I just can't bring myself to give Birkdale top rating. It is a superb golf course, of that there's no doubt, and in the two to three club wind that we played it in it is a brutal test. But the finish from the non-pro tees really is disappointing: 3 par 5's in the last 4 holes and none of them really much of a challenge. The 17th is the best of these and the approach if you're going for it in two is certainly dangerous, making padraig's 5 wood last year that much more impressive. But the 18th is a let down if played as a par 5. If you are looking for real thrills, spills and big dunes, try Hillside next door.
Date: May 17, 2009