This short hole at Brancepeth Castle was once judged as the most difficult 9th in golf. But does it live up to the hype? Our club golfer put it to the test
It’s 202 yards but it’s not the length that makes your hands shake as you prepare to draw your club back at Brancepeth Castle Golf Club‘s 9th hole.
Nor is it the sense of history, even though the magnificent citadel, that has stood in some form since the middle of the 12th century, dominates the view to your left as you make the walk to the green.
No, it’s the massive ravine that stands between you and that green – a long narrow putting surface that slopes away from you and is guarded by a massive cedar tree – that makes you wobble.
You’ll not see many par 3s finding their way towards the upper reaches of the stroke index on a course. This looks every inch a card-wrecker.
An American magazine once judged it to be the hardest 9th hole in the world and its reputation has brought plenty of players to this little village near Durham to pit their wits against it.