Brothers and business partners David Melvin Emmingham and have created a super little complex in the village of Midgley on the outskirts of Wakefield with views of the surrounding countryside that are simply to die for.
Midgley Lodge is close to junctions 38 and 39 of the M1 motorway and has a 9 hole pay and play course and a 25-bedroom motel on site. It’s also an ideal base for golfing parties as there’s a wide range of 18 hole courses within a 15 minute drive.
The lodge was the first to be built back in 1993 before the brothers bought at auction the adjacent fields of what at the time was arable farming land. David recalls: “When we saw that it was for sale, we decided that it would be an asset and we set about buying it. It was grazing land and I think there were only two trees on the whole of the site at that time. “
He was a founder member at Waterton Park and also a member at Silkstone at the time and decided that the best commercial opportunity for the newly acquired land was a 9 hole pay and play course open to all golfers irrespective of their abilities.
“We have pretty much stuck with that philosophy ever since and its an ideal place for beginners and casual golfers who just want to play and don’t necessarily want to deal with some of the stipulations and restraints that come with membership of a golf club. “
David, who is 70, was late to golf not taking up the game until he reached 40 and was then able to combine the skills, he had developed in the construction industry with his new found passion. He designed the course himself and the next three years were a labour of love, shaping tees and greens and building some eye-catching features including stone wall and bridges before seeding the layout before it was finally ready to receive golfers for the first time back in May 2006.
Now nicely matured, the course features six par 4’s and three par 3’s with superb views over Emley Moor and beyond and on a sunny day there can’t be many nicer spots. Three of the more memorable holes start at the 4th, a long par four that stretches 420 yards from the yellow tees where your drive has to find a narrow fairway into the prevailing wind before the approach to a MacKenzie green where long is dead.
By contrast the short 7th is a little over 100 yards with a feature stone wall at the back of the green which gives little away if come into contact with. Many players often misjudge the distance here as the green sits above the tee box so an extra club or a little more oomph is required.
If you can negotiate a par here then take in a well deserved breath of Yorkshire air as you survey the beautiful surrounding countryside before taking on another tricky par 3. The 8th hole is appropriately named ‘sand ahoy’ and requires an accurate shot of 175 yards to a well protected green. Again, the tee shot is played uphill making club selection all important. Priority is given to golfers who book in advance so its best to call and check before setting out.
David oversees the golf operation while Melvin runs the accommodation and food and beverage side of the business which includes the popular Fairways Bar which offers a full range of beverages plus hot and cold food and breakfast . It also boasts a large patio which is an ideal place to sit and drink in the spectacular views.