Blackwell Grange Golf Club, Darlington.
The club was founded in 1930. The course was designed by Frank Pennink.
In 1988 the secretary was J M D Solly and the professional Ralph Givens. The 18-hole course measured 5,587 yards with a SSS of 67. There was a membership of 600. Course records as follows; amateur, H P Jolly, S Santon and M W Rogers, 64; professional, Malcolm Gregson, 63. Green fees were £8.
During the 1990s the secretary was F Hewitson, professional was still Ralph Givens membership was 650 and green fees were now £12.
In 2004 the professional was Joanne Furby, green fees were now £20 weekdays and £30 at weekends.
In 2013 a fairly unique “course swap” situation took place when the nearby Stressholme Golf Course was sold off by Darlington Borough Council to the neighbouring, privately-run, Blackwell Grange Golf Club.
The land swap would see the council buy 24 acres of the former Blackwell course, this had been earmarked for a future executive housing development.
So, sadly, it looks as though areas of the former Blackwell Grange golf course will eventually disappear under housing. Blackwell Grange Golf Club moved to the Stressholme course on July 1st 2013. Most of the former members of Stressholme joined BGGC.
Following is a brief description of selected holes from the Blackwell course at Briar Close; the first hole on the former 18-hole parkland course was a slightly uphill 407 yard par four. There were trees left and right of the fairway with a large oak tree protecting the approach to the green.
The second hole was a par 5 with a tempting pond coming in to play for your drive.
The 337 yard eighth was a drive over a hill to the fairway the hole then turned to the left, then the approach shot to a tricky sloping green.
The tenth was a reasonably friendly par of 294 yards. There were two fairway bunkers to catch the wayward drive, the green sloped from front to back.
The 359 yard eleventh was a dog-leg through an avenue of large lime trees. The second shot was to a long green which sloped from front to back with out-of bounds back left.
The 295 yard par four fifteenth required a precise tee shot between trees and over a water hazard. A 150 yard carry was required to reach the fairway which sloped from left to right. Care was needed on the approach shot as there were two large bunkers to be negotiated before reaching the green, which had a wall and out-of bounds at the rear.
The finishing hole was a 190 yard par 3, the out-of-bounds car park was to the left of the green which was also protected by bunkers to the right.
Below is the card of the Briar Close course.