Founded in 1887, Cleveland Golf Club holds the distinction of being the only links course in England’s largest golfing county and the oldest golf club affiliated to the Yorkshire Union of Golf Clubs.
Old Tom Morris arrived a few years later before a host of prominent architects including Harry Colt and latterly Donald Steel laid their hands across this wonderful piece of golfing terrain. In 200 Steel fashioned three new holes -the 14th to the 16th - and the course now measures 6,921 from the back tees playing to a par of 72.
The doyen of golf writers, Bernard Darwin, in his book A Round of Golf on the LNER wrote: "The course of the Cleveland Golf Club at Redcar is as fine piece of natural golfing country as you can imagine…at the end of the course looms a vast steel works its tall chimneys pouring out their smoke.”
He continues: “Look away...the seas and the sandhills and the bents and the ground that undulates so gently and perfectly; you will feel grateful for such a piece of ground and forget about the steel works.”
The front nine is made up of three par threes, three par fours and three par fives, and begins and ends with a short hole. The journey home begins with a series of daunting par fours culminating in the dogleg 14th (“Gair”) and finishes with a birdieable par 5 closing hole.
Cleveland has hosted top class professional and amateur events over the years including the Yorkshire Amateur Championship when, in August 2017, Walker Cup player Alex Fitzpatrick set the course record of 62. As a result, it has become a ‘bucket list’ course and attracts support from outings, societies, and corporate days all keen to take advantage of the competitive packages on offer.
All are based on a minimum of 8 people and start with the bronze package at £38, which includes coffee and a bacon sandwich plus 18 holes, up to the platinum package which includes 12 holes of golf in the morning and 18 in the afternoon, coffee and a bacon roll on arrival, soup, and sandwiches at lunchtime and a two- course meal after golf. All for just £54.
Golf only options start with 18 holes at £38 up to £48 for two rounds or 30 holes for £46. The Sunday Driver package is available from April until the end of September and delivers terrific value at £99. It includes a round on Sunday afternoon (after 1pm) an evening meal at the golf club, bed & breakfast at the nearby Claxton Hotel, and a round on Monday.
The enormous industrial structures that are in view immediately to the west of the course are gradually being removed but cannot blight this absolute gem of a links. One not to be missed.