WHEN Matfen Hall opened its golf club in 1995, it planned to provide a golfing experience like no other in the Tyne Valley.

Under the esteemed leadership of its golf directors and club professional, the new Matfen Hall Golf Club had established itself as a firm favourite with discerning golfers within weeks of opening.

The accessible and picturesque 18-hole course, designed by top course architect Andrew Mair, in consultation with Ryder Cup player Marek James, provides a challenge for every player - without being so difficult as to be almost impossible for the average club player.

The designers took every care to ensure that the course accommodated the natural features of the Northumberland countryside.

Over 6,500 yards in length, the course was lovingly carved out of the rolling farmlands which make up part of the Matfen Hall estate.

It includes a number of testing features, notably the meandering River Pont, and a tricky “ha-ha” wall and ditch which can swallow up the ill-directed shot.

Today, the club’s gold-standard facilities are one of the many reasons why visitors keep on returning for more action.

It expanded its course to become a 27-hole golf facility, which also boasts a driving range and a state-of-the-art clubhouse and dining facilities.

The opening of Matfen Hall in 1995 is an important case in point for the renaissance of golf throughout the district. The Tyne Valley has benefited from Matfen’s celebrity fund-raising charity and business events, supporting European Tour visits to Slaley Hall and Close House.

Coaching the golf stars of the future is a key ambition of Lisa Ferrie, director of golf at Matfen Hall, and golf manager Nicola Hawes. Its PGA professionals John Harrison, JJ Vallely and Jonny Levey’s individual and group coaching has helped transform the golfing facility into more than just a course.

At the head of the golfing journey has been director of golf who still remains in post after being around on day one to help open the facilities in 1995 alongside club professional Ian Waugh.

Matfen Hall is carrying out a phased reopening of its golf facilities after lockdown.