Bounded to the west by the River Lune estuary, the course at Lancaster Golf Club is an attractive parkland layout that was designed by James Braid in 1932.
Having played Lancaster GC a few times over the years, it is always a course to look forward to playing. The greens are good and run true, although we played it just after hollow tining, and they were not up to their usual standard. Course maintenance is an accepted necessity so sometime you just have to grin and bear it.
The layout is a fine parkland track, using the land well with some interesting holes, but a bit of an up and back feel in places. Most James Braid courses start with a gentle opener, something to ease you into the round. Not Lancaster. A 400+ yard up-hiller to get you going followed by 2 more 400+ yard holes.
The first and last of the par threes are the pick of the shorter holes, teeing off high above the greens to well bunkered targets. Of the longer holes the SI1 par 4 9th gets my vote for the strongest hole. A drive that rewards bravery down the left to a dogleg, and a resulting shorter approach to a green across the stream. Stay safe to the right and have a longer approach but don't risk being blocked out.
Playing Lancaster after a rainy August meant there wasn't a great deal of run on the ball and the first cut was a little long, meaning slow rounds, as balls had to be searched for, but again, weather conditions mean green-keeping staff have their own challenges. These conditions meant it felt a bit of a slog as it is a long course, and the chances to hit a drive and a short iron into the greens were limited.
On the whole, Lancaster is well worth a visit, the clubhouse is magnificent, and the welcome warm, if not a little overzealous in these Covid related times. The views are wonderful especially on the estuary side holes, just as the legs are starting to feel it. A suitable reward for a good walk, hopefully not spoiled.