England’s newest golf course inspired by history

Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club, County Durham’s leading golf resort and hotel, opens its new 18-hole championship golf course in July – calling it ‘Cathedral Course’ – in honour of nearby Durham Cathedral.

The North East’s newest course takes its name from Durham Cathedral – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s greatest Norman buildings – which is clearly visible from hole three, the stretch between the eighth and the 11th and again when playing the 15th and 17th holes.

England’s newest Golf Course has spiritual view

Durham Cathedral was built in the 11th century after Monks fled Viking raids on Northumberland’s Coast with the remains of St Cuthbert – one of English Christianity’s most important early Saints – and went in search of a safe place to bury him.

After two centuries of wandering the Monks chose Durham and the Cathedral was built around the burial site.

The 7,200 yard par 72 parkland course has been designed by Jonathan Gaunt of Gaunt Golf Design and is the only new championship standard 18-hole golf course to open in England this year.

Ramside Cathedral Course 16tth green
The 16th green at Ramside’s Cathedral Course which looks over Durham City and Cathedral

As well as taking inspiration from one of Britain’s greatest religious buildings, the course has its own ‘Amen Corner’ with holes 11-14 inspired by those at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters tournament.

Jonathan Gaunt, golf course architect, said: “This has been a special project to work on. Not only is the course situated on an exceptional piece of land comprising a rolling valley with a coursing beck, a wide open hilltop plateau and secluded wooded parkland, it also has views over two iconic North East landmarks – Durham Cathedral and the Angel of the North.

Touched by the Masters
The Cathedral course is influenced heavily by its location on the doorstep of Durham City but also by one of the world’s greatest golf courses, Augusta National, home of ‘The Masters’.

Jonathan Gaunt calls the stretch of holes from the 11th to the 14th ‘Ramside’s Amen Corner.’ The downhill par-three 12th is a tribute to its famous counterpart in Georgia, USA, but instead of Rae’s Creek, fast flowing Sherburn Beck guards the front of the green.

The challenge of the hole is inspired by Augusta’s iconic par three and the same is true of the par-four 13th which is directly inspired by the dogleg par-five 13th at Augusta.

Sherburn Beck skirts the entire length of the hole just like Rae’s Creek does in Georgia.

Ramside Cathedral Course
Course Manager Roger Shaw places the first flag at The Cathedral Course

Ramside Hall Estates director, John Adamson, said: “Our vision is for Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club to become a complete golf and leisure destination at the heart of North East England attracting members, visitors and hotel guests to enjoy sport, fitness, relaxation, fine food and beautiful surroundings.

I’m certain the Cathedral Course will further enhance Ramside Hall’s reputation as one of the most desirable golf resorts and leisure destinations in England.”

The new golf course is part of a £15m development taking place at Ramside Hall Hotel which includes an expansion of the four star hotel, construction of 34 executive residential homes, a new health club, gym, 25 metre swimming pool, spa, restaurant and beauty salon.

Work is currently underway on the hotel expansion, spa and health club and completion is planned for early 2015.

Ramside Golf Club freezes golf membership fees
Ramside Golf Club is freezing its annual golf membership fees for 2014 at £905 (including V.A.T) and £6000 for corporate memberships, for golf on both the Cathedral and its Prince Bishops Course and expects demand for membership to increase following the opening of the Cathedral course in July.

Jonathan Gaunt has now created two exceptional golf courses at County Durham’s leading golf resort. The Prince Bishops course opened in 1996 and is established as one of the finest golf courses in North East England and is a great test of risk and reward golf.

The Cathedral course is now complete and a soft opening planned for July.

Nine interchangeable holes will open for play and the remaining nine open in September, allowing the warmer summer months to help new turf, grasses and fescue rough to bed down.

For more information, visit: www.ramsidehallhotel.co.uk

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