Fleetwood Golf Club moved to its present location on the Fylde Coast in 1932 when local professional James Steer was enlisted to lay out 18 holes on a wonderful stretch of linksland.
I like nice surprises. And that's exactly what I got when I played Fleetwood Golf Club. With so many notable courses, including no less than three Open Championship venues, lying relatively close to the south of Fleetwood it's a course that often goes under the radar.
Tucked away in the North-West corner of Fylde the type of links golf here is of the traditional, straight-forward type. There are hardly any blind tee-shots and very little quirkiness. What you see is what you get at Fleetwood. Good shots are generally rewarded well whilst errant drives are likely to find the tangly rough, that lines the generous fairways, and stray approaches could easily find deep bunkers.
The club lays claim to be the home of the first links course in England with records dating back to 1861 positively stating that golf was played by Army officers on the links at Fleetwood
There are similarities to nearby St. Annes Old Links in that the terrain is relatively flat. However, at Fleetwood there are a few more changes in elevation and they are used exceptionally well to give a much more undulating feel to the round. The type of greenside bunkering is also very similar but here you will find many more fairway hazards which must be avoided at all costs if you are to score well and which really tightens the course up.
As with all links courses the ferocity and direction of the wind will dictate play (and scoring). On my visit there was a cross wind on virtual all the holes. This didn't really help on any hole, neither did it hinder, but it made accessing the flags particularly difficult and therefore birdies were hard to come by.
Despite being left somewhat in the shadows by other links courses in Lancashire, there's no doubt this true links should be considered for a visit if planning a trip to England's North-West coast.
A follow up visit, when the course was playing much softer, gave the the links a much different appearance to the one I first sampled in the height of summer. It played much the better when the course was firm and fast.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.