to one of them and due to cutbacks the number of staff has halved this year. Believe it or not there are only seven staff to look after the two courses here! As others have said this is a quality golf course in excellent condition. The greens were very quick despite the rain and became very quick as they dried out I would argue some of the fastest I have played on this year. In my opinion it has only two weak holes in the eighteen. These are the eleventh and twelveth They are two par fives that run alongside each other. The eleventh green is well protected by bunkers which saves it a little but the twelveth is jsut a long slog. Those two apart the course is beautifully laid out and the bunkering excellent. The closing five holes are worthy of a any championship course and consequently the Seniors have a competition here next year. The only downside is that to the casual visitor the cost is £90. Too much in my opinion but there are plenty of deals and discounts available. It is still the best course in the De Vere Group ahead of even the Carrick.
5 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
August 28, 2009


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Response
Oli
September 11, 2009
I agree it is a beautiful course however i believe the front nine is much better than the back nine it is like they have ran out of ideas on the 12th and 13th and just tried to fill some space with two vaguely identical holes... I could not work out which hole i was on because it felt like i had played the same hole 3 or 4 times
I played this in June last year staying in the hote which as a secondary point is very good. The course offers a very interesting and testing round of golf with some special golf holes. The 9th really is beautiful - i cant understand somebody saying its a weak hole - i hit 1 iron 4 iron for my par and was really pleased. Overall the course is excellent and whilst it wouldnt be in my top 5, its definately worth playing if youre within an hours drive.
4 / 6
Slaley Hall (Hunting)
February 19, 2009


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review