1The 1st hole is a gentle opening hole which eases you nicely into your round but be aware that the ridges in the semi-rough can kick a ball near to the trees.Positioning yourself from the tee to an undulating fairway is important to give yourself thebest angle to play into the long green which slopes heavily from front to back.2The 2nd hole is the shortest of Brancepeth Castle’s famous par 3sPlaying across the ravine for the first time to a shallow green set on a hillside shelf, club selection and shot choice are vital to avoid spinning back down the slope at the front3At 450 yards the 3rd hole is a testing par 4.A stand of tall beech trees to the right of the fairway at about driving distance forthe average player need to be avoided to have a chance to reach the green in regulation.4The 4th hole plays just short of 400 yards and, depending upon which tee you choose, can be a very different proposition.From the championship tee the hole turns ever so slightly, left to right, and the fairway narrows the farther you hit it.Having positioned your drive in the fairway you are faced with a mid to short iron approach over a valley to a green which slopes considerably right to left.5The 5th hole is the longest of the par 3s and is just under 220 yardsThe view of the green is O-Bscured by a mound and this can make perception of distance difficult. There are greenside bunkers to the left and right of the large green which slopes 6This is the longest hole on the course and play is usually affected by the prevailing left to right wind.Two good shots and a bit more are needed to reach the green which is set on a small plateau and the slope at the front of the green adds to the difficulty on this hole.7From the back of the 7th tee you play through a narrow gap in the trees to the fairwayA bunker to the right catches many shots and needs to be avoided. Four more bunkers protect the green.8The 8th hole is a beautiful short par 4 of 330 yards.Standing on the tee you are faced with a carry of nearly 200 yards to reach the plateau fairway which sits diagonally from right to left.Longer hitters can drive straight towards the green and leave a short pitch. Others who are unable to carry the ball quite so far need to play the hole as more of a dogleg and the 9The signature hole at Brancepeth Castle, the 9th is laid out in what was the formal garden for the castle.At 200 yards and played across the ravine to a narrow,angled green which was dug out of the bankside by hand this hole is a real test. Once described as the hardest 9th hole in the world, its difficulty speaks for itself.10The 10th hole is another fantastic par 3. It is slightly shorter than the 9th hole but certainly not easy.To find the green, the tee shot needs to carry all the way as anything short will not run up. The bunker to the left of the green is large and deep and always leaves a tricky shot 11The 11th hole begins with a blind tee shot over a deep ravine nd through a narrow gap in the trees.Having crossed the bridge, the hole unfolds before you. A long second shot awaits and bunkers to the left and right need to be avoided to find the putting surface.12The 12th is a downhill par 5 and is a genuine birdie opportunity.Having avoided three fairway bunkers from the tee, you have the option of taking on the green with your second shotThe green is the largest on the course and is relatively flat.13The 13th hole is a par 4 of 400 yards.The semi-blind tee shot needs to avoid a bunker to the left and two more to the right. The green is in full view from the middle of the fairway.The second shot is played slightly downhill and must avoid the large greenside bunker which protects the left side of the green.14The 14th is a short par 4 at 325 yards but it is not as easy as it would appear on the scorecard.Taking driver from the tee gives you an opportunity to get close to the green but anything off line will leave a tricky pitch to a small, bowl-shaped green which is guarded by two The safer option from the tee is to play between the three fairway bunkers and leave yourself a full shot with a short iron to the green.15The 15th hole is the last of the par 3s and is the second shortest at 160 yards.The tee shot needs to carry the valley in front of the green and bunkers left and right need to be avoided.16The 16th is the shortest of the par 5s and is another good birdie chance.Driving up the hill to the corner of the dogleg gives you a chance to reach the green in two shots, providing you are far enough to see around the trees on the left of the fairway.The hole turns slightly left and continues uphill to a large green protected by two deep bunkers.17The 17th hole is a strong par 4.The fairway is protected on both sides by trees, so accuracy is very important from the tee. A large cross bunker protects the front of the green and makes judging your distance toThe green slopes considerably from left to right and bunkers left and right are waiting to catch any off-line approach.18The 18th hole has always divided opinion.Played across the ravine for the final time, longer hitters can drive to the top of the hill and on to the fairway which used to be the castle tennis courts and is a relatively flaFrom here it is only a short shot into a large, flat green and can offer up a good birdie chance. For the shorter hitter, the second shot to the green is O-Bscured and finding the
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