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The West Lancashire Golf Club - June 2012 Club of the Month

This club is a mix of the modern and the truly ancient. Established in 1873 by members from Royal Liverpool Golf Club just a few miles across the Mersey estuary it clearly has a very significant place in the development of golf and is regularly used as a venue for Open Final Qualifying when the grand old championship is held in these parts. Being around 15 minutes drive from Royal Birkdale and only another 45 minutes from Royal Lytham and St Annes this tends to happen quite frequently and the club staged Open Final Qualifying again in 2012.

The clubhouse may split opinion, but then there are many high quality links courses of similar standing with exactly the kind of old clubhouse you would expect - so we found the combination of old and new really unique. The clubhouse at West Lancashire Golf Club is modern, inside and outside, but it also has everything you would expect. All the rooms are dressed with the accoutrements that come with  a history approaching 150 years - boards full of competition winners over the years, a huge trophy cabinet, photographs of famous combatants who have taken on its challenging links and photos depicting its contribution to the game.

The contemporary look of the West Lancashire Golf Club clubhouse belies a history that was at the development of the game in the late 1800s. For a start it is the oldest golf club surviving in Lancashire and one of the 10 oldest in England. West Lancashire has also provided three Open champions: Harold Hilton (1892 at Muirfield and 1897 at Royal Liverpool), Sandy Herd (1902 at Royal Liverpool) and Arthur Havers (1923 at Troon).

During Final Open Qualifying in 1976 held at West Lancashire Golf Club, four of the participants on that day were Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam and Bernhard Langer - who each went on to win the US Masters.

Another interesting point is that for a long time the longest hole in one in the UK was achieved here at the 394 yard dog leg right 7th hole in 1972 by the then Assistant Professional at the club, P.R.Parkinson.

Please read on to see our review of the course and its facilities and to find out a little bit more about this very special club and its course.

Course Review

We played at the West Lancashire Golf Club 20th May on a warm evening where the Sun dappled the coast and the course and, thankfully, the wind kept away. The course was firm and dry so the fairways were running fast as were the absolutely perfect greens. The holes wind their way through the sand dunes which brings a splendid isolation to many of them. In this respect it reminded us a little of Royal Birkdale where at times the golfer can feel quite alone with the challenge of the next shot away from the peripheral presence of other golfers. A low game in the wind would be crucial here, using the shelter provided by the dunes on certain shots. Its true links all the way. At West Lancs there are no holes that are a little bit inland that lose some of the character of the ones closer to the shore as is so often the case on courses that call themselves "links". Every hole at West Lancs is true links.

The layout is very much an out and back one with the ninth returning you to the clubhouse - so this is a great venue for societies looking to play 27 holes.

At 6239 yards off the yellow tees (7049 off the championship blue tees) the course is a stern but fair test.

The fairway bunkering  demands good driving and the bunkers as you would imagine are penal, producing a lost shot for sure as you will be unlikely to achieve a green in regulation if you enter one off the tee. Greenside bunkers are deep and excellently revetted.

Don't miss the fairways here. Once your drive disappears over the dunes that play a big role around this track you will find it difficult to get a reference point to even start your search. If your driver is not on song - take something straight. The running fairways will put you further down the cut and prepared than you think.

The greens were magnificent. Truer ones we have not played to this point in the year and we suspect they will get faster and truer as the season progresses. The greens were undulating enough to make them interesting but still playable. When we visited they were still quite receptive but as the Summer progresses, as is normal with a links course at the height of Summer, you will need to position your tee shot to allow your approach to be bounced in.

The signature hole is the 14th - a dog leg right par 4 of some 447 yards from the back tees (421 from the yellows). Only a perfect long drive of over 250 yards with a slight fade will put you in A1 position here. Once you have achieved that you have un uphill shot to a unfriendly pulpit green that just wants to throw your ball back  at you. Getting the right club out of the bag is difficult enough the first time you play it. Even then only the perfect approach shot will end up with you having the flat stick in your hand for the next shot. A par here - and you'll have the bragging rights in the clubhouse afterwards.

Pricing
April to October
Weekday Round 95, Day 120
Weekend Round 110, Day 140
November to March
Weekday Round 45, Day 55
Weekend Round 55

For more information please contact West Lancashire Golf Club 0151 924 1076  or see www.westlancashiregolf.co.uk

The Clubhouse

The clubhouse at West Lancashire Golf Club is a mix of old and new, traditional and contemporary. A modern building that looks distinctive from the outside and modern inside.

However, a look at the artefacts in the clubhouse betray the fact that this is a club with a place in the history of the game - and a history of some note.

The clubhouse light and airy and has a superb decked terrace that gives lovely views over the Mersey Estuary and is a great place sip a pint or a chilled glass of wine and watch people coming up the eighteenth. It also has first class dining facilities, a comfortable bar and a snooker room.

The clubhouse at West Lancashire is clearly able to handle societies and other groups of of all sizes in a friendly, stylish environment and the members we met during our stay were very friendly and courteous, were genuinely pleased to see us and were rightly proud of their club.

The Pro Shop

The pro shop at West Lancashire Golf Club is well stocked and staffed by some great staff who were really helpful and informative on the day we played the course.

West Lancashire would be a great place to learn the game, surrounded by the history and tradition in such a fantastic high quality setting.

The pro shop will be happy to help with the lesson packages available.

 Contact Details

West Lancashire Golf Club, Hall Road West, Blundellsands, Liverpool L23 8SZ

Web: http://www.westlancashiregolf.co.uk

Email: golf@westlancashiregolf.co.uk

Tel: 0151 924 1076

 

 
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