New championship course to open in north east

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Top Co. Durham venue Ramside Hall Hotel and Golf Club will open England’s newest championship course next month.

The new course is called the Ramside 'Cathedral Course' and is named in honour of nearby Durham Cathedral – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – which is clearly visible from hole three, the stretch between the eighth and the 11th and again when playing the 15th and 16th holes.

The 7,200 yard par-72 parkland course has been designed by Jonathan Gaunt of Gaunt Golf Design, the architect of Ramside’s original 27 holes in 1994, and is the only new championship standard 18-hole course to open in England this year.

Ramside GC is opening the course in two phases. On July 5th, a loop of nine holes will open for play including holes one to three, eight and nine, then holes 10, 16, 17 and 18.

The soft opening enables visitors and members of the club to choose from 27 holes, including Ramside’s original Prince Bishops Course. The complete 18-hole course will open in September.

Architect Gaunt said: “Since the first site inspection in 1997 this has been a special project to work on and it is hugely rewarding to see Ramside’s long term vision realised.

“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.”

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 US Masters.

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, but instead of Rae’s Creek, fast flowing Sherburn Beck guards the front of the green.

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 golf, 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 course is part of a £15m development taking place at Ramside Hall which includes a 47-bedroom 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 GC is freezing its annual golf membership fees for 2014 at £905 (including VAT) and £6,000 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.

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