RUDDING Park is on target to achieve its ambition of becoming the premier golfing academy in the North.
With an 18-hole championship course, stunning six-hole short course, state-of-the-art academy and award-winning four-star hotel and luxury holiday lodges at Follifoot, just outside Harrogate, many consider Rudding Park to be already there.
Rudding is independently owned by Simon Mackaness and his family, and over the last 30 years, a comprehensive programme of improvement and redevelopment saw the opening of Rudding Holiday Park in 1978, the renovation of Rudding Park House in 1987 and the subsequent opening of the hotel in 1997.
Now work has started on a new £8m extension to the hotel, and another nine holes which will bring the superb Hawtree course up to 27 holes. Work has started on the new nine with two new holes already built.
The £8m extension will take the hotel up to 84 rooms and provide a new spa and gym. While the hotel has won numerous awards, recently picking up the “Yorkshire Life Hotel of the Year”, the quality of the golf course has seen the addition of nearly 200 new members.
The Hawtree course, six-hole Repton lay-out and academy has attracted several groups for coaching including Yorkshire Boys, the England North under-16 girls as well as the national girls under-16 squad, while Lee Westwood also brought his golf academy to Rudding Park in July for a masterclass.
The 18-hole course has its own attractive clubhouse and the Repton six-hole course is attached to the academy and driving range and is certainly worth a visit because it’s been constructed to USGA specifications.
It has one parkland hole, two woodland and two water holes and an island signature hole – a replica of the notorious 17th at Sawgrass. It can be played in only an hour and it’s huge fun.
The state-of-the-art academy adjoining has an 18-bay driving range with two indoor swing studios equipped with the latest video technology, an indoor Tomi putting laboratory and a fantastic rotunda clubhouse and pro shop.
Two times Walker Cup captain and PowerPlay Golf creator Peter McEvoy recently visited Repton to showcase the two-flag “risk and reward” game as the North Yorkshire resort has been chosen as an official PowerPlay Golf venue.
In PowerPlay Golf, players can choose to play to the “easy” white flag or the more difficult “Skull ’n’ Crossbones” black flag which is placed in a difficult location. If a birdie or better is scored when playing to the black flag, double Stableford Points are earned.
By Alan Hedley