Some courses just take the breath away. You only have to stand on the new first tee at Wetherby Golf Club, a lush 18-hole North Yorkshire parkland course that hugs the banks of the River Wharfe, to feel a giddy sense of elation. The tee is situated on a disused railway line high up above the fairway and the distant green.
It has to be one of the most spectacular first holes in the region and sets the tone for what is a course of genuine quality and beauty.
Wetherby Golf Club is situated in the picturesque village of Linton on the outskirts of this fine Yorkshire market town.
The course, designed by the legendary Dr Alistair McKenzie who was responsible for the Augusta National among numerous world-class lay-outs, is set on an escarpment and bordered by the fast flowing River Wharfe, which provides stunning views on six of the holes.
The club, which will celebrate its centenary in 2010, boasts an array of first-class facilities, including a driving range, a pitching area, a chipping green, a well-stocked professional shop run by head pro Mark Daubney and an excellent clubhouse.
The clubhouse, built just 14 years ago, is the centre point of the complex and has a panoramic bar, terrace and restaurant along with a function room and excellent locker rooms with showers and towels.
New caterer Richard Goodbarn offers good food from 11am to 9pm, serving everything from a bacon sandwich to a three-course meal.
Its picture windows offer sweeping views, particularly of the 1st and 18th holes.
The course is renowned for its verdant fairways, its variety of wonderful, mature trees and its superb greens.
Much work has been undertaken on the lay-out in recent times, the changes to the 1st and 18th in particular adding to the overall playing experience and difficulty.
It offers an entertaining and challenging but fair test of golf - and the white championship tees also offer significant length just under 6,700 yards.
However, there are now five tee options in all, meaning the course is well suited to everyone, from the absolute novice up to the professional.
However, the club is particularly well set-up for the hosting of societies and large visiting parties.