One of the legends of world golf, The Belfry offers three superb parkland golf courses, including the Brabazon Course, the PGA National Course and the Derby Course. It is the Brabazon layout however, that is of world renown in terms of playing host to the Ryder Cup, the latest being in 2002. And while The Belfry has undoubtedly been made famous by its golf courses, the venue also offers a luxury hotel, which offers leisure facilities second to none.
All three courses at The Belfry are well worth playing. The Derby Course is a par 70 layout measuring just over 6,000 yards and is suited to all standards of player; the PGA National Course presents more of a challenge and measures over 7,000 yards from the championship tees; while the Brabazon Course is quite simply one of the finest inland tests of golf in the United Kingdom. And while the Brabazon Course offers countless fine holes, it is probably the par four 10th that is regarded as the signature hole. According to former Ryder Cup player, Ken Brown, "- it is one of the great holes of golf in a match play situation-the green nestles between the lake and mature trees to provide a memorable and picturesque setting-it provides the possibility of birdies, eagles or disasters".
Host to the Ryder Cup in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002, The Belfry is also significant as it is where the European players finally came of age and proved they could compete with and beat the best players in the world. Since the event in 1993, the Brabazon Course has undergone many layout changes, made with the spectator in mind and also to increase the challenge presented by an already formidable test.
Some of the finest holes on the Brabazon Course include the 3rd, 10th and fittingly the 18th. Having safely negotiated the fairway bunkers from the tee on the par five, 3rd hole, the golfer is presented with a tantalizing approach, needing to carry a pond on its way to an elevated green. The short 10th is a real classic and while Seve Ballesteros proved it could be driven, do not underestimate the inherent difficulty of this hole. A well-placed drive and wedge is advised. As with all great courses, the finishing hole at the Brabazon Course is superb. Having negotiated the water from the tee, you then need to produce an approach across a stretch of the same water to the green.
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