Hebden Bridge Golf Club among the best views in Yorkshire

Hebden Bridge Golf Club
The views at Hebden Bridge speak for themselves

Hebden Bridge Golf Club is a place wonderfully untroubled by the march of time. 

Golf, at times, feels barely recognisable: where once it was played with wooden clubs, now it’s played by super athletes, capable of reducing 600-yard par 5s to a thunderous drive and an easy 7-iron. Golf courses are changing too – they’re getting longer, both in yardage and the time it takes to play them. More expensive too.

It’s still the game we all fell in love with but it’s important to remember that there are courses, if you look hard enough, that can take you back to more innocent times. It was in that spirit that we wandered to the Yorkshire dales, a stone’s throw from the iconic Pennine Way, to find a course that is a delightful throwback.

Hebden Bridge Golf Club
Hebden Bridge Golf Club in Yorkshire


Hebden Bridge Golf Club is an adventure before you even get there. You climb up and away from the charming West Yorkshire village and wind your way through Victorian housing and then fields until you get to the very top. And it’s there, at what feels like the top of the world (1100ft above sea level, in fact), that you will find this delightful course.

The views carry to York and Leeds in the east and west into Lancashire. When the sun is out and wind behaves, as it did for us, it’s hard to imagine a more breathtaking setting for an inland course in England. On arrival, it was obvious we would not find a pro-shop selling £500 drivers, no pro shop at all as it turned out. No parking spaces for captains, vice-captains, past captains or captain my captains. No cars, except ours. No people in fact. A Sunday afternoon in August, sun shining, warm and we had the course to ourselves. Entirely to ourselves.  We knew the club operated an honesty box for green fees. So we filled out our tickets, placed our £10 into envelopes provided, took a scorecard and posted our money. The last ticket stub had been from three days previous.

Hebden Bridge Golf Club Honesty Box
The honesty box at Hebden Bridge Golf Club


This is a 9-hole golf course, with a second set of tees that allow you to play 18. It’s not long. The longest hole is 394-yards, in fact, but it is fantastic fun. The 1st hole plays away from the clubhouse to a green that is raised up above a fairway that slopes from left to right and has as many ups and downs as a thrill-a-minute rollercoaster ride. The vibrant purples of the heather illuminate the fringes around the greens and fairways. Finding a lie where the ball is on the flat is rare and shots need to be carefully placed to avoid being swept away by the slopes. But what you find, pretty quickly, is that you can’t wipe the smile from your face.

The 2nd, a short par 4, runs back along the edge of the hill top, go left and you will need to drive for 15 minutes before you can start looking for your ball. The 3rd is a longish par 4 with a green that slopes sharply from front to back, taking anything overhit sharply away. The 4th is a lovely hole. The fairway can’t be seen from the tee but it’s there and wider than you might think. Anything right and you will never see your ball again. I was 50 yards short of the green in one and walked off with a 5.

The 5th is the longest hole on the course at 394 yards and requires a tee shot over the brow of a hill to a well-guarded green that has a slope in front that makes you think it’s closer than it really is. And the 6th doglegs left around a dry-stone wall to a green that nestles into the hillside. The 7th is a hole like few others. A par-3 that tees off from right in front of the clubhouse to a green some 75ft above you, with the wind whipping across the tops. The green has a false front and any shot to the right will dive down the slope and leave you desperately scrambling to get back up onto the green. The 8th climbs higher still. A second successive par-3, this time 178-yards long. With a bank of heather and thick rough to the left of the green and a sharp drop to the right, it’s a small, square target to hit. The ideal shot is into the slight slope on the left edge of the green that will run the ball gently back down to the flag. It’s the highest point on the course and it’s worth taking a minute to drink it all in. Stunning.

Hebden Bridge Golf Club in Yorkshire
The views from Hebden Bridge Golf Club are spectacular


The 9th tee is another Kodak moment. Although if you are with a trolley, don’t go down the back of the 8th green or you will find yourself, as I did, having to go down 50ft of stone steps to get there. This par-4 demands a long straight drive over the thick stuff and onto a fairway that slopes right to left. The green, which sits in front of the clubhouse, is guarded by bunkers but the overwhelming feeling is that you have come to the end of a lovely round.

Hebden Bridge will never feature in a top 100 list. Not even in Yorkshire. It’s not a critically-acclaimed design, the greens aren’t perfect and it’s a little rough around the edges. But it is dripping with charm and quirkiness. It is not like every other course you have or ever will play. And the great joy of it, is that you will always remember the day you pitched up (pardon the pun), probably had the course to yourself and smiled from start to finish. I hope those of you who read this take me up on that challenge to keep places like this going in the age of the 400-yard drive and 5hr round, there is still a place for a course that reminds us what golf used to be like.

PS. Incidentally, the next morning one of the Wanderers (who shall remain nameless) realised he could not find his wallet. He was in the process of turning his house and car upside down in search of it, when his phone rang. It was a man whom he had never met. This man was in possession of his wallet. He had managed to leave it on the floor of the car park at Hebden Bridge Golf Club. A man had arrived the next day to find it lying on the floor. He had managed to find a membership card for our Wanderer’s home club and called the number on the card. He asked for his phone number and delivered the good news.

Now, I would like to think that would have happened at most golf clubs around the world – golfers are generally a very good lot – but it only added to the charm of the club and the course. Please go before courses like this do.


Phone Number: 01422 842896
Website: HebdenBridgeGolfClub.co.uk
Designers: Thornber, Sutcliffe, Jackson, Peckover and Heyhurst
Cost: £15 high season for 18 holes. £10 for 9 holes. Honesty box
Where it ranks: Nowhere, but that’s its charm.
Length: 5,173 yards from the back tees. Par 68.


Hebden Bridge Golf Club Scorecard
The scorecard for Hebden Bridge Golf Club

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. Reading this was like walking the course with you. Loved it. And must try and find my way to this club!
    Thanks again from Espana.

  2. Loving your articles, saved to favorites!.

  3. Really enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts. Grazie

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