Contributing Editor Rob Smith reviews the excellent course at Manchester Golf Club
Manchester Golf Club Course Review
Familiarly known as Hopwood after the park to which it relocated more than a century ago, Manchester Golf Club is blessed with a wonderful Harry Colt course that sprawls over a glorious expanse of gently undulating countryside.
Not far from home of the Manchester Golf Show and the coastline that boasts several Golf Monthly Top 100 Courses, this lovely inland setting provides an excellent alternative to the county’s historic links.
Just a few miles from the city centre and close by the M62, the contrast could not be greater as you work your way around eighteen distinct, testing and memorable holes, all in fine condition.
Opening with a short but beautifully framed and appealing par 4, it is then immediately time to put on your driving boots with back-to-back par 5s at two and three.
The 4th is a beautiful short hole in a natural dell beyond a stream, and the 6th is a belter, stroke index one with a blind drive over the hill to who-knows-what beyond.
Eight is another photogenic par 3 before a downhill par 5 takes you to the turn.
I say turn, but this is not really the case as there is only one starting point and the routing constantly twists and turns with no sight of the clubhouse until after your round.
The back nine begins with two short but strategic and challenging par 4s, before another super-tough gem at twelve where I very much savoured the somewhat unexpected achievement of a 2-putt par.
Thirteen is a standout, must-hit short hole and fourteen a meandering par 5 round to the left and up the hill.
The finishing four holes are all very tough and provide a real sting in the tail. Into the wind, none of my playing partners nor I could reach the “short” sixteenth, 211 yards from our tee but into the wind and requiring driver.
Back in the characterful maze of a clubhouse, the welcome is extremely warm and the food plentiful and tasty.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Manchester Golf Club where the course is as capable of hosting a serious tournament as it is of enchanting any visiting golfer looking for something special and different.
Offering terrific value for money, it fully deserves to be on the travelling golfer’s radar.