Offering excellent value and packed with variety, the course at Bingley St. Ives is well worth a visit - Rob Smith enjoys…

Bingley St Ives Course Review

Variety is the spice of life and this Alister MacKenzie creation offers an intriguing mix of parkland, heathland and moorland as you work your way round the par 71 design. Bingley St. Ives dates back to the 1930s, and the club hosted European Tour events in the 80s won by likes of Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo.

The course was one that featured last Summer in my Golfer’s Guide to the West Riding of Yorkshire, and it is right next door to the headquarters of the Sports Turf Research Institute, STRI. It opens with a gentle hole that leads you up onto the hills.

A short par 4 eases you into the round

This is followed by an inviting par 5 and a tough two-shotter, both to greens that are well bunkered.

The approach to the second green

I very much liked the look of the first short hole, the 4th, and was rewarded with the first of what turned out to be three birdies.

Don’t go left on the attractive par-3 fourth

The next two run either side of a stand of trees, and you then come to the very pretty 7th.

The shortest hole on the course, the seventh, just 143 yards from the whites

The front nine closes with two fine holes running through mature woodland. Following a brief stop at the halfway shelter – very welcome as the heavens opened briefly – the back nine begins with two excellent holes. The 10th is a lovely but testing par 3, and the next is a super-tough dogleg left where you are tempted to bite off more than you can chew.

The approach at the SI one twelfth

Holes 12 to 14 run in parallel lines and were very kind to me – par, birdie, par – and the next is a very tempting short par 4 played through an avenue of trees.

Looking back from behind the green at the driveable par-4 fifteenth

A pair of fine par 4s lead you back to the closing hole which is played from a tee 40 feet above the green that awaits 184 yards away. Watch out for the OOB long or right.

The closing hole is played from an elevated tee down over Cross Gates Lane

I very much enjoyed this unusual and engaging course, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t make you smile. It certainly worked for this youngster in my final photograph, below, he was in the field behind the club’s car park and came over to say hello!

If this chap was a golfer, would he be Rickie Foaler?

I would certainly recommend Bingley St. Ives, one of many courses making this an outstanding area for golf.