Royal Liverpool is one of the best conditioned Open Championship courses I’ve played but, as I holed a monster putt for a bogey on the 18th after twice blading chip shots to the final green, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. A lot of courses have very bland opening holes but the 1st at Hoylake is an absolute stinker; a right angled dogleg round the practice ground to a green that has no real interest apart from a small swale. From that point on the course gets progressively better and there are some brilliant holes among the rippling fairways and dunes where the bunkering, especially at the greens, are truly magnificent. Unfortunately I found the much lauded closing stretch that starts at 14, aptly named Field, most uninteresting. Difficult and long holes they may be, but the up and down routing across the flat and featureless former racecourse left me cold. Hoylake is undoubtedly a supreme test of golf but as a course it didn’t float my boat.
Date: October 06, 2010