The Red Rose county of Lancashire made its mark during the early 19th century as a commercial and industrial powerhouse in the northwest of England. Half a dozen mill towns emerged during this time, their army of workers processing cotton from all around the world. For recreation, these cotton mill employees would head to the coast and so Blackpool became a popular seaside resort for Lancastrians and many more besides.
Golf evolved as the participation sport of choice for an increasing number of people so a great number of courses sprung up by the beginning of the 1900s. Today there are over 140 in the region, administered by the Lancashire Union of Golf Clubs, and this body represents tens of thousands of golfers in the area. Liverpool and Manchester were removed from the county in the mid 1970s – forming Merseyside and Greater Manchester – and clubs in those regions can be found split across both Lancashire and Cheshire on the Top 100 website.
Lancashire Ladies’ County Golf Association looks after the interests of female golfers in the county and it has been in operation for over a century, with its County Championship established in 1907. The association’s inter-club scratch Championship Shield actually predates this competition by a couple of years, when club select teams from Formby, Hesketh, Lytham St Annes, West Derby, West Lancashire and Worsley all participated in the inaugural event.
A quartet of magnificent courses are strung out on Lancashire’s “Golf Coast” and they dominate the county list which is only right and proper because Royal Birkdale, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Formby and Hillside are all world class golfing venues. Not far behind these iconic layouts in quality, links layouts like Southport & Ainsdale, West Lancashire, Fairhaven and St Annes Old Links offer golfers a top-drawer game by the sea. And so it continues inland, with plenty more gems to be discovered the further away from the coast that you venture.
Our Lancashire Best in County golf course rankings were updated in 2015. Click here to read the story.