Past

The Bradford Golf Club is a fine course with a long and proud history. Set in the tranquil countryside of the hamlet of Hawksworth the course commands stunning views towards the Aire valley and Bradford’s industrial heritage while providing an excellent test of golfing skills for all abilities. Beautifully presented it has much to offer, with both its historic associations and the impressive and challenging characteristics that it continues to provide today.

Founded as “The Bradford St. Andrews Golf Club” on the 16th April 1891 by nine members of the St. Andrews Society it became an 18-hole course laid out on Baildon Moor. In 1894 the name of the Club was changed to “The Bradford Golf Club” and in 1900 a new course and clubhouse were opened in the village of Hawksworth.

This course remained in place until 1922 when an almost complete re-design over the same terrain took place and the present course was laid out. This work was carried out by Herbert Fowler who was one of the most renowned golf architects of the “Golden Era” immediately prior to World War I when many of the world’s great golf courses were built.

Fowler is recognised as a great golf architect for his work on many of the best courses in Britain, such Walton Heath, Royal North Devon, and Saunton. In the United States his most famous achievement is the extension of Pebble Beach’s 18th hole to create the iconic par five now known across the whole world of golf.

He believed strongly that courses should follow the contours of the land, and have a natural feeling, shunning the use of “man-made contrivances,” believing that topography could test the best golfers just as adequately, and provide a delightful test for the average golfer. As he put it, “God builds golf links and the less man meddles the better for all concerned.” All of these things are in clear evidence at Bradford giving the course a distinctive character.

Present

Although not a long course, it is set out in two convenient loops enabling the busy golfer to enjoy just a few holes when time is short. Bradford provides a substantial test for both the low and higher handicap golfers alike. The course layout provides easy walking with no undue climbs but offer fabulous views of the surrounding countryside, more obvious now, since the number of trees has been reduced emphasising the original heathland terrain.

The holes vary greatly to provide very different tests encompassing both “risk and reward” and requiring the golfer to use all the clubs in the bag at different stages. The three par three holes are a good example; on the card they appear easy ranging from only 142 yards to 164 yards but provide a great golfing challenge. There is a premium on the tee shot as missing the greens can lead to a very challenging second shot and a potential bogey but get it right and there’s a great chance of a two.

The Bradford Golf Club does have important historical associations having produced one of England’s finest amateur golfers in Rodney Foster and is home to the prestigious Hawksworth Trophy competed for by the best of local amateur golfers. However, we are evolving for the future.

Future

Over recent years changes have been made to individual holes, not merely to emphasise the “Fowler” features, but to update the course in the light of the technological revolution that has affected the game of golf. Considerable work has been done to improve the already good drainage and the course remains open, enjoyable and playable all year round. The Fowler greens maintain that characteristically attractive roll and are much praised by members and visitors alike.

The clubhouse has recently been refurbished to a high standard and it’s a pleasure to relax on the patio with friends and a drink to discuss the ups and downs of the round while enjoying the fabulous views down the valley, especially on a warm summer’s evening.

The Bradford Golf Club is a true joy to play, offers a great all-round experience and is well worth a visit.

Image courtesy of Geoff Shackelford’s “the Golden Ages of Architecture”

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TESTIMONIALS

“4* – I don’t get out on the greens enough but when I do I normally go for courses nearby in Roundhay and Wike. However from working with Bradford Golf Club I had to try out the course and it’s (a) not a bad drive from North Leeds side and (b) a *superb* golf course. Really welcoming and professional – what you’re looking for in a golf club”

Duncan Coleman

“5* – Ive been following Herbert Fowler golf courses & looking to play as many as I can when work permits. Bradford Golf Club does not disappoint. Whilst there are a lot of trees, they are redeveloping the course and taking it back to its roots & are in the middle of major tree removal. The contours of the land are coming back through & you can definitely see the Fowler influence”

Ken Thorpe

“5* – Lovely surroundings and great for social events”

Caron Andrade

“5* – Quite possibly the best golf club in the area. All staff are friendly and welcoming. Banter is included if you’re a southerner. The course has never been a reason to complain on any of the many occasions I’ve played it. I urge any keen golfer to play this course – you will NOT be unimpressed by it.”

Mark Adi Wardle

“5* – Fantastic golf course. Every hole is different. Greens are also top drawer. Well worth a visit.”

Robert Harrison

“5* – Really enjoyed it , course in great condition for time of year !! Cheers to all involved!!”

Dave Gardner

“5* – Played in the Seniors open, well organised, excellent course and friendly staff. Looking forward to playing again next week with the Wike Ridge Golf Society. Certainly one of the best courses in the area.”

David Walters