Fulford Golf Club: made famous by Bernhard Langer but wonderful

To show the 9th green at Fulford
The 9th green at Fulford

It was an iconic image which travelled around the world: Bernhard Langer, with a shock of blonde hair, at Fulford Golf Club playing from a tree 10ft off the ground.

It was a moment in time. A moment of golf history that put this Yorkshire club firmly on the map and ensured it would always be associated with that image – I grew up dreaming of playing there. Perhaps it was that image of Langer, or the 23 successive years during the 1970s and 80 that it hosted the Benson & Hedges Championship, a prestigious European Tour event.

Winners included Greg Norman, Lee Trevino, Tony Jacklin, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance and Mark James – many of whom are immortalised on the scorecard with the holes named after the famous faces that produced great moments at each of them.

Fulford Golf Club
The heather in full bloom at Fulford

However, it is the images of Langer in his tree that really endure at Fulford.

The 17th is named after the German, of course, while there is a plaque attached to the tree, just to the left of the green from which he played, managing to steer his ball onto the green much to the delight of the large crowd gathered at the base of it. 

Langer would drop a shot on his way to a round of 67 and finished second behind the American Tom Weiskopf by, you guessed it, one shot. Langer would never win at Fulford Golf Club.

The event moved to St Mellion in Cornwall in 1990. The German won a year later. All that happened in 1981 and some three decades later, it was my turn.

Fulford Golf Club
A plaque marks the spot where Langer played from a tree

Fulford is only a mile or two from the centre of York, hidden away in the leafy suburb. The clubhouse is imposing and impressive and the pro-shop, housed in a separate building close to the 1st tee, provided the warmest of welcomes.

The land on which Fulford Golf Club sits is mature and varied. Each hole is set in its own amphitheatre, each carved through a mixture of the woodland and heathland native to this beautiful part of North Yorkshire.

The first five holes take you out away from the clubhouse – the par-3 3rd is an excellent hole –  before a footbridge takes you to a stretch of eight holes that are the highlight of this excellent layout.

Fulford Golf Club
The 10th at Fulford

There is certainly a hint Sunningdale Old Course when the heather is in full bloom. And like it’s more celebrated rival, on each hole the bunkering threatens your tee shot, rarely is there an easy landing spot and the straight hitters will be rewarded over the long ones.

A string of tremendous par 4s culminate in the challenging 13th and at each, the fairway appears to narrow at landing distance to make your task of finding the fairway, even harder.

The greens were fast and yet receptive to spin on the day we played. The slopes are subtle and you always feel that good putts are rewarded once you find the pace. As with all good golf in Yorkshire, the wind can, and likely will, have an impact on your round. The final stretch of five holes back to the clubhouse played into the breeze for us, making what was a relatively straightforward run into something much more challenging. And, despite our best efforts, we could not get the ball to stay in the tree on 17. That’s a joke, by the way. Or an attempt at one.

Fulford Golf Club
One of the many brilliantly placed bunkers at Fulford

The clubhouse sits close to the back of the 18th green. Only a stumble from final putt to pint.

Fulford is not a club attempting to escape its past and that image of Langer. Why should it? But what I found out on my visit to York, was a golf course that is so much more than that image.

I would recommend it to anyone and my feeling is that it is as good as inland course as any you will find in this part of the world. It will test you, it will delight you and you would be mad not to add it to your bucket list. That said (and I speak from experience) don’t try and climb the tree!

Fulford Golf Club: Key facts

Address: Heslington Lane, York, North Yorkshire, YO10 5DY, United Kingdom.
Phone number: +44 1904 413579
Website: FulfordGolfClub.co.uk
Designer: James Braid and Major Charles Mackenzie.
Length: 6,743yds, Par 72.

Fulford Golf Club scorecard

Fulford Golf Club Scorecard

Fulford Golf Club: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How far is Fulford Golf Club from the centre of York? 

Not far at all. In fact, Fulford Golf Club is less than 3 miles from the centre of York and yet it feels like it could be miles away from almost anywhere when you are out in the heathland. 

How much are the  Fulford Golf Club green fees?

Well, the good news is that visitors are welcomed at Fulford and made to feel very welcome. Fulford Golf Club green fees will, of course, vary on when you play during the year and when during the week you would like to play. There are two ways to find out the latest information on Fulford Golf Club green fees. The first is to call the club office on 01904 413 579 or by sending an email to [email protected]

Where can I find the Fulford Golf Club Twitter account? 

The Fulford Golf Club Twitter account is certainly worth a follow and can be found at Twitter.com/FulfordGolfClub

How much are Fulford Golf Club membership fees? 

Fulford is, as you might expect, a members club but for all the latest information on Fulford Golf Club Membership fees we suggest you visit the club website FulfordGolfClub.co.uk or give the general manager a call on 01904 413579 or an email on [email protected] 

Is there a Fulford Golf Club pro shop?

There certainly is a Fulford Golf Club pro shop, which is located just behind and to the left of the 1st tee at Fulford Golf Club and has an excellent selection of apparel, accessories and equipment. 

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. Really good read. I will make sure to bookmark your blog!

  2. A great course. I ranked it number four in Yorkshire. As a grammar pedant I’m looking at the 5th hole on the scorecard and am wondering if the proof reader was off sick that day ?

    • Thanks for your comments, Mark. It’s certainly a fantastic layout. And as for the scorecard ?

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