Lytham Hall Park,
Lytham St Annes,
- +44 (0)1253 736741
2 miles from Lytham and St Annes town centres
Welcome with restrictions, contact in advance
J. A. Steer, James Braid
Fairhaven Golf Club is situated a mile or two away from Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club. It’s less heroic than Lytham, but nevertheless, the golf is still very good indeed.
“The new course of the Fairhaven Club, an inland course in a pretty park with something attractively secret about it.” Wrote Bernard Darwin in The Golf Courses of Great Britain. “We walk through a wood and suddenly and surprisingly find ourselves in a big tract of country, very peaceful and remote, which gives the impression of being a hidden valley. The soil is good too, and the holes interesting.”
Fairhaven was originally founded in 1895 and the course was sited on what is now Fairhaven Boating Lake. The club moved to its present site in the early 1920s and J.A. Steer designed the new course with advice and guidance from the great James Braid.
In a Muirfield style, each nine at Fairhaven is routed in two loops and this classical design ensures that the wind causes all kind of problems. Measuring more than 7,000 yards from the back tees, Fairhaven is certainly not a short course but the par 73 includes five par fives, two of which appear in the last four holes. Its length is therefore not its greatest challenge. Staying above ground and out of Braid’s many distinctive bunkers is the main issue.
If you can master Fairhaven’s renowned fast and slick greens, then you may be in for a good score. The course formerly hosted Open Qualifying when the Open Championship was held at Royal Lytham & St. Annes. Justin Leonard – one of the world’s best putters – posted a course record 64 in Final Qualifying for the 1996 Open and was granted honorary membership as a direct consequence.
There are so many fine courses on Lancashire’s “Golf Coast” and Fairhaven might not be a natural choice for those seeking out the big names. But you really will be missing something, something really special if you overlook Fairhaven. It’s a delightful course and one of the area’s real gems.
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