Slaley Hall could be one of the best, if not the best course in England's notheast but it needs a facelift. The ground is perfect for golf with some excellent elevation changes and huge stands of mature pines. The backdrop is spectacular but Dave Thomas's original design is tired. There are some truly magnificent holes and the closing six or seven are amongst the best I have ever seen but there are few bland holes which could easily be spiced up. This is an "as tough as nails" championship test and don't expect to play to handicap otherwise you will be disappointed. They do allow you to play from whichever tee you like which is nice, but it obviously gets harder the further back you go. It's certainly worth playing and the hotel and facilities are really good.
Date: April 26, 2005