Played by NCG: Brough
Reason for a Brough Golf Club review
A friend of mine had become the new general manager at the club and was keen to show off the course. I’d yet to tick this strip of East Yorkshire off my list so jumped at the chance.
Where is Brough Golf Club?
Brough Golf Club is 12 miles from Hull and only half a dozen miles from the Humber Bridge. Airports at Humberside, Leeds Bradford and even East Midlands are within easy reach.
What to expect
The club are celebrating their 125th anniversary this year so the parkland layout is as matured as you might find. It’s 6,064 yards at its full length but get any thoughts of dominating this course out of your head as quickly as they have entered.
You’d be best off leaving your driver at home. You just can’t bomb and gouge it at Brough. Only trees and cricket scores await that strategy.
Most of the trees come in tight to the fairways and, even if you can find the short stuff with the big stick, you’re likely to be in completely the wrong position to attack the flag.
Take the 12th. It’s 383 yards but it’s downhill all the way so if you draw it round the dogleg then the stream that guards the green comes into play.
Even if you lay up, you’re coming off a downhill lie into a green that has the dreaded H2O waiting to claim anything that’s a little short.
And if you want to take off too much of the dogleg: beware. There’s out of bounds all the way down the left.
The thought process needed to get out of this in one piece is not unique. You’re being asked these questions continually throughout the round.
Safety first is the way forward and there’s something to be said about having to plot your way – rather than simply smashing at a 70-yard wide fairway and still not being able to find the target. Et tu Phil Mickelson?
The bowled green on the 9th looks intimidating off the tee – especially when you’ve got 199 yards to negotiate off the back markers.
It’s a pretty claustrophobic hole, with the trees on either side crowding in on you as you look to hit off an elevated tee.
It seems churlish, with a hole of this length, to entreat you not to go long but nothing good happens to those who clear the green.
You can get lucky here. Catch the right bounce, or get a fortunate hop off the near sides of the bowl and you can feed down onto what is a largely flat putting surface. But a three here is an absolute result and to be treasured.
My best bit
I’m sure a few people whose scorecards have been wrecked by the 11th will chastise me for this but the second shot, uphill to a hidden green, following a drive that needs more of a hook than a draw is pretty exhilarating when you get it right.
Naturally, I did – my ball soaring over the gully and former gravel pits that gave birth to the club. When you get up there, the view is something to be admired.
What to look for
Make sure to take in the imposing and, for the members of Brough, iconic clubhouse. The club bought the building in 1925, along with three acres of grounds, for £3,750 and it looks like it has been around for substantially longer than that.
As with all buildings of this age, it’s a warren of staircases and hidden rooms. But it’s part of the history of the club and the artefacts and memorabilia collected during the last century and a quarter seem to line every wall. If you’ve a passing interest for how the game has developed, you’ll be transfixed.
When I go back
I’ll leave any wooden club at home and attack Brough Golf Club with rescues and a set of irons. Not only will my bag be lighter, but I’ll have much more chance of putting together a score that vaguely resembles my handicap.