The Brabazon course at The Belfry doesn't need introducing. After all, it's unique. This course has played host to more Ryder Cups than any other course on the planet - four in total. There is more water on The Brabazon than just about any other inland course in the British Isles - so take a few extra balls! The course has two outstanding holes, which have been popularised by television - the 10th and 18th. The former is a unique short par four, measuring about 300 yards, with water running along the right hand side of the fairway. It is driveable - you've seen Seve do it - so go on, you've got to go for it. The 18th is another hole that is totally dominated by water and it's terrifying. This dramatic, par four closing hole, rewards the brave. Cut off as much of the water as you can from the tee, and you will be left with a shorter approach shot, which must carry a lake on its way to a long, narrow, triple-tiered green. This hole has seen more Ryder Cup emotion than any other hole in the world. For this reason alone, to follow in the footsteps of golf's greatest legends, The Brabazon is a must-play course.
Opening for play in 1997, the Dave Thomas-designed PGA National course was the first course in Europe to carry PGA branding. It's a stern, challenging course, which has been built along distinct American lines. With four newly constructed lakes and extensive mounding providing separation between the fairways, the PGA National has clearly been built as a tournament course, with spectators in mind. Despite the fact that the course has been constructed on open farmland, there are a number of interesting elevation changes. The key to scoring well is very much about avoiding the hazards. Water comes into play on eight holes and the bunkering – especially around the greens – is well thought out. The PGA National is maturing nicely and once the newly planted trees have grown up, the course will become tighter and more aesthetically pleasing.
PGA Championship (par-71)
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