Burnley Golf Club: hilltop wonder will make you smile

Burnley Golf Club boasts stunning views

Funny story: Burnley Golf Club – 10am.

The clubhouse is quieter than it should be for a big golf day. No welcoming party. No bacon butties. None of those banner things. No people. We walk into the clubhouse. “Hi, we’re here for the golf day,” I say. “The golf day?’ says the pro. “Yes, the golf day. You know. The. Golf. Day,” I say.

Burnley Golf Club
The 4th at Burnley Golf Club


There’s a moment when no one speaks. It’s quite a long moment.  “Erm,” says the pro. “We don’t have a golf day today.” A smile spreads across my face. I have seen this one before. The witty pro playing a prank on the unsuspecting visitor. No chance I am falling for that one today, absolutely no chance, I think to myself smugly. I have seen this one coming.  “We’re not falling for that one,” I say. “Hahaha.” The pro is not laughing. He’s not even smiling – he’s just staring back at us. He turns his computer around to face us, points to the golf day, points to the day of the week. He’s right, it isn’t today. It’s not even tomorrow. It’s two days’ from now. It’s quiet in the pro shop again. Very quiet. 

I have felt this way before in my life when I turned up at London Luton Airport rather than Heathrow for a flight. That wasn’t my fault either. I promise. We’re still standing there. We’ve driven for 2hrs to get here.  The pro is laughing now. We looked bemused. A neat little role reversal. And then comes a sentence to lift our flagging spirits. An unexpected one. A joyous one. “You can still play if you want. I won’t charge you,” says the pro.  Hope. “Really?” we say. This is pity. He feels sorry for us. But we’ll take it for a round of golf. 

Burnley Golf Club
The clubhouse at Burnley Golf Club


And that was how it began. A scramble to the car, shoes on, bags ready. 1st tee. And go. Burnley Golf Club may go down as the friendliest welcome I have ever had at an golf club in England – not only because the pro gave us a free round but because the golfers around the 1st tee, usher us forward to play the short par-4 opener that rises steeply to an elevated green.

At the 2nd, the group of four in front of us wave us through. On the par-4 5th, another group of three golfers do the same and with a smile. We’re feeling so good we even pluck up the courage to tell passing golfers the ‘we turned up on the wrong day story- hahaha, what fun’. Ray, another of The Wandering Golfers team thinks he hears one of them utter the word ‘muppets’ as we walk to the next tee. I’d like to think it was actually something like ‘enjoy the view from the summit’. Maybe.

Even if it wasn’t, it’s hard to disagree on this day of all days. The sun is shining on the golf course and it is in really wonderful condition. The greens are as good as anything we have played in months. Fast, beautifully manicured and true. I mean really, really excellent.

Burnley Golf Club
The view from the 8th green at Burnley Golf Club


The opening five holes are challenging and offer a hint of what lies ahead. Blind tee shots are certainly a feature. As are changes in elevation. The best of the opening stretch is the 3rd. A blind tee shot needs to be to the right of the marker post to allow a fairway which gathers everything to the left to run your ball into the centre. Your drive also needs to be short of the ditch at around 270 yards. The approach is from around 170 yards to a flattish green which is, not unusually here, a delight to putt on. It’s a strong start and the views across the valley are wonderful. 

We cross the road towards the 6th tee – we’re up on the moorland now. The fairways narrow a little and the scenery is all around us and spectacular. The 6th, another short par 4, runs alongside a wall with OB to the right. The green is tucked cleverly down in a dip. Another nice hole. The 7th is a good par 3, down to a green well protected by bunkers and by thick rough right.

Burnley Golf Club
The views at Burnley Golf Club are wonderful

The course really starts to come to life on the 10th. We fire our tee shots, blind again, over a marker post and onto a fairway below. The green is beautifully positioned between an avenue of trees with bunkers either side. The par 3 11th is another excellent hole. Short, yes but not straightforward. Bunkers await. An amphitheatre of rough curves around the green. It’s a delightful setting for a par 3 with the green 30 yards long from back to front.

Burnley Golf Club
The par-3s at Burnley are excellent


By now word has spread. As we approach the 15th tee a gentleman playing an adjoining hole introduces himself. “You must be the two who turned up on the wrong day,” he says with a smile. “I’m Alan, the club secretary, you’re very welcome.” And that was the feeling from start to finish at Burnley Golf Club. We genuinely were made to feel very welcome, which isn’t always the case in this game we all love. But here it seems to be par for the course. 

The last thing Alan says to us as we look down at the 15th fairway is “Turf Moor is the line!” And it was. The home of Premier League club Burnley was indeed the line for another sweeping par-4, even better if you can hit it with a slight fade. The finish at Burnley was a strong one. The second shot at 15 is likely to be 180 yards plus and often into a breeze. By the time we reach the 18th tee we are only 2hrs 45 mins into our round. We’ve been challenged by a good course, played some good golf, at times, putted on some of the best greens we’d seen for a while and taken in the views across the three peaks and beyond. Hard to beat. We’re fortunate that the wind is almost non existent. We could only imagine what this course was like to play when it blew …

We fire our tee shots away down the hill that carries you back down the clubhouse on 18. It’s a fitting finish to the round. Hit your tee shot well and it will stay in the air for what feels like an age before finding the fairway. The green is well protected and sloped front to back but two solid shots will get you home and safe. And that is it. We shake hands and wander back into the pro shop to thank Sam for his kindness. He didn’t know we wrote about golf when he offered us a round at Burnley. Maybe he will now. We hadn’t planned to write about it but the course and actually the people gave us lots to write about. 

It’s absolutely worth a visit. The only slight difficulty for first time visitors is the number of blind tee shots particularly on the front 9 but the course is in really magnificent condition and you are guaranteed a warm welcome. We will certainly be back… hopefully on the correct day.


Phone Number: 01282 455266
Designer:  James Braid
Length: Par 69 – 5,943 Yards
Website: BurnleyGolfClub.com


Burnley Golf Club Scorecard


Burnley Golf Club Map

The founder of The Wandering Golfers, Ben grew up on the links of Scotland learning the game from his beloved Grandpa. Previously a writer and broadcaster for The Times and BBC


  1. Thank you for your wonderful comments on your recent visit to Burnley golf club , i will pass your comments onto the head greenkeeper and his staff I’m sure they will be greatly appreciated
    I’m glad you played on a day when you could enjoy the course and views at it’s very best it can ,
    get a little breezy at times ! Once again many thanks on your review ,and all the best on your future WANDERINGS. Jim nutter chairman of greens. BGC

    • Our pleasure, Jim. Look forward to coming back in the future.

  2. Wow a man true to his word and what a great write up for our course. We are all extremely proud of what we have here at Glen View. Many thanks for taking the time to offer your very honest assessment we hope to see you both back soon. Kind regards. Alan

    • We keep our promises, Alan. You should be proud of the club and the course. Lots to be proud of. Stay in touch.

  3. Did you go back on the correct day?

    Royal Burnley is a great course. I’d take 5 on the 5th any day, par is a bonus.

    • We couldn’t go back on the correct day, sadly. But any day you play there is the right day as far as we are concerned!

    • We couldn’t go back on the correct day, sadly. But any day you play there is the right day as far as we are concerned!

  4. Very good article. Really looking forward to read more. Really Great.

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