Overlooking the Solway Firth, the old James Braid course at Workington Golf Club was recently redesigned by Howard Swan. Fairways are routed over undulating terrain with six holes crossing a small brook that runs through the course.
Workington is an interesting and pleasantly undulating parkland layout in the picturesque surroundings of the Western Lakeland Mountains. Originally formed in 1893 as West Cumberland Golf Club, life began as a 9 hole layout which lasted until the outbreak of the First World War. With declining membership, the club closed down only to be reformed after the war in a different location just south of the town.
Initially, James Braid was consulted on the new layout, then F G Hawtree was called in during the 1950s. In more recent times Howard Swan's complete refurbishment of the course, spanning a ten year period, includes an impressive array of new bunkers.
The routing is a little quirky in places with four of the five short holes arriving between the 6th and 12th. Two of them, the 7th "Quarry" and 10th "The President" are excellent but pretty tough targets to hit. The 10th with four bunkers and a stream protecting the green is a particularly good hole.
The stream also comes into play at 4, 6, 7, 11 and 13 which makes for some challenging golf. Of these the par fives at 4 and 13 are memorable holes, both being riddled with danger. On the home stretch the 15th is another demanding par three and the short par four 17th, a heavily bunkered risk and reward hole, is visually strong and very tempting from the tee.
Certainly worth seeking out if you are in the area and all for a very modest green fee.