Brussels, the ‘capital’ of the European Union is also a fabulous golfing destination for neighbourin

BRUSSELS hasn’t been a name on so many people’s lips since oh, probably June 1975, the last time the British people were asked an opinion of being members of the European Union. Before that? Quite possibly a full 200 years, when that Napoleon chappie got his come-uppance just south of the Belgian and EU capital, at a little place called Waterloo. Much has changed, both since Wellington’s famous exploits and 100 years on when Belgium’s beautiful verdant countryside formed a bloody stage for some of World War 1’s worst military tragedies. A snapshot of Enghien Across the fields of Flanders and Walloon where once lay cesspit trenches, Britons, Germans, French – and yes, local Belgians alike – c

Winding along the banks of the river Wharfe, Ilkley enchants from the start

YOU don’t need to know one end of a wedge from the other to fall in love with Ilkley Golf Club, nestled on the banks of the river Wharfe, basking in the lee of the eponymous Moor and the famous Cow and Calf crags. This is a golf course for poets and painters, romantics and romancers. On an English summer afternoon, halfway down the opening stretch of seven holes that link arms with the burbling waterway on your left, I challenge you not to want to paddle with the kiddies, take your beloved’s hand and walk beneath the dappled branches, or swap golf clubs for fishing rod, and muse away a gentle afternoon. The spectacular view of the 4th at Ilkley Having resisted those temptations – because the

South Bradford is a buzzing golf club that flies very much beneath the radar of its ‘Bullish’ neighb

ALL of the years I’ve been trekking with either a journalist’s notepad or a pair of rugby boots to Odsal, the home stadium of the Bradford Bulls, and I never even suspected that I was a well hit mid-iron from the pristine fairways of a top quality golf club. These days rugby lads can’t really be considered ‘noisy neighbours’ during their ongoing doldrums, although I suspect that members of South Bradford Golf Club occasionally struggled to make themselves heard on rumbustuous Sunday afternoons during the Bulls’ Super League glory years. I’m not sure if the golf club opened its doors for refreshments on the evening of Wednesday May 5 1954, when a crowd of 102,575 fans turned up to watch Halif

Mike Smith's Open Diary

FROM surreal to unreal. That’s how Hillsborough’s Joe Dean described his first appearance in the Open Championship. The former Yorkshire county play-er who was English amateur champion in 2015 made the cut on +4, thanks to a gutsy 72 in Friday’s horrendous weather. Dean said: “It was quite surreal when we arrived on Sunday as we didn’t know where to go or what to do but my goal for the week was to play four rounds. To make the cut in that awful weather on Friday was some of the best grinding out golf I’ve ever played, so that was great,” said Dean who was nursing a sore shoulder. “I was in the physio truck a couple of times a day. I think it’s just down to the sheer amount of golf I have bee

Marsh ready for the Challenge

HUDDERSFIELD’S Nick Marsh is eyeing a place on next season’s Challenge Tour after the biggest win of his professional career. A sudden death victory in the Dawson & Sanderson Classic, followed by a fourth place finish in the Matchroom Sport Championship, has seen the former England amateur champion climb to second place on the PGA EuroPro Tour with winnings of £19,434. Marsh estimates that he now only needs around £6,000 from the remaining seven events to secure a top 5 finish in the money list, which would give him automatic playing rights on the Challenge Tour in 2018. In the Dawson & Sanderson event at Longhirst Hall, a one over par final-round 73 saw Marsh locked at -7 w

Sick as a parrot – then over the moon!

THE run of three Rolex Series events starting at the HNA Open de France offered a great opportunity to boost my overall Race to Dubai standings with such huge prize funds on offer. The course at Le Golf National is out of this world and could well be the toughest all year, but it’s also 100% the fairest. It’s also hosting the Ryder Cup in 2018 and for every possible reason it will be an incredible venue. Every hole has its own amphitheatre feel to it, and there are so many risk and reward holes which for matchplay will be very entertaining. I really do love the place, and enjoy the challenge it presents, even if you do want to pull your hair out coming down the last few holes when the wind i

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