Golfing luminaries like Seve Ballesteros, Arnold Palmer, Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino have all trodden Bingley’s brilliant fairways when the club hosted the European Tour’s Lawrence Batley International in the 1980’s, yet it remains one of West Yorkshire’s best kept secrets.
MacKenzie and his brother Charles collaborated on this intoxicating mix of parkland, woodland and heathland, which features wonderfully crafted greens and strategic bunkers formed in a single loop.
As you reach the 10th hole at the top of the course it opens out into heathland giving way to a superb stretch of holes from 11-15. These are as good as they come and wouldn’t look out of place at Alwoodley, or Moortown, as they require ball-striking of precision and length.
The 11th is a long par-four with a drive over a seemingly never-ending expanse of heather, before it legs to the left and at the same time plunges downhill to a terrifically bunkered approach and green with a wicked putting surface that falls from the front-right to the back-left. Flanked with heather for all of its 460 yards, and with an old stone wall guarding the right-hand side, it is not one for the fainthearted.
Coming off the driveable 15th, you come back out of the woodland to play the final parkland holes, closing with a par-3 downhill outside the clubhouse and the chance to enjoy a pint in Billy’s Bar, which boasts an incredible collection of golf memorabilia. It was donated by club member Billy Foster, who is currently caddying for Matt Fitzpatrick, but who counts Seve, Tiger, Darren Clarke, Sergio Garcia and Lee Westwood among his former bosses.