The Belfry Hotel & Resort is set to celebrate a very special summer as it marks 40 years of its iconic Brabazon golf course, the only venue in the world to have hosted the Ryder Cup on four occasions.
Co-designed by the late Dave Thomas and Peter Alliss in 1977, The Brabazon has witnessed some of the most memorable moments in golfing history – and now golfers can make their own chapter for just £40 when teeing off after 3pm during a weekday in July.
Meanwhile, for golfers seeking the ultimate experience on the course made famous by the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo, The Belfry has also introduced a special Golf Summer Offer that ensures a round on The Brabazon, an overnight stay, breakfast, £20 dinner allowance and free round on the Derby for just £149 per person.
Shortly after the course opening, at the 1978 Hennessy Cup, swashbuckling Spaniard Seve Ballesteros started his love affair with The Brabazon and instantly put it under the media spotlight when he became the first player to drive the now-famous par-4, 10th hole – a feat now attempted by golfers visiting from all over the world.
The first of four Ryder Cups on The Brabazon followed in 1985 when Tony Jacklin’s European team overcame a star-studded U.S. side, with Sam Torrance’s 20-foot birdie putt sealing victory on the final green. Four years later, in 1989, Irishman Christy O’Connor Jr stole the show with one of the most cherished Ryder Cup moments, firing a sublime 2-iron from 229 yards to just four feet on the 18th, as the contest ended in a tie.
An American victory – spearheaded by a spirited Paul Azinger – followed in 1993, before the European teamed claimed a famous triumph in The Belfry’s fourth Ryder Cup, in 2002. Sam Torrance’s European side overcame a U.S. team featuring Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, with Irishman Paul McGinley holing the winning putt and celebrating in the lake in front of the 18th green.
Whilst the resort is known as the spiritual home of the Ryder Cup, it is no stranger to high-profile European Tour events, with 11 in total being held at The Belfry between 1989 and 2008. The English Open has seen winners like Mark James and David Gilford, whilst the Benson & Hedges International Open witnessed champions from across the world, including Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal, Swede Henrik Stenson, Argentinian Angel Cabrera and Englishman Paul Casey.
Key Moments In The Brabazon’s 40 Year History
1977: The Dave Thomas and Peter Alliss co-designed Brabazon opens to the public
1978: Seve Ballesteros becomes first player to drive the par-4 10th hole in the Hennessy Cup
1985: First of four Ryder Cups comes to The Belfry – Sam Torrance holes the winning putt
1989: The second Belfry Ryder Cup is tied, but Christie O’Connor Jr makes history with a sublime 2-iron to two feet on the 18th. Mark James wins English Open in same year
1990: Mark James defends the English Open, beating Sam Torrance in a playoff
1991: David Gilford claims a two-shot victory in the English Open
1992: Argentinian Vicente Fernandez wins the fourth and final English Open at The Belfry
1993: Paul Azinger inspires America to triumph in third Ryder Cup played on The Brabazon
2000: Spanish favourite Jose Maria Olazabal claims the Benson & Hedges International Open
2001: Rising Swedish star Henrik Stenson wins the International Open by three shots
2002: The fourth Ryder Cup at The Belfry sees Paul McGinley holing the winning putt on the 18th, whilst Phillip Price also makes headlines with a 3&2 victory over Phil Mickelson. Argentinian Angel Cabrera seals victory in the International Open in the same year
2003: Home player Paul Casey wins the International Open, his third European Tour triumph
2006: Swede Johan Edfors wins the first of four British Masters to be played on The Brabazon
2007: Rory McIlroy makes pro debut at The British Masters and Lee Westwood takes the title
2008: Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño edges out Lee Westwood in a British Masters playoff
2014: The Brabazon benefits from a £26 million refurbishment across the whole Belfry resort
2016: New bunkers are installed around iconic 10th green to mirror 2002 Ryder Cup set-up
“When golfers set foot on The Brabazon’s first tee, they expect to play a course of Ryder Cup standards and follow in the footsteps of legends, and that’s what we set out to achieve every single day.” said Angus Macleod, The Belfry’s Director of Courses & Estates.
The Belfry www.thebelfry.co.uk