Hesketh - Lancashire - England

Hesketh Golf Club,
Cockle Dick's Lane,
Southport,
Merseyside,
PR9 9QQ


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Hesketh Golf Club is completely overshadowed by Royal Lytham & St Annes to the north and Royal Birkdale to the south but Hesketh pre-dates them both. Southport Golf Club, as Hesketh was originally known, was founded in 1885 and the original course was designed by James Ogilvy Fairlie Morris, son of Old Tom Morris and the little brother of Young Tom, and it soon developed a reputation for excellent greens and a stern test of golf.

After three moves and an amalgamation with the Southport Golf Club, Hesketh Golf Club finally settled down just off Cockle Dick’s Lane on the site of the original course, flanked by the Victorian villas of Hesketh Park, Southport's premier residential area.

It was the landowner of many names, first Charles Hesketh Bibby, then Charles Hesketh Bibby-Hesketh and finally Charles Hesketh Fleetwood-Hesketh who, in 1902, reintroduced the original 1895 course with more than a little help from George Lowe, the professional at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club.

The Bentley brothers – Harry and Arnold – were perhaps the most illustrious pair of brothers in the history of amateur golf and they were a firm feature at Hesketh Golf Club for decades and undoubtedly the club’s most famous members.

The roadway up to the clubhouse passes a par three of some repute, a short hole that Henry Cotton described as the best in Lancashire. The 16th measures 187 yards from the back tees and it is ringed with six pot bunkers, which laugh in the face of par. The green is framed by dunes and raised on a plateau with a nasty steep run off to the right. If you miss the green slightly to the right, your ball will be flung across the road leaving you with a treacherous chip back up to the green.

Henry Cotton was a regular visitor to Hesketh and he competed here in the famous Dunlop Southport tournament and won. Hesketh Golf Club regularly hosts Open Championship Qualifying when the Open comes to Royal Birkdale and we have no doubt that even on a calm day it’s a tough test of golf.

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Description: Hesketh Golf Club is completely overshadowed by Royal Lytham & St Annes to the north and Royal Birkdale to the south but Hesketh pre-dates them both. Rating: 5.4 out of 10 Reviews: 18
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Blake Norton
The 1st, 2nd and 14th-18th are superb holes. When you go across the road it is a very average golf course with a few nice holes but nothing to write home about. All in all it was a bit of a disappointment as I was expecting a better golf course for a course that is rated at 104th in England. Play Hillside, Formby or Wallasey ahead of Hesketh
March 10, 2009
2 / 10
Hesketh
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Antony Eden
Some really good holes on the clubhouse side of the course, however the holes on the other side of the road (of which there are11) are poor and on very flat reclaimed marshland which has a tendancy to flood in winter. In a lot better condition than it used to be but no where in the same class as Birkdale, Southport & Ainsdale, Hillside and Formby.
February 25, 2009
4 / 10
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John S
Hesketh is one of those courses that can look so unassuming but it really is a very tough golf course and if you play to your handicap here you have had a very good day! A new course manager has worked wonders over the past year and the course has been returned to its former glory with some of the best greens you will ever see. There is no denying there is a definite split between the pure links holes on the clubhouse side of the road and the more parkland feel over the road. However this provides a good contrast, and the sometimes savage rough can make even the most accomplished players look foolish at times. With new greens at 3 and 12 to mature, Hesketh is sure to get better and more than holds sway with its more illustrious neighbours along the Southport Coast.
June 12, 2008
8 / 10
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John Banks
A nice enough course but no where near as good as it's neighbours. If the roads across the road were as good as the ones in the dunes then it could be but it feltv like a municipal when we crossed to the holes by the estuary. There has been some work to modify and improve these holes but they feel disappointing after a very nice start, the drive up to the club is very nice and it showcases all of the best holes. Worth a visit especially when the green fee offers for £25 a round are on.
March 24, 2008
6 / 10
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Russell Lambert
Hesketh is the least heralded of Southports courses but that's more a reflection of how good the others are than a lack of quality here.The holes on the clubhouse side of the road are outstanding and you get a great view of them when driving up the clubhouse road(beware stray shots from the 16th tee).The holes on the other side of the road are not as memorable but and they've done a lot of work on them since i played here.New greens at 3 & 12,a new pond on the 5th, new bunkers on 7 and,i think,a new tee at the 13th will make it interesting when i go back in August.With so many great courses in the area it would be easy to overlook Hesketh but it's a great place to play.Russell Lambert
June 24, 2007
8 / 10
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Jim McCann

The opening two and last five holes are played Hesketh - Photo by Jim McCannaround a very imposing clubhouse over some wonderfully undulating terrain and the remaining holes are laid out across Fleetwood Road on flatter ground.

I was surprised to find water in play at holes 5, 8 and 9 which really added interest to the round.

The club have just constructed new putting surfaces at the 3rd and 12th holes under the supervision of the Hawtree design company as part of an upgrading programme and they look absolutely wonderful – with formidable greenside bunkering and little, links-like moundings adding great definition.

Holes 10 to 13 were out of play due to recent heavy rainfall so drainage is an obvious issue on this area of flat land so close to the sea. Incidentally, I have never seen so many different types of bird on the fairways between holes 6 and 8 – a real ornithologist’s paradise!

Overall, Hesketh is a great diversion for those on the Open venue trail between Lytham and Hoylake who don’t want to suffer championship course fatigue by playing too many top tracks at the one time – just don’t expect too much respite playing here as Hesketh is a very good test.

Jim McCann

June 18, 2007
6 / 10
Hesketh
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Richard Smith
This is a fun and intersting links course located in the northern part of Southport. The course is split by a road, with 7 holes on the clubhouse side of the road and 11 holes on the other side. The 7 clubhouse holes are truly outstanding, especially the finishing stretch from 14 to 18. The holes are the other side of the road are much flatter, but they present a nice variety of challenges. The blind approach to the 5th is a fun shot, and holes 6 and 9 are very challenging par 4's. This was the first course I played on my recent trip to Southport, and I will certainly go back. The members were very cordial, especially after I hit a big duck hook off the 14th tee up next to the clubhouse and the spike bar. After an impromptou ruling by one of the members that gave me relief from several picnic tables I was able to get an 8 iron on the green and make a memborable par. I'm sure that any visitor to Southport will want to take in Formby, Southport & Ainsdale, Royal Birkdale and Hillside, but don't overlook Hesketh. Richard Smith, Knoxville Tennessee
August 14, 2006
8 / 10
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Keith Baxter

Hesketh is a tough test but there are better courses to play in this neck of the woods. It's a shame that the property doesn't have more of the brilliant tumbling links land which seven holes use on the clubhouse side of the road. The eleven holes on the opposing side of the road are pleasant enough but they are not links holes and rather flat and dull (in my humble view). Certainly Hesketh would be a good course if only it had more sandy land. The par 3 16th is indeed a corker and the greens are fast and true.

June 27, 2006
5 / 10
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