Offering excellent value and packed with variety, the course at Bingley St. Ives is well worth a visit - Rob Smith enjoys…
Bingley St Ives Course Review
Variety is the spice of life and this Alister MacKenzie (opens in new tab) creation offers an intriguing mix of parkland, heathland and moorland as you work your way round the par 71 design. Bingley St. Ives (opens in new tab) dates back to the 1930s, and the club hosted European Tour events in the 80s won by likes of Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo (opens in new tab).
The course was one that featured last Summer in my Golfer’s Guide to the West Riding of Yorkshire (opens in new tab), and it is right next door to the headquarters of the Sports Turf Research Institute, STRI (opens in new tab). It opens with a gentle hole that leads you up onto the hills.
This is followed by an inviting par 5 and a tough two-shotter, both to greens that are well bunkered.
I very much liked the look of the first short hole, the 4th, and was rewarded with the first of what turned out to be three birdies.
The next two run either side of a stand of trees, and you then come to the very pretty 7th.
The front nine closes with two fine holes running through mature woodland. Following a brief stop at the halfway shelter - very welcome as the heavens opened briefly - the back nine begins with two excellent holes. The 10th is a lovely but testing par 3, and the next is a super-tough dogleg left where you are tempted to bite off more than you can chew.
Holes 12 to 14 run in parallel lines and were very kind to me - par, birdie, par - and the next is a very tempting short par 4 played through an avenue of trees.
A pair of fine par 4s lead you back to the closing hole which is played from a tee 40 feet above the green that awaits 184 yards away. Watch out for the OOB long or right.
I very much enjoyed this unusual and engaging course, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t make you smile. It certainly worked for this youngster in my final photograph, below, he was in the field behind the club’s car park and came over to say hello!
I would certainly recommend Bingley St. Ives, one of many courses making this an outstanding area for golf.
Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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