It’s not going to be hosting a Major anytime soon, but the scenic little 9-holer at Ben Rhydding is bursting with charisma - Rob Smith falls under its spell

Ben Rhydding Course Review

I stumbled upon Ben Rhydding Golf Club purely by chance when staying in Ilkley last Summer and mentioned it briefly in my guide to golf in the area. The decidedly eccentric course may not suit old school purists, but I loved it! A tenner in the honesty box, one long hole, blind drives, four short par 4s and four par 3s, round in 90 minutes and a smile on the face all the way – perfect.

The course starts with the only hole of any real length – a par 4/5 which leads you up and out onto the hills.

The longest hole on the course – 461 from the tips

A short hole and an uphill par 4 lead you to the highest point on the course from where there a fabulous views all around and back down over to Ilkley.

The appropriately named third hole, Panorama

The next is a short par 4 with a ‘what’s-going-on-here’ drive over a marker pole…

A somewhat daunting blind drive awaits at the fourth

… to a green nestling in a delightfully natural setting.

Sanctuary at the fourth green

A gentle descent – driveable even by me (though obviously I didn’t!) – leads you back down to a green situated in a shady dell beside a lovely pond.

The approach to the beautifully sited fifth green

The sixth is the final par 4, uphill to a well-protected green.

The final par 4, the driveable sixth

A trio of varied short holes concludes the round – seven and eight play down the hill, and the 9th is the toughest. Ironically it is named Well, because that is not how I played it!

Looking back from the eighth green to the Cow & Calf

As a huge fan of golf courses where the setting and the views both on and off the course are a key ingredient, I was totally charmed by Ben Rhydding. In a book of Hidden Gems, this would feature prominently.

For those who are simply after fun from a game, who have limited time for golf or for whom scenery is number one, this is just the place.