Ganton Golf Club, ranked in the top 30 of Europe’s Championship courses, has hosted many national and international tournaments and is a perfect place to play golf. Nestling in the Vale of Pickering, east of York and a few miles from the coastal resort of Scarborough, a day at Ganton is a day to remember. Golf was first played at Ganton in the summer of 1891 on a course laid out by Tom Chisholm of St Andrews who had assistance from Robert Bird, the Club’s first professional and head greenkeeper. The site chosen then formed part of Sir Charles Legard’s Ganton Estate and was very rough ground, covered with whins and many varieties of grasses and wild flowers. Thousands of years previously this area had been submerged as part of an inlet from the North Sea, and the natural sandy subsoil was an ideal place to develop a golf course.
Distance from Scarborough was eleven miles by road, but development was more influenced by the North Eastern Railway Line with Ganton Halt being ¼ mile from the Clubhouse. The proximity of a railway was often a factor in the development of golf courses in the 19th Century, particularly so in Ganton’s case as the membership extended to those living in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Ganton was soon established as a course where history was to be made. In 1896 Harry Vardon came as professional and it was during his stay (to 1903) that he won the first three of his six Open Championships, and it was to Ganton that he brought back the U.S. Championship Trophy in 1900. Ganton has hosted a succession of major amateur and professional tournaments for men and women. In 1964 the Amateur Championship was played with Michael Lunt just failing to defend from the previous year, losing to Gordon Clark in the final at the 39th.
In staging the Amateur Championship again in 1977 (Peter McEvoy, the 1999 and 2001 Walker Cup Captain, was the winner) and 1991 (the winner was Gary Wolstenholme) Ganton remains the only inland course to have held the competition. Indeed Gary Player once said of Ganton that it is the only inland course worthy of holding the Open Championship. Ganton is proud to have been so closely linked with the story of British golf. Deep and prolific bunkers, savage rough and impenetrable gorse have made for a searching examination of the game’s best players.
YO12 4PA, United Kingdom