Second visit to Hillside in one month and this time it was way better, a sunny day with some wind and listening to the roars at The Open during Saturday 3rd round was great. My first time in June under rain almost all 18 holes left me with the will of coming back and really enjoying the course which I really did. We played short tees as there were many high handicappers in the group but in no way that made me not enjoy it. It is a different challenge, you need accuracy with tee shots and not always driver. Greens were rolling pure, even better than in June and when you get to the back 9 and start to see the Stands at Royal Birkdale it made it a great experience, of course much better than in June!
As it is well known, back 9 are great and maybe the nicest in England but there are a couple of holes in the front 9 worth to be remarked: par 5 5th hole is a great one, where once you drive the fairway the challenge to get home in 2 is extremely tough and you must avould both cross bunkers. Par 3 7th is maybe the nicest on the front 9, with those big trees on the back of the green and you need not to be distracted or you'll end with a double as I did! 8th is another really good one, a challenging dog leg right where again tee shot needs to be what the hole asks, a cut to avoid bunkers on the left.
And back 9 ... WOW! I played some great golf but not making one single putt made it a disappointing score but this cannot hide how great the course is, from start to end there is not one single weak hole!
Par 3 10th uphill is extremely nice and the first sights of Stands at Birkdale, 11th is an amazing par 5 reachable, but with a very tough green to read. 12th over the water is even drivable for the longer ones, but then the short approach is not easy. And the grand finale 17-18 gives you the chance to score but also to lose the round, maybe 17th is the best hole on the course and the closest you get to The Open.
Again we finished watching The Open at the Club House and it was a complete great day, very well organized despite the Open crews. Is it a must? YES.
Date: August 03, 2017