Review of the Month August 2017 - Formby
Standing on the 1st green you get that feel of an old school links with the Liverpool to Southport railway breathing on the green. Links? Surely yes, but pine trees aplenty were in view from the 2nd tee and heathland to avoid.
The first standout hole for me was the par three 5th, it has Colt written all over it with a typical raised green ala 5th hole on the New at Sunningdale. This picturesque short hole had sandhills holding the ground right of the green and miss it left at your peril.
7, 8 & 9 had a different feel to them which were designed by Donald Steel in the early 80s and care must be taken to know both the best lines and run outs. Actually the course in general had a feel of a few hands making up the course design, which makes sense given Willie Park, Braid, Colt, Taylor, Hawtree and Steel all have had a hand in the layout.
The prevailing wind is usually off the Irish Sea making the back nine the easier of the two nines – NOT today!
We turned for home with a strong two-club wind on the kisser and it was a test off the white tees with some quality two shot par fours. A lover of a short par three, the 16th came into its own at 127yds on the day. Make the green and have a good chance for birdie, find one of the bunkers and it’s a bogey at best.
What sets this links course apart (yes it is a links) from others in the area is the mix of majestic pine trees that run along many of the fairways. It’s beautifully bunkered yet very penal and somehow the sand seems heavier. Don’t get greedy trying to advance your ball, take your medicine by playing out sideways and fight for your bogey like I did on at least half a dozen holes. And if the trees and bunkering aren’t enough to get you thinking, the heather also comes into play making the rough a constant challenge.
By the time I had visited two more bunkers on the 18th it was time to reach for the Head & Shoulders to help get the sand from my hair – lovely showers here by the way – followed by a much needed Peroni!
Formby has it all. If you haven’t yet played it I cannot recommend it highly enough – just stay out of those bunkers.
By MichaelReview of the Month August 2017 selected by Editor-in-Chief, Keith Baxter – click here to read the full review.