Skipton Golf Club is teeing up for the much anticipated launch of its newly remodelled 18-hole course on August 1.
The club is this year celebrating its milestone 125th anniversary and the opening of the new-look course represents one of the single most important landmarks in Skipton’s long and proud history.
A celebratory opening event for members is planned for Friday, August 3, with the President’s Day taking place the following day. An Open Event for visitors will follow shortly afterwards at a date to be determined.
Work is now complete on two brand-new par 4 holes, which will significantly add to the appeal of the well-known golf course, which stands in an area of outstanding scenic beauty just off the A59 on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales market town.
The new course continues to offer challenges to all standards of golfers. It becomes a par 71 with three par 3s, 13 par 4s and two par 5s. In addition, the planned introduction of gender-free tees will allow players of all abilities to challenge themselves at their own level.
Major redevelopment work, involving significant investment, has been necessitated by the Environment Agency’s Flood Alleviation Scheme for Skipton. It has been funded by the Agency’s compensation agreement.
Already in place and well established are a remodelled and enhanced 15th green and an extended 9th hole, now a par 5 following the construction of a new tee.
Further work has been completed to improve sight lines on the signature par 3 16th green, which, along with the enhanced 15th, represents Skipton’s very own ‘Amen Corner’- two holes running alongside Eller Beck demanding both accuracy and a steady nerve!
Other improvements include a brand-new raised 17th green, which significantly extends the current hole to make it one of the most challenging par 4s on the entire course, requiring two good hits to make the green. An adjoining new elevated championship tee for the final hole will make this a real test of skill too.
When the new holes initially come into play, the current first hole will be converted to a short game practice area, with the 2nd hole, a demanding par 5, becoming the new 1st.
Many more upgrades have also been put in place around what is considered one of the most picturesque golf courses in Yorkshire, including the replacement of bunkers, four new bridges, improved pathways and drainage, sensitive tree felling and new planting.
Club chairman Michael Hirst said: “This has been a major project, which will improve the enjoyment and challenge of playing Skipton for both members and visitors alike. Not only is the new course fantastic, but the recent clubhouse refurbishments and quality of food and beverages now make Skipton Golf Club an all-purpose venue.
“The decision to employ David Jones, a renowned course architect and leading course constructors, MJ Abbott, has paid immense dividends, with our own team of greens’ staff, led by Ian Brown, working in partnership with them to produce what must surely be regarded as one of the finest courses around.
“Great thanks go to all involved in the project and to our loyal members, who have shown support and understanding throughout. We can’t wait to start playing it – and openly invite others to come along soon and experience it themselves!’
Ahead of the new course launch, there has been widespread external interest from potential new members and the club has put in place a number of value-added membership packages, both full and flexible, for all-comers – from complete beginners through to improvers and seasoned golfers. Tuition from the club’s long-standing professional Peter Robinson is an option on many of the ‘Get into Golf ‘packages.
Visitors and golfing societies are also showing increased interest in putting their skills to the test on the remodelled course.