Few golf clubs can claim to have an aristocratic connection but Northamptonshire Country Club is the king of the county.
Formerly part of the Althorp Estate; owned by the Spencer family and is now under the guardianship of Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, the course has a noble history. One of the club’s historic royal members even includes Prince Albert, Duke of York, who captained the club in 1931 and enhanced the reputation of the course in the golfing community.
In recent years, the club has produced various home-grown talent, including European Tour golfer Gary Boyd and England A Squad player Ben Jones. Two times Senior Major Champion and six-time European Tour winner Paul Broadhurst also have strong links to the club.
As well as previously hosting Open Qualifying, Northamptonshire has hosted other prestigious events such as the English Golf Union Carris Trophy (1994), the English Schools National Championships (1997), and the PGA Seniors Professional Championship (2007-2013).
“We have got a hot-bed of talent at this club and there is a lot of optimism at the moment that the young golfers we have around the club can make it as professionals,” said Club Manager Rob Griffiths.
“The course here isn’t the longest in the world but it requires a bit of patience and thought to get around it – something you will need if you want to go well here.”
In 2018 Northamptonshire County Golf Club returned as a Regional Qualifying host for the first time since 2002. Designed by Harry S Colt in 1909, it is safe to say that the course has stood the test of time with the only major modifications made in 1947 by five-time Champion Golfer James Braid. More recently further enhancements have been designed by Cameron Sinclair.
Last year ten golfers returned to that clubhouse with scores low enough to earn them a spot in Final Qualifying and we will be hoping to at least match that number once more, if not better it. Amateur Freddie Macarthur posted a round of three-under par to claim victory in 2018.
“We are the county course for Northamptonshire, so we host a lot of events,” said Griffiths. “Last year we had between 84 take part in Regional Qualifying and a really decent number of those made it through to Final Qualifying so that was brilliant. “What was even more lovely was that we had around 45 volunteers at the club for the R&A cocktail party the night before.
“We are very much looking forward to hosting the even again because it brings so much excitement to the club and there is a real buzz around the place which is great for the members here.”