Golf in Manchester - Explore the Options
Golf used to have such a fusty image, but these days more people than ever before are picking up nine iron and taking to the fairway. Capital of England’s North West, Manchester is no stranger to the game, with plenty of excellent places to exercise your clubs whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro looking to lower your handicap.
Heaton Park Golf Centre
Every summer, Heaton Park plays host to the city’s Park Life music festival. But for the most of the year this sprawling public gardens accommodate a much gentler way of life. Opened in 1911, The Heaton Park Golf Club is one of the few professional-standard golf clubs in the region that is open to the public. Great facilities including a clubhouse, bar, equipment hire and pro shop accompany this 18-hole championship course, which is set in a northern corner of the park with breathtaking views of the Pennines on a clear day. They also offer tuition and group packages including accommodation, if you wanted to make a weekend of it. Be sure to check out the park as well after you’ve put a round in. As Manchester’s biggest public park, it contains all the greenery and leisure activities you’d expect - as well as a few you wouldn’t such as the recent addition of Segway rides.
Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 2SW.
Didsbury Golf Club
Over the other side of town is Didsbury Golf Club, one of Manchester’s many private golf clubs. It’s a surprisingly quiet course, aided by the dense tree line around the course, which runs along the banks of Mersey. Like most it offers 18 holes and a clubhouse with a function room, but the calm locale and lush vegetation are really it’s unique selling points. It also boasts an incredibly simple online system for booking tee off times, which always makes getting to the green that little bit easier.
Ford Lane, Northenden, Manchester, M22 4NQ.
Bruntwood Park Pitch ‘n’ Putt
If you don’t know your driver from your sand wedge, you may want to play at a gentler pace and for that there can be no better option than Pitch ‘n’ Putt. Heading South down through Stockport, one of the best locations for PnP can be found at Bruntwood Park. It was victim of council cuts in 2014, but thankfully it’s been saved by nearby Cheadle Golf Club who maintain it over the summer months. The perfect way for amateur golfers to get into the swing of things and reasonably priced as well.
Bruntwood Lane, Cheadle, Greater Manchester, SK8 1HX.
Trafford Golf Centre
The driving range at Trafford Golf Centre is considerably smaller than many of the other options listed here and offers less in the way of a complete golfing package, but it’s still a formidable option due to its state-of-the-art facilities and reasonable prices. It boasts 57 individual bays to tee off from. Many are floodlit, covered and fitted with laser measurement equipment to accurately record your strokes. You can get started with 50 balls for as little as £3 and they also offer deals on groups, including kids parties with tuition from an accredited PGA trainer.
Old Park Lane, Stretford, Manchester, M17 8PG.
Paradise Island at Trafford Centre
Something a little different again. The Trafford shopping complex also has this hidden gem: A two course, jungle-themed, indoor adventure golf centre. It’s aimed largely at children, but there’s still plenty for big kids to enjoy here with a number of challenging holes for competitive play. It might not suit serious golf heads, but there’s no better way to break up a shopping trip.
intu Trafford Centre, Manchester, M17 8DF.
Virtual Golf at The Green
The canalside sports bar features an indoor golf unit, which uses real clubs and real balls but all against a simulated course, like a more advanced version of Wii Sports. Booths are available from £20 an hour, where you and your pals can happily putt away without ever getting your shoes dirty. The program allows you to play over 50 different courses, including famous ones such as St. Andrew’s and Royal Melbourne, so there’s really no limit to the variety of play you can get out of it. Careful though: They double as karaoke booths, so your stroke might be ruined by another group caterwauling in the next booth along.
Bridge House, 26 Ducie St, Manchester, M1 2DQ.
By Jon Whiteley for Manchester Wire.
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Ruth has been writing about Manchester's cultural scene for the last 10 years, specialising in off-the-beaten track destinations and hidden gems. She's the editor of Manchester's award-winning what's on guide.