Club profile: Pannal Golf Club

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu August 2, 2017 05:23 Updated

Names like Dr Alister MacKenzie and Nick Faldo are written in the club’s history and, thanks to a clubhouse investment programme, its future looks just as exciting, details Andy Waple

Pannal Golf Club near Harrogate in the heart of Yorkshire has hosted some of the world’s finest golfers over the years – including top professionals such as the then reigning Open champions, Walter Hagan and Lee Trevino.

As well as the Tour pros, who entertained the crowds during high profile exhibition matches, a host of Britain’s finest amateur golfers have honed their skills on the hillside course overlooking Almscliffe Crag and the Crimple Valley.

Since it staged the English Women’s Championship in 1927, the challenging moorland test with spectacular views, has been the venue to some of the most prestigious events in the amateur golf diary.

As the only club in North Yorkshire recognised by The R&A as an Open qualifier venue, it has attracted many top fixtures over the decades – such as the inaugural PGA Matchplay Championship in 1955, the PGA Seniors Championship in 1985, the Ladies’ British Amateur Championship in 1991 and the English Amateur Championship that it co-hosted in 2015.

For many years, Pannal has been a leader in the development of junior golf. From 1957 to 1964 the club staged the British Amateur Youth Championship featuring many young competitors, such as Alex Caygill and Brian Barnes, who went on to top-level professional careers. The event returned in 1975 when it was won by Nick Faldo, who set a course record at that time of 65 on his way to victory.

The club has also staged a number of junior international matches. In 2012, England Boys Under 16s beat Scotland Boys Under 16s in their annual match and each year before the North of England Under 16s there is a mixed international match.

This year it will stage a number of important events, again including the North of England under 16s, and a girls’ international match.

Created by Sandy Herd in 1906, improved by the legendary Dr Alister MacKenzie in 1911, and adjusted by Charles MacKenzie in 1935, it is a firm favourite of players who enjoy a moorland challenge set among some of the country’s most uplifting scenery.

The club continually looks to improve its course and clubhouse as it strives to maintain its enviable reputation.

To complement the course, which has recently witnessed new greens’ drainage and improved bunkering, the imposing clubhouse has undergone a comprehensive modernisation programme.

Work started at the beginning of 2016 to refurbish the interior to a high standard. The extensive main bar area overlooking the practice putting green and first tee was transformed to offer members and visitors an attractive, comfortable and relaxing place in a contemporary setting.

The club’s heritage and tradition is reflected in its small oak-panelled bar, and looking to the future, a third bar features a large screen TV. Photographs of the 11 Open Champions who have graced the course since its foundation in 1906, adorn the walls.

Managing secretary, Kevin Fretwell, said Pannal’s long tradition of excellence has been enhanced by the comprehensive refit.

“We always aspire to the best we can be and refurbishment has brought us in line to members’ and visitors’ expectations for the 21st century. We are delighted with the results and so are our members.”

The work included a complete refurbishment of the men’s lockers rooms which has transformed them.

Kevin said: “We had an internal wall taken down, lowered the ceiling and fitted new carpets, toilets, showers and wash basins.

“We finished the job to a high standard by employing Craftsman Lockers to replace the old metal lockers with 174 new ones of different sizes.

“Craftsman are known to be among the top people in their industry and they came highly recommended.

“They proved to be a good company to work with; they were here on time and finished on time. Our members are very happy with the new lockers to such an extent that we have a waiting list for them.”

Craftsman, which has been at the top of the changing room design sector for generations, is now part of the Ice Locker Group, trading as Craftsman Lockers


Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu August 2, 2017 05:23 Updated
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