Designed with input from three top course architects and shaped by an experienced team, the course has full USGA greens each strategically placed into the undulating landscape.It has numerous water features and hazards which are sure to excite and challenge players of all abilities.
An extensive drainage network has been built into the course, boasting the newest technology, meaning whatever the weather the course will be in the condition golfers expect, day to day, season to season. Sharpley Golf is a total escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Since its official launch in April 2010 the course has been open to be played on a pay and play basis as well as welcoming many Golf Societies. If you would like to join us here at the course we would love to hear from you.
HOLE 1 – Via Est Lata
Teeing off conveniently just yards from the Golf Lodge with a commanding view right out to sea with the prevailing wind behind you. You proceed up a gentle slope for this challenging opening par 4. It is a slight dog leg right, opening up to a sloping green surrounded by two deep bunkers. Off the tee keep to the left hand side of the fairway and it will open up to give you an eye line to the green.
Pro Tip: if you think you’ve got the length take on the bunkers and you’ll be left with an attacking wedge.
The fairway follows the ancient carriageway dating back to Roman times connecting Harte and Easington with the Roman stone barrage crossing over the Wear at Hylton
HOLE 2 –
Blue Sky Blue
An elevated tee looking out to sea, this long par 4 requires you to get a good drive away; two bunkers short of the green can trap your ball and prevent it from running onto the green with a long iron. Get the distance off the tee and you’ll be able to carry the bunkers and attack the flag.
Pro tip: take your line over the tree short of the fairway. With your second shot into the green take a club less than you think as the green is lower than your feet.
A 2nd World War Hurricane fighter plane safely landed on what is now the fairway after being shot down by enemy aircraft. The wings were full of fuel; it was put to good use!
HOLE 3 - Old Burdon
First par 3 and its no easy par. The right club choice is needed as there are deep bunkers guarding the elevated green with “O.O.B” only a club length over the back.
Pro tip: play for the middle of the green and take the par, take an extra club if you’re not sure, elevated green and the slope at the back of the green help prevent the ball going OOB.
Beyond the green lies Old Burdon Hamlet, home of the Burdon family included on the ancient maps of
with origins back to pre-Roman times. Durham
HOLE 4 – The Crows Nest
An elevated tee with fine views over
Sunderland and Tyneside beyond. This par 5 has bunkers waiting either side of
the fairway so straight off the tee is key.
Lay-up and you’ve got bunkers waiting again, so accuracy is needed all
the way up this par 5 and onto the small green.
Pro tip: aim right hand side of fairway as it slopes to the left. Big hitter’s two good shots and you can be putting for eagle.
HOLE 5 - Archbold
An elevated tee and prevailing wind can take the ball left into the woodland below on this Par 3, stroke index 17. Don’t be fooled a sloping green from right to left and danger of lateral water is just over the back. Two bunkers waiting short of the green makes the club choice slightly trickier.
Pro tip: attacking the flag is possible but make sure you are below the hole to make a certain par. If not then a 3 putt is possible.
Marys pool below 5th green, for details of its origins, see appendix i.
HOLE 6 – The Luftwaffe Ien
Hole six and an accurate tee shot is needed with the fairway sloping right to left with lateral water down the left of the hole, right of the fairway is your landing spot. Hit the fairway and you’ve got a line to the green if not then you’ve got trees to contend with!
54 enemy bombs were dropped along 6th and 7th during the Second World War. This was a decoy zone, German Bombers believed this to be Sunderland Docks. (You can rake the bunkers out safely now)
HOLE 7 - The Luftwaffe Zwei
Uphill par 4 with a 3 tier green. From the tee the fairway slopes left to right, hit it up the left and you will hold the fairway but be sure to make your decision and lay-up before or after the bunker. Luftwaffe bunker/bomb holes guard the right of the green.
Pro tip: on approach don’t under estimate take an extra club and hold the green, get it wrong and you could leave yourself a tricky up and down.
HOLE 8 - The Well (1st Signature Hole)
A tricky par 4 with everything running back to the water, keep the ball right and you’ll be in good shape, hit it left and you’ve got water and trees obstructing your line to the two tier green.
Pro tip: keep the ball right off the tee and with your approach shot make sure you are under the hole, putt carefully downhill, it could take you off the green towards the water.
In 1990 Eppleton Coal Mine removed thousands of tons of coal; some of the ground subsided and disrupted the drainage. Instead of reinstatement, 3 meters of clay was dug out to form a lake. Beneath the clay remains of a pre- Ice Age lake were found which now forms the base of today’s lake known as Sharply Waters which was a trout fishery until the opening of the golf course in 2009. Spring water and fertile free draining soil sustained the inhabitants of Old Burdon for centuries.
HOLE 9 – The Reef
Downhill par 4 with a valley short of the green. Two straight shots and you are on plan for par. Fairway sloping right to left with bunkers waiting for the lesser hitters on the left and the right for the big hitters.
Pro tip: long iron will keep you between the bunkers with an attacking wedge it could be a scoring birdie chance.
The tee is built on hard magnesium limestone rock which was once an island/barrier reef millions of years ago.
HOLE 10 – Foxhole Wood
A uphill right to left dog leg par 4. With fairway split by two bunkers decide whether to play short or go over. Any second shot you have is difficult with no sight of the flag, play for the heart of the green and take your par.
Pro tip: carry the bunkers and you’ll leave yourself a flat lie. Cut the corner and you’ll be in trouble.
HOLE 11 – The Vale of Venus (2nd signature hole)
An elevated Tee revealing 50 miles of Coastline, this beautifully designed difficult par 3 with water on the left, club selection is crucial. Anything short and you’re in the drink.
Pro tip: aim for the right hand side of the green and it will filter down to the left. In decisions on club choice take the longer one and you’ll be on land.
To the left an area was known as The Well Field where water still issues to fill the lake.
HOLE 12 - Sheepholme
Dog leg right to left, a par 4 that makes you think. Fairway steeply slopes down to the water, the right club and the right line off the tee is key.
Pro tip: take it left of the marker off the tee and you’ll open up the two tier green and limit the chance of hitting the water hazard.
To the right is Foxhole Hill enlarged and resculptured with material from the digging out of an Olympic size swimming pool in
HOLE 13 – Pacific Hall
Short par 4 with bunker left guarding the green. It’s not as easy as you think straight off the tee and you’re in good shape, short or long with your approach and you’ll be punished.
Pro tip: aim down the right of the fairway and you’ll open up the guarded green for a birdie opportunity.
HOLE 14 – The
Downhill par 4 bunkers right and left off the tee. Miss hit your tee shot and you could be in water. Long with your approach and you will have a nasty blind chip shot back on to the green.
HOLE 15 – Sharpley Burn (3rd signature hole)
Dog leg right with water in front of the green, it’s a real testing hole. Off the tee your landing spot between the bunkers is tight, conquer that and you’ll be left with water short and bunkers long. Go in them and you have a terrifying bunker shot back towards the water.
Pro tip: downwind take driver. Take the line over the middle of the right hand sided trees and you’ll hit the landing spot to roll nicely onto the green or play to the left and beyond the fairway bunker with the 2nd shot on to the tiered green.
HOLE 16 – Joe Seymour
Last par 3 and it’s not as easy as it looks. Water short left, bunkers right and two bunkers long make the club choice difficult. Get on the green and you’ve got a tricky two tier green to get your par. Allow for an upper tier of wind on high shots.
HOLE 17 – The Drumlins
First of the two par 5’s to finish, off the tee you’ve got bunkers right and left. Trust your club choice when laying up as you’ve got water 70 yards short of the green. Take care as it could be an easy shot dropped.
Pro tip: take the ball down the left to hold the fairway, big hitter and you have a long iron in to a two tier narrow green.
HOLE 18 – Saint Cuthbert’s Way
An elevated tee driving over Sharply Burn this uphill par 5 to finish with bunkers right off the tee and a featured rock blocking your way up the fairway if you go left. Keep your second shot left as there is water waiting short of the green. Leave the ball short of the pin to give yourself a birdie chance, above the hole and you’ll have a fast putt back to the water.
Pro tip: off the tee you’ve got to be straight, if you take the risk of going for the green in two don’t bottle out water waiting for you short.
The high ground to the left and right are ancient drumlines left by the melting out of Nordic and Cumbrian glaciers. A unique deposit of sand and gravel lie under the last three holes.
Known as St Cuthbert’s way in the year 995 A D a group of monks with the 200 year old coffin of St Cuthbert tarried on their way from the ancient church of St Mary The Virgin on the cliffs at Old Seaham to perhaps Chester Le Street or to return to Lindisfarne (Holy Island). However the cart became stuck for 3 days in swampland near Warden Law some 800 meters to the west of the 18th green. The pious monk Eadmer received a vision from St Cuthbert to take his body and settle in Dunholme which became Durham where in the Cathedral his remains now lie. After the vision miraculously they could move the cart and were soon shown the way by a dairy maid. The scene is sculpted on the outside of the Cathedral Tower. Vision Hill to the west beyond the golf course is dedicated to St Cuthbert (“Dunelmensus Concepcion”) Durham City was founded that year in 995AD. When the Monks led by Bishop Aldhune (first Bishop of Durham) settled in what is known today as Durham City. See appendix ii
· Edward “The Woodman” Weightman felled part of Baulks Wood (The Dene) for landowner Sir Gilford Lawson of Brough Park, Catterick. In return he was allowed to cultivate the slopes of the dene growing potatoes for sale, after some successful years the family was able to take the tenure of Leechmere Farm, Ryhope. (Edward Weightman born Great Whittington married Mary Archbold. A catastrophic volcano in Iceland during 1783 created serious climatic change that led too much of this Northumberland farming family moving away some as far as America.) Albert the successful great grandson purchased the farm in 1932.
· Accounts of St Cuthbert recorded by “Symeon of Durham”, “Historia Ecclesiae Dunelmensis” 1107 AD. Also Bede of Jarrow and an anonymous twelfth Century Writer.
· Map “Enclosures of the Old Burdon Estate” (circa 1760) owned Sir Gilford Lawson, records at County Hall.