Ilkley Golf Club - Top 100 Golf Courses of England
 
Top 100 Golf Courses
 

 
Ilkley, England

 
Yorkshire - Best In County Golf Courses  Yorkshire - Best In County Golf Courses England  England
Ilkley Golf Club
Nesfield Road
Myddleton
Ilkley
LS29 0BE
England
ArchitectHarry Colt and Alister MacKenzie
Head Professional/Director of GolfJohn Hammond
Telephone+44 (0) 1943 600214
Location1 mile N of Ilkley town centre
Websites Golf Club Website
VisitorsWelcome, contact in advance
Club Secretary/ ManagerPeter Richardson
 

Many great golf courses feature water in some shape or form the Barry and Swilken Burns at Carnoustie and St Andrews, for example but no course is more influenced by a river than Ilkley Golf Club. River, Bridge, Island and Kingfisher are some of the names of the opening holes. The scene is set from the off the River Wharfe is dominant for the first seven holes.

Founded in 1890, Ilkley is the third oldest golf club in Yorkshire. In those days Ilkley was a nine-hole course, located on Rombald's Moor. Harry Vardon won his first prize as a professional on this course and his brother Tom was an early professional at the club. As golf grew in popularity, the club needed 18 holes and in 1898 work started on a new course alongside the River Wharfe. Today's course is mainly a tribute to the combined architectural skills of Alister MacKenzie and Harry Colt. Ilkley comes with a very high pedigree.

On Ilkley Moor baht 'at is Yorkshire's unofficial anthem, which is sung to an old Methodist tune. The song tells the story of a lover courting Mary Jane on Ilkley Moor. Mary Jane wasn't wearing her hat, and as all good Yorkshire folk know, you'll catch your death of cold on Ilkley Moor without one. The reason we mention this song is that Ilkley is one of the most beautiful places in the country and if it was pretty enough setting for courting Mary Jane, it's also a perfect setting for golf.

Measuring 6,276 yards from the medal tees, Ilkley is no championship challenge, but with a lowly par of 69, it's tougher than it first appears. Colin Montgomerie learnt his trade here and holds the current course record of 64. "Although I have played golf on the finest courses in the world, Ilkley Golf Club will always have a special place in my heart," he said.

The course is blessed with many fine holes and the most memorable are the openers adjacent to the river. The 4th, called "Long", is the first of the two par fives and requires a drive over the river's tributary. From the 8th onwards, trees become the principal hazards, but the sheer scenic beauty remains until the very last putt drops.

Ilkley is a delight and a must-play course. Mark James (alongside Colin Montgomerie) is also an honorary life member here and we'll let him close: "Nestling in the shelter of the Wharfe Valley, Ilkley is one of the most enjoyable courses in the North of England." How could any serious golfer overlook Ilkley?

 
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Average Reviewers Score:     
Played Ilkley twice in the past month and enjoyed myself both times. It's not a long course - but the fact that Monty's best score is 5 under tells you that it's tougher than the scorecard suggests. First 7 holes feature the River Wharfe on the left side and the views are stunning. Last 5 holes are also pretty great, with a fantastic elevated tee shot on the 16th, requiring a carry of over 200 yards to find the fairway. Definitely worth a play and the sandy soil makes the 28 winter green fee look like fair value. Definitely going to play this course again! Added bonus - extremely friendly pro and members
19 December 2013 Reply
I have never, without exception visited a more friendly golf club than Ilkley, from the moment we stepped out of the car we were made to feel very welcome indeed not least in the Pro shop by the professional who gave us a wealth of knowledge and tips before our round, even the current Captain saw fit to introduce himself and have a chat. The course is also excellent with some scary moments on the first few holes down the riverside and the very pretty holes of the back nine. A great course for the steady golfer as you don't need to hit monstrously long tee shots as on some of the modern courses. I will definitely be returning to Ilkley at the earliest opportunity.
28 July 2012 Reply
Wow - played there for the first time in May as a group of 16 and what an experience, it ticks all the boxes for a great Yorkshire course. Stunning views with friendly staff, course in wonderful condition and the best comment we can make is we will be back next year and play the course twice. Slow greens but then it had rained for previous 4 weeks. Recommend it to anyone you will not be disappointed.
23 May 2012 Reply
Good layout, great setting, with some really top holes. Unfortunately the greens were very poor for June, which really detracted from the round. Will try again later in the year. If the greens were good would give it an Eagle or possibly an Albatross !
06 June 2011 Reply
I played this course for the first time in July 2010 and was very impressed. As previous reviewers have mentioned, a river runs alongside the first 7 holes so you have to be on your game from the off. It is very flat but certainly not boring. 6 weeks later I can recall every hole quite clearly (the sign of a decent course). Not in the top league but good nonetheless. Decent twilight rate too!
13 August 2010 Reply
This course does everything it says on the tin! As mentioned on the website the course is next to the river, built on sand beds along the river wharfe. Very dry and suitable for play on the competition greens all year round. I heard Peter Alliss once said if you were to retire it has to be Ilkey as it throws up a challenge each time you play it. Level course with tree lined fairways and no thik rough - why spend time looking for your ball when you can play in a few hours without too much trouble. Keep it on dry land for the first 7 then it's fun all the way to the 19th. You will be interested in the history of the club should that be your thing....its the 3rd oldest in Yorkshire. Their Pro has served for the best part of 25 years and certainly knows a story or two!! Great Day Out
02 January 2010 Reply

Response:
moreski11 January 2010
An excellent and unbiased review. I wonder if you could tell us how much your annual membership is??
I cant fault his course except that it can sometimes be wet in this neck of the woods. But this is one of the warmest golf clubs around and the course itself is maintained to perfection. Certainly Ilkley has customer service at the top of their list and I will certainly return here again soon. The course is as pretty as a picture and the river makes things thought provoking. I love the island hole and Id like my ball back please when I return! A top course without doubt.
23 May 2005 Reply

Response:
Andrew Caukwell02 January 2010
I have played this course at all times of the year and what is mentioned on their website it clear enough for me. The course is built on sand and as it is next to the river you have the pleasure of playing on a very beutiful and picturesque course, dry and lacking in rough, competition greens all year round. No wonder Monty is a good driver of the ball playing his formative years at the Club. What can you ask for when playing there and sitting on the verandah in the summer with good food, good beer and plenty of chat about the days play. I understand Ilkley have reciprical games with other well established clubs well up the pecking order in the list of English top courses, it's not a suprise as this is a real gem nestled in the Wharfe Valley.

 


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