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Monty still holds course record for prestigious club
The third oldest golf course in Yorkshire has one of the most prestigious membership lists in the county.
Colin Montgomerie, Ryder Cup captain for next year’s event, was a junior here and represented the club. He is now an honorary life member and still holds the course record.
There is a second Ryder Cup captain on its books as a life member – Mark James, who guided the European team to victory in 1999.
Another life member is Rodney Foster, one of Britain’s best ever amateurs and Walker Cup captain.
History oozes through the club. Tom Vardon was an early professional and his more famous brother, Harry, won his first prize of £5 as a professional on the original Ilkley course in 1893.
That course, high on the moor, was founded in 1890. It moved to the current site in 1898, and a major tree-planting exercise 40 years ago has added to the course’s pleasure and difficulty.
Ilkley is one of the most picturesque clubs around. The river Wharfe provides a beautiful accompaniment to the first seven holes.
Woe betide anyone who develops a hook, as the river beckons. From the third tee, you play to an island, with the river on either side, for the third green and fourth hole.
Facilities at Ilkley are excellent; its clubhouse, pictured, has stunning views and combines the club’s traditions with modern facilities.
The club has one of the biggest practice fields around and offers reduced ‘twilight’ green fees, but firmly believes in maintaining standards and has a strict dress code.
Name: Ilkley Golf Club
Address: Nesfield Road, Ilkley, LS29 0BE
Telephone: (01943) 600214
President: Maurice Hirst
Club pro: John Hammond
Annual fee: circa £1,000
Visitor fee: £50 Mon-Fri, £55 weekend
Course length: 6,262 yards
Signature hole: 15th – par 3 with bunkers and sloping green (pictured)