Hillside Golf Club is in the middle of the famous trio of golf courses in Southport (S&A and Birkdale). It really is a fantastic traditional club and a great test of links golf. I believe it is a course of 2 nines with the front nine being a lot flatter and plain, but the back nine is outrageously good and arguably one of the greatest nine holes of golf I've played. The condition of the fairways and greens were great and the bunkers were challenging, just as you would expect for links golf.
The first hole is a fairly short par 4, but is littered with bunkers all the way down the fairway so if you walk away with a par then you are doing well. 3 is a great par 4 with a ditch running about 290 yards up across the fairway, when the wind is behind you it definitely comes into play there. After that there aren't any notable holes on the front nine other than the 7th which is a fantastic 150 yard par 3 with the trees in the back and beautifully designed bunkers around the green.
After the 9th hole it gets very fun. 10 is a great par 3 playing about 140 yards to a narrow undulating green. 11 is one of the best par 5s that you may play in Lancashire with a fantastic view greeting you when you hit your tee shot and a large number of trees behind the green making it a beautiful approach shot. The 13th and 14th are 2 tough but marvellous par 4s playing amongst the sand dunes, both fantastic holes. The 17th and 18th holes are a great way to finish your round as well. The 17th is a long par 5 with a difficult drive as you will find a ditch on your right and lots of bunkers down the start of the fairway. The approach shot is again pleasing to the eye as you hit towards the green which is surrounded by the dunes. The 18th is a great hole to end with, an elevated tee shot with the clubhouse in the background and many fairway bunkers to contend with, probably best not to hit driver off the tee as I learnt this the hard way!
As you can tell by the review, there is an awful lot more to talk about on the back 9 than the front nine but nonetheless the course in general was fantastic and definitely a great inks experience. Well worth it to play there if you get the chance. I feel harsh giving it 5 balls, but I gave Silloth-On-Solway a 5 1/2 rating and in my opinion I think Silloth was better. Regardless, Hillside was a quality course and I definitely will aim to play there again in the future.
Date: August 07, 2019