By Jeremy Ellwood published
Kilnwick Percy Resort and Golf Course Review
GF £30 a round, £50 a day (discounts for resort guests)
Par 70, 6,193 yards
GM Verdict - A course that's playable for all and which often gives you welcome room to manoeuvre off the tee
Favourite Hole - The 2nd is a fine hole strategically - venture too far left of the tee and there's a pond to think about; too far right and your approach will be blocked out by trees
Kilnwick Percy - or KP Resort as it’s often known - is one of three golf resorts with accommodation owned and operated by Darwin Escapes. The other two are The Springs in Oxfordshire and Dundonald in Ayrshire, which it acquired in 2019.
Kilnwick Percy is situated in Pocklington 16 miles east of York, with the golf course’s opening nine playing around the perimeters of the property in a clockwise direction. The 1st may be downhill but plays all of its 432 yards in the softer conditions I experienced, so expect a pretty long club in for your first approach of the day.
The 2nd is then one of the best holes, certainly strategically, as you must be far enough left off the tee to open up the green as the hole bears gently round to the right. The next two holes contrast starkly – first a quirky little par 3 uphill to a plateau green, then a very long and very straight par 5. Off the yellow tees the latter is precisely 500 yards longer than the former at 594!
By the time you get round to the 8th green and par-3 9th, you’re right up close to the resort’s distinctive triangular-shaped lodge rooms, more of which in a moment. Water then features a number of times on the back nine - to the right of the 10th green, between tee and green on the mid-length par-3 15th (again alongside the lodges), and to the right of the 17th, a really good par 3 of very similar length to the 15th that plays gently downhill with water awaiting anything pushed a little too much.
Before those two par 3s, the 13th is a nicely framed par 4 of relatively modest length playing directly towards distant ploughed fields. By the time you get to the last, you’ll hopefully already have compiled your score, for this 414-yarder gives little away willingly, especially into the wind with the fairways soft as they were for my round. You’re far more likely to find yourself putting to save par here than to make birdie on a decent-sized green in front of the resort’s modern, light and airy clubhouse.
Some of the cosy and well-equipped lodges at Kilnwick Percy look out over the golf course, and all offer an excellent base for a stay-and-play break taking in both the course here and some of Yorkshire's many other fine layouts. It's by far England’s biggest county when it comes to the sheer number of courses. Some of the lodges can be occupied on an individual room basis, or you may prefer to take a whole lodge, with options available from two to four bedrooms.
Your room or lodge may well have a bath as well as a shower to help soak away those golfing aches and pains, but beyond that, the resort’s Tranquility Spa offers a wide range of treatments as well as a Nordic Spa area, with barrel saunas and a swim spa.
Completing the facilities are the superb, large gym and fitness studio that will catch your eye to the right as you first pull up in the car park, and the striking Glasshouse Restaurant behind the 18th green, which provides the perfect spot for meals and drinks throughout the day and in the evenings. The large terrace overlooking the golf course must be a great spot to chill pre- or post-round in the warmer months.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...