Those unfamiliar with the area are invariably surprised by how quickly Sheffield and the Peak District merge into each other – industrial city adjacent to national park. Hallamshire pretty much marks the dividing point between the two. Head west out of the Steel City and you will immediately start climbing, and only four miles from the centre of town is this club, which looks out towards the wild, heather-clad moors.
Dating back to the 19th century and extensively redesigned by Harry Colt, this is not a club that has ever sought the spotlight. Which is all very nice for its members, but a shame for visitors in search of a distinctive and memorable day out. The greens are outstanding – firm, fast and true – and the quintet of short holes lives long in the memory.
It is a course of two halves – almost like a traditional links. From the 1st tee you can see the valley through which the wind is generally channelled – pretty much straight towards you.
The first four holes, collectively, must rank as hard as any in Yorkshire. They measure, respectively, 467, 197, 428 and 416 yards, and play more or less straight into the wind.
Keep your card intact here, and indeed at the two remaining short holes on the front nine, and you can make up some ground, not least on the three downwind par 5s, once the homeward stretch begins in earnest with the short 12th. Hopefully it will not be a case of too little, too late.
At a shade under 6,350 yards, Hallamshire is not an especially long course. But rest assured, at times on the way out it feels significantly longer.
The greens are outstanding – firm, fast and true – and the quintet of short holes lives long in the memory.
1st 467 yards, par 4
One of the finest opening holes in Yorkshire. Prevailing westerlies make it very difficult to reach in two. A five here certainly feels like a par.
6th 195 yards, par 3
Our showpiece par 3 has a magnificent setting, with heather-clad Peak District moors in the background. Anything missing the green from an elevated tee leaves a tough uphill chip.
13th 348 yards, par 4
This requires thoughtful shot-making. The tee shot has to carry a brook, yet many players select an iron to avoid bunkers. It is a short shot to a large, elevated green but watch out if the pin is at the back.