Played here in May - to echo others previous comments - you'll need to make the most of the relatively straightforward first few holes, but this doesn't mean they're easy, you'll need to be on your best game as the strongest holes are in the middle, with 6 though to 10 being the cream of the crop. The 7th definitely being my favourite, a straight shot through a pine forest onto the narrow fairway is required here, followed by a good second shot onto an elevated green. I was pleased to bogey the 8th (par 5, SI-1). It was nice to eventually glimpse the sea in the distance when we got to the 9th. which is followed by the par 3 10th, 215 yards in a hideous cross-wind. Virtually every hole has danger lurking on both sides to punish wayward shots, whether it's glorious yellow gorse, or thick heather or the bunkering - I did have to smile as my friend went into a good proportion of the 83 bunkers, including 2 on the 18th! As the course is arranged in a circle around Formby Ladies course, rather than just out and back, you will get the wind from every conceivable angle whatever the prevailing direction. On the whole, the course has a lot to commend it, it's a nice mixture of links, heath and parkland. You wouldn't normally get this amount of pine trees (or often any substantial trees) on a links course, but it makes for a nice contrast and keeps it varied and interesting, you'll need to be on your mettle on this course, "straight and accurate" are words I repeated to myself more than once in the car park! It's quite old school and formal here, but none the worse for that, the members are very aware and proud of the history of the club and their course, which was in great condition. I did see one old gentleman playing in plus fours, but it wasn't stuffy, and we played through two other four balls who were less fortunate with their drives than we were. Just remember you'll need a jacket for the dining room, but we found the bar snacks sufficient for our needs and everyone was very friendly and accommodating. In retrospect I should have stayed at the dormy house for £135 B&B, and played twice, as this fee would have included a day ticket, which is incredibly good value for a course of this stature. Really enjoyed it, and will be back!
Date: May 24, 2009