Lindrick Golf Club is remembered passionately because it was here in 1957 that Great Britain and Ireland beat the USA to win the Ryder Cup.
Victory had been a long time coming; the last time GBI and Europe had defeated the dominant Americans was way back in 1933 at Southport & Ainsdale.
After the 1957 Lindrick triumph, the Ryder Cup remained firmly in the grasp of the USA until 1985 when, at the Belfry, a combined team of GB&I and Europe managed to wrestle the cup from the Americans.
Clearly, the Ryder Cup put Lindrick firmly on the golfing map, but the Sheffield and District Golf Club, as it was originally called, was actually founded in the 19th century, 1891 to be precise, when Tom Dunn laid out the original nine holes on Lindrick Common. A second nine was added in 1894.
Forty years later, the club changed its name to Lindrick Golf Club and Fred Hawtree made further revisions to the layout. Lindrick is laid out on prime common land and the excellent turf has a mixed heathland and moorland feel. It’s a wild but picturesque course with silver birch-lined fairways, heather and gorse.
The fairways are generous and immaculately conditioned, the greens are subtly borrowed, lightning fast and well protected by bunkers. Accuracy, rather than length, is critical at Lindrick. We are stating the obvious here, but it is much more desirable to play from manicured fairways than dense rough.
There are a number of strong holes, especially on the back nine and the 4th, a short par five of 478 yards, is certainly fun and memorable, with a downhill drive and a blind approach to a hidden green, nestling in a hollow. According to the writing of Bernard Darwin in his original article for the Times, At Hollinwell and Lindrick, which was reprinted for his book, Playing the Like, the “secret and engaging dell” in the area of the 4th green, once bordered three counties - “York, Notts and Derby – and so it was once the ideal spot for prize-fighting.
If there was an obdurate magistrate on one side of the water there was probably a complaisant one on the other, and the ring could be reformed without much ado.”In a more up-to-date publication, the 18th is featured in the 500 World’s Greatest Golf Holes, a 210-yard par three.It’s unusual to end with a par three and cruel to have such an exacting final tee shot, especially if the match is finely poised.
As with so many golf courses of this era, Lindrick, measuring a little over 6,600 yards, is simply not long enough to host today’s professional men’s tournaments. However, in 1966, it was the venue for the British Masters with Neil Coles emerging as the eventual winner and, in 1977, Vivien Saunders took the Women’s British Open crown. Greg Norman somehow took 14 strokes at Lindrick’s 17th, a par four, during the final round of the 1982 Martini tournament and then went on to win the British Masters by eight stokes at St Pierre a few weeks later.
The course still plays host to a number of important amateur events and Lindrick will certainly provide an excellent challenge for the visiting golfer, regardless of handicap.
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