Scarcroft Golf Club Course Review

In an area of extremely strong golf, Scarcroft Golf Club can rightly be very proud of its fine course

Scarcroft Golf Club - Hole 14
The par-5 fourteenth is a picture-perfect risk and reward par 5
(Image credit: Geoff Ellis,

Scarcroft Golf Club Course Review
Round: £45wd, £65we; Day: £60wd, £80we
Par 71, 6,243 yards
Slope 131
GM Verdict A very fine test of tree-lined golf that deserves to be better known
Favourite Hole The beautiful risk-reward par-5 14th with a pond in exactly the right, or indeed wrong, position

Yorkshire is a county packed with fine golf with plenty of Top 100 and Next 100 courses of varying styles and fame. It also has excellent strength in depth and Scarcroft is a terrific example of just such a course; a testing, subtle, tree-lined layout that requires thought and strategy rather than brute force. The club was formed shortly before WWII, and its attractive layout was designed by Charles MacKenzie, younger brother of Alister who designed Augusta National and many other world-class courses.

Scarcroft Golf Club - Hole 3

The 354-yard third is the last of three strong par 4s that open the course

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis)

The par 71 layout opens with six holes on the other side of the main road, and the first three are arguably its most demanding trio of holes; three tricky and testing par 4s. The 4th offers your first respite, a gentle par 5 up a slight incline, and this is followed by the first of the four par 3s, a little beauty that is also the shortest hole on the course.

Scarcroft Golf Club - Hole 11

Watch out for the tricky ditch that eats into the approach on the eleventh

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis)

The 6th is another tough par 4, and back over the road this is followed by a quite different short hole, the longest here with trees left and sand waiting on the right. Two more par 4s take you to the turn and the characterful halfway house which is a lovely place for a mid-round break. The back nine is arguably even better with more holes that are individually memorable. As on the front nine, they begin with a hat-trick of testing two-shotters.

Scarcroft Golf Club - Hole 14

Looking back from behind the lovely fourteenth, the middle one of the three par 5s

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis)

The par-5 14th is another real belter; a risk-reward hole that is both great fun to play and lovely to behold. Long hitters may feel tempted, but the penalty for failure is clear to all!

Scarcroft Golf Club - Hole 15

The final short hole, the fifteenth, plays up the slope

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis)

The 15th is the final and most interesting of the par 3s. It plays uphill to a well-protected green, and anything left is going to end up in real trouble.

Scarcroft Golf Club - Hole 18

The closing green beside the stylish art deco clubhouse

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis)

The 16th is a great little risk and reward par 4, driveable by many and so offering a variety of strategies. The 17th takes you away from the clubhouse and sets you up for the closing par 5 which will give hopes of finishing with a flourish.

Scarcroft Golf Club is just down the road from the excellent courses at Alwoodley and Moortown, and makes for an ideal alternative as part of a golfing trip. Indeed, the best golf courses in Yorkshire match the best courses pretty much anywhere, and Scarcroft is an extremely fine course. It can hold its head high in very illustrious company and will test the better player while offering great entertainment to all.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2021, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. 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 seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He has been a member of Tandridge in Surrey for 30 years where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at