In 2013 Reddish Vale was visited and played by Ran Morrissett, an American whose knowledge of the world’s finest golf courses ranks among the elite. Ran’s passion is golf course architecture, and he works closely with the world famous course architect Tom Doak as they assess and rate not only the best but also the most characterful and interesting golf courses around the globe.
As a result, Reddish Vale is featured in Tom Doak’s 2014 book ‘The Confidential Guide to golf courses’ which is a guide of such courses in the UK. Reddish Vale received a rating of 5, has the 5th best situated clubhouse in the UK and is the only course in the Manchester area deemed worthy of inclusion. You can read Ran’s comprehensive review by clicking on the icon above.
Rich in natural features, the course plays a figure of eight shaped layout that requires you to negotiate ravines, gullies, escarpments, and a river, as well as the usual things like bunkers during your round. Flat, boring, tree lined holes which go back and forth and all blend into one? – not here. There are very few inland courses where you could remove every tree and still have a great golf course, but you could here.
The magical contours that shape this course explain how it has survived for the last 100 years almost unchanged, and without ever being lengthened. At 6000 yards in length and with a par of 69, Reddish Vale is not a test of who can hit the ball the farthest; it is a far more intriguing and strategical challenge than that. This is a thinker’s course where you need to plot your way round…
Alistair MacKenzie’s risk/reward strategy offers players a choice of how to play each hole. Take a riskier shot for a greater reward, but if the shot is not executed correctly, you pay the price. On the other hand, there is always a route for the weaker player who wants to keep it safe. Consistent with Mackenzie’s beliefs, this course is never unrelenting, always gives you a chance, keeps you on your toes, and all at the same time.
What is incredible is the variety of holes here, and yet they flow so naturally. You will experience five of the best par 3’s on any golf course, and you will get to take on a selection of shortish, risk/reward par 4’s each with their own strategy. There is a couple of long par 4’s and a couple of par 5’s so be sure to bring every club in the bag.
The speed and the undulations on our large MacKenzie greens will require you to be below the hole in the summer, or face a knee trembling downhill racer.
A long running subject of debate at The Vale, especially in the 19th hole.
The truth is that with so many favourite holes to choose from, and variety which makes comparison difficult, no one hole has ever been nominated our ‘signature hole’. Another fact is that there isn’t a weak hole either. Popular nominations for the signature hole are the 6th with its 100 foot drop, the classic 10th with MacKenzie green, the 14th with the river on the left or the totally unique 16th.
At Reddish Vale you choose your signature hole.