The golf course...
Set in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales countryside and just 10 miles from the Lake District, Sedbergh Golf Course has been described by many as one of the most scenic and tranquil in the north of England.
At 5900 yards (par 70) the golf course certainly isn't the longest, but it provides a stern test for golfers of all abilities. It has been professionally designed and constructed to USGA standards, and has a beautiful balance of holes, with quaint par 3s, tough 5s and a real mixture of par 4s, some of which are driveable, others stretching well over four hundred yards. You'll need to be accurate if you want to score well, with tree lined fairways and water aplenty ready to punish anything slightly off line.
The opening hole at Sedbergh Golf Club is a gentle one to start the round. The hole is a short right-to-left dogleg, which is driveable from the tee, although the aggressive approach is a risky play. The green is heavily guarded with bunkers short, left and right and there is out of bounds down the left, and beyond the green.
The conservative approach of long iron off the tee and a wedge to the green should yield a solid opening par.
The 2nd hole at Sedbergh is the first of our feature holes a lovely short hole over the river Dee. Measuring just 118 yards it is one of the easiest holes on the course, although a three is always a good score. A huge Mountain Ash tree sits on the far side of the river bank obscuring most of the green, which again is guarded by bunkers.
The green has a variety of subtle slopes, providing some interesting pin positions.
The first of the par fives is a stunning hole. The tee shot is probably the most daunting on the golf course, although it is the approach which makes the hole with a Victorian railway bridge providing a fabulous backdrop
At 500 yards, the longer hitters may think about going for the green in two, but this approach is fraught with danger. A pond on the left runs the full length of the green before snaking round the back and the River Rawthey is just a few yards away to the right. With anything slightly off line finding a watery grave, the best play is a cautious one.
A dog-leg par 4 which provides a stern test from the back tees. The ideal tee shot is down the left half of the fairway, opening up the green for the approach, although be wary of the out of bounds left of the hole.
The green like most on the course is only a small target with two bunkers on the right hand side. Don't go chasing the pin when it is in the back-right position as the bunkers will swallow anything slightly miss-hit.
The 5th hole is the toughest on the course and probably one of the hardest golf holes you are ever likely to play.
The River Dee dissects the hole at driving distance which only the longest of hitters will have the length to carry. Mere mortals must lay up short of the river leaving an approach shot of over 200 yards to a severely sloping green, which is extremely well guarded with water on the front and right and out of bounds to the left and the back.
Just try and avoid a big number - most of our members are very happy with a bogey here!
The 6th hole is a par 3 played to an elevated green, making good club selection essential. It is 164 yards on the card but normally plays some 10 yards longer due to the change in elevation.
A good strike to the centre of the green should set-up a birdie opportunity, but you can expect to walk off with a bogey should you miss the green.
A tough par 5 played uphill with a sloping fairway and out of bounds running all of the way up the left side of the hole.
From the tee the first obstacle is a large tee on the left side of the fairway which must be avoided. A fairway wood is the preferred option to get the ball in play and find the narrowing fairway.
Both the second shot and the approach must be played to the right hand side to allow for the slopes.
Consistently one of the hardest holes on the golf course, the 8th is played down hill but into the prevailing wind. The tee shot is blind, played over a ridge to a generous fairway in the middle of which, sits a large Oak tree which must be avoided.
The approach is also played downhill to a large green which narrows at the back. Don't miss the green on the right hand side as there is a severe slope which makes getting up and down very difficult.
The ninth is a par 3 played back to the clubhouse to a McKenzie green, which again makes club selection crucial. Find the right level of the green and you will have a makeable birdie putt, but find the wrong one and you will be grateful for a two putt.
If you are going to miss the green the best place is short as this leaves a straight forward chip up the green. Any miss on either side provides a stern short game examination.
The 10th is moved some 60 yards from the first tee, presenting a totally different challenge.
The change of angle makes the dog-leg more severe and the fairway tougher to find. You'll have to flirt with the OOB if you want to leave yourself a short iron in.
Many choose to take the green on by flying over the Oak tree on top of the hill. Make sure you strike it well, you'll need to carry the ball at least 250 yards to carry the OOB!
This hole plays at least two clubs longer than the first time, with 25 yards added to the hole.
A slight change of angle means that the green is completely hidden behind the Mountain Ash tree. You will have to take aim over the top of the tree if you want to get close here. The safe play is to the left hand side of the green - a miss left isn't the worst position.
The 12th tee is a lot less intimidating than the 3rd hole. There is a tree to avoid in the middle of the fairway which shouldn't prove a problem. The fairway is wide which will tempt you to open your shoulders, though you should still be aware of the out of bounds left and deep rough to the right.
This isn't a green you can take on in two, so make sure you give yourself a good yardage for your approach shot.
The 4th/13th is about the only hole which plays the same on both the front and back nine. A dog-leg par 4 which provides a stern test from the back tees. Keep your tee shot down the left half of the fairway, opening up the green for the approach, although be wary of the out of bounds on the left side of the hole.
Don't go chasing the pin when it is in the back-right position as the bunkers will swallow any slightly miss-hit approach shot.
The 14th hole is a par 3, played slightly uphill to a MacKenzie green.
In total five bunkers guard the green, three of which are deep pot bunkers.
The green is wide at the front, but is very narrow at the back, so a solid strike to the centre of the green is always the play here.
Hole 15 is over 80 yards shorter than the 5th on the front nine, making it significantly easier.
It isn't all plain sailing however, as the river still has to be carried at 180 yards and there are out of bounds on both sides. You must find the green with your second, otherwise it could be very costly.
You need half a club more on the 16th (than the 6th on the front nine) as the 16th tee is slightly lower making the hole play slightly longer.
Just like the front nine the hole requires a solid strike to the centre of the green.
Don't be short!
The par 5, 17th is an energy sapping brute, so late in the round.
This hole plays longer than the front 9, but the tee shot is more straight forward allowing most golfers to hit driver.
Don't forget to keep the ball to the right hand side to allow for the sloping fairway.
Stand on the 18th tee and take time to admire the views over Sedbergh and the local fells before tackling the final hole.
The fairway is the most generous on the course, so open your shoulders and try to give yourself a view of the green for your approach shot.
Two really good strikes will give you an opportunity for par, which would be an ideal finish to this beautiful and challenging course.