When Pleasington Golf Club was formed in 1891, Blackburn was the weaving capital of the world where cotton was king. The rural village of Pleasington is located on the outskirts of the East Lancashire mill town and the course itself is set in a delightful rolling landscape with magnificent country views from the high ground.
Originally, a simple nine-hole course was laid out by George Lowe, the professional from Royal Lytham and St Annes and, in 1909, Sandy Herd extended the layout to 18 holes. As with many courses established in this era, many subsequent changes have taken place – most notably lengthening – but the outline of Herd’s original design remains.
Today’s course measures 6,562 yards from the back tees and it’s a layout that tested many of the region’s best golfers when Pleasington was used for Open Championship Regional Qualifying in 2005. It’s fitting that a local man, Michael Hunt, came through qualification with an outstanding score of 65, a round that included an incredible nine birdies.
The course itself is a varied mix of heathland cum parkland cum moorland and it keeps you entertained all the way round. Some of the best holes appear at the turn where the landscape takes on a rugged and rather dramatic nature.
It’s understandable that the majority of travelling golfers head in their droves for the Lancashire links courses. But, if you are thinking of stopping off on the way to the seaside, a visit to Pleasington will be very pleasant and exceedingly pleasurable. It’s an experience that comes thoroughly recommended.
The club is currently working with Ken Moodie of Creative Golf Design. A 5-year plan is in place, which includes tree management and bunker renovation, with the long-term objective to return the course to its heathland origins.
Not the best. Heard it was the best inland course in Lancashire and foots say Yorkshire has no worries if that’s the best.
Played Clitheroe and that was well maintained but not the best course, Pleasington is the opposite.
Can see why they had the Open tegionals for twice as long as they should have but they’re not getting them back soon if they don’t sort out their maintenance.
Greens slow and bobbly, fairways got wet with minimal rainfall.
In short, major overall needed and I can see why it was a top course. It’s just been left to deteriorate it appears.
HI Stephen - since 2017 the Club has been working on a 5 year plan with Ken Moodie Architect and STRI (agronomy services) to both improve the layout of the course and improve the playing surfaces. These changes have resulted in golf industry experts like Peter Finch saying the greens were the best he had played on anywhere this year (twice!!) Phase 2 is underway currently with improvement to 12, 16 and 18. Feel free to come and have a look next season and see how far we have come. Thanks Pete
I was visiting relatives in Preston and convinced them to play here as I played it in 2004 and it was exceptional. They wanted to play Clitheroe which they said wasn’t as good layout but better condition and cheaper.
I suspect they’re right.
Thee green were inconsistent and bunkers had deteriorated which were very good and as there many of them, you get to know them.
I can’t believe the difference. The snooker tables gone and being Muslim drinking is not an option. So we left early but the food was good.
Left disappointed and felt I let my family and friends down. Hope they get it together soon as it was number 76 in the best courses in Britain.
Now it’s lucky to make best 200.
I agree. Sad to see a great course go downhill. How did it happen? Just incompetent?
Could not agree more. I have relatives who are members at Pleasington and in the past I always looked forward to a game when we visited. I was due next week but have asked we play Lancaster or Clitheroe instead.
The whole course looks neglected and sad. The fairways are moss and thatch laden with little grass. The bunkers are a joke.
I am told they have now started a tree culling exercise to make it even easier. The 16th par 3 is now totally open and is a pitch and putt.
I love the scenery at the course but that is not enough. I play off 2 and it is now so easy and aimed at much higher handicappers.My nephew says all the club are interested in is new members and their money.
Pleasington used to be a challenge no more and worse for that.
They will say money needed we say get the course right and money will be attracted.
Pleasington, a former Regional Open Qualifying venue, boasts a fine inland golf course - irrefutably one of the best tracks in the county away from the sea.
Unusually the course has a par of 38 on the front nine (3 par-fives against 1 par-three) and a par of just 33 on the inward half. I believe this irrelevant imbalance may be due to the switching of the current 5th and 11th holes when a new bridge was built to cross a railway line. The total yardage of the par 71 course is 6,940 off the blue tees and this is where I played the course from in the 2017 Pleasington Antlers 36 hole scratch tournament. The course was set up very well and the condition excellent.
As mentioned earlier a train track splits the course into two distinct parts. The 12 holes on one side of the railway (1-5 & 12-18) are played through established parkland where mature trees line most of the fairways. Meanwhile, the remainder on the other side (6-11) offer a stark contrast with a more open moorland and heathland feel; these holes contain swathes of heather, patches of gorse and the turf is much firmer. However, it all comes together nicely to create a very pleasing round of golf.
Lancashire is not renowned for its inland golf courses, and rightly so, but Pleasington is an exception to this conception because it’s a very fine course and one I would strongly recommend a visit to.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.
We come and play opens here a couple of times a year and never are we disappointed!! The layout of the course is first class, offering an enjoyable but stern test to each and every level of golfer, with many changes of elevation and challenging shots.
I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit to Pleasington and I believe this is one of Lancashire's finest courses which provides a fun day out for any golfer.
Must be a high handicapper as the course is easier but the condition has deteriorated. I play off 2 and my group are all below 4 and found it to be easy shooting 68, 70,71 and 73. Should have been lower due to the greens not being true and good puts bobbling off line.
Glad some people are happy though but I hope they get on top of things and get it back to were it was when ranked 77 in Britain.
Pleasington represents one of the best clubs in Lancashire. The course has recently been lengthened to retain its status as an Open Championship regional qualifying course and what makes this course so enjoyable, is the great variation of holes. The par 3’s at the 8th, 10th &12th all require a carry to reach the green and the 16th is over trees. The par 4’s are of varying lengths which means you have to use every club in the bag indeed the 4th at 432 yards & the 13th at 460 yards require two big hits to reach, but perhaps it’s the mid length par 4’s at Pleasington that charm the most like the 6th with no fewer than 12 bunkers played up to a plateau green or the 14th which tees off high up in the trees leaving a spectacular view of your tee shot. Majestic par 5’s in the middle of the round lift this course to another level with the split level 7th that rewards a perfectly positioned drive by descending to leave a flat approach to the green, the picturesque 9th that climbs sharply at the start before playing along a valley of gorse, bunkers & rough or possibly the best hole on the course the 11th with the railway and a stream to your right and fairway bunkers perfectly positioned just over the hill where the tee shots run leaving a long and ever narrowing fairway approach towards the green. If you play no other course in East Lancashire, play this one.