Located a mere five miles to the northwest of Middlesbrough, Wynyard Golf Club is set within part of the Wynyard Park Estate where a number of fairways are tastefully flanked by a modern, upscale residential development.
Opened for play in 1996 and routed through more than 200 acres of mature parkland, Martin Hawtree’s Wynyard course (known as the Wellington) is a modern championship calibre layout that has more than a hint of classical design.
With four tee blocks that stretch out to more than 7,000 yards from the tips (5,764 yards from the forward tees), Wynyard is a tough test that will challenge even the most able golfers – the European Tour used the course in 1999 for their Stage One Qualifying School.
Wynyard truly came of age in 2005 when it was selected as host venue for the now defunct Seve Trophy – a Ryder Cup-styled event with matches between teams from Europe and Britain & Ireland (captains were José María Olazábal and Colin Montgomerie). Seve Ballesteros was unfortunately unable to influence the outcome due to injury – the competition ending Britain and Ireland 16½ Europe 11½.
The Wellington makes good use of the natural elevation changes throughout the property and the course bares its teeth at the 2nd, a 400+ yard par four that doglegs to the right, while at the short par four 5th, the hole turns in the opposite direction. Golfers will try and claim a shot back to par when they head for home at the short par five 10th, but avoid the bunkers either side of the fairway or the birdie opportunity is gone.
#15 heralds the start of the strong Wynyard finish with a classic risk/reward short par four that doglegs left around a pond, where big hitters will be sorely tempted to cut the corner and carry the aquatic hazard. #16 is a genuine three-shotter for most golfers with out-of-bounds threatening left and right before a left side lake comes into play for the second shot. A classic, well-bunkered, short hole arrives at 17 prior to reaching the home hole’s elevated tee, where more bogeys than pars will be carded on this brutal par four.
Wynyard is perhaps not at the forefront of golfers’ minds when searching for a classy golf course to play in England’s northeast, but it should be. It’s not only tough, it’s also enjoyable with a proud and respected tournament pedigree.