Played by NCG: Hesketh

Courses and Travel

NCG's Craig Middleton got to tick off one of his bucket list golf courses when he got to tee off at one of Lancashire's finest...

Reason for a Hesketh Golf Club review

A nice golfing getaway to Lancashire for the old man’s birthday is a good a reason as any to pay Hesketh a visit on a sunny Friday afternoon.

Where is Hesketh?

Situated on England’s Golf Coast in Southport, Hesketh is just four miles north of 2017 Open Championship venue Royal Birkdale and also neighbours links powerhouses Hillside, Formby and West Lancashire.

 

What to expect

As the oldest golf course in Southport, you won’t be surprised to get that historical feeling when you drive up to the clubhouse at Hesketh.

The short par-3 16th on your left-hand side, was described by Henry Cotton as “the best short hole in Lancashire” – and for good reason. A pitching wedge into a green surrounded by bunkers and dunes offers a stern test. Hit a bad shot and you’ll end up doing this all day…

You can expect a tough test of golf where precision off the tee is paramount, the first hole being a prime example. Anything sprayed left or right and you won’t be able to see the pin and then it’s a guessing game as to where you are aiming your approach shot.

The 15th hole is another where precision off the tee is the most important part of the hole.

My best bit

This came on the scenic 15th hole. After a terrible pulled drive to the left over the bunker and onto the par-3 16th hole I was in a spot of bother. Here is that awful tee shot in all its glory…

What I was faced with next was a blind shot over massive dunes to a tight pin with the green running away from me.

Not only was it a tough shot but I had four members on the 16th green watching me with anticipation.

I pulled a wedge out of the bag and hit a three-quarter shot over the dune to 15 feet which brought applause from my dad – though not the members, I noticed. Phew.

Obviously with all of that excitement I missed the birdie putt but after the tee shot making a par was probably the highlight of my round.

What to look for

After a lot of rain over the last few months you’d expect the majority of golf courses to not be in tip top condition.

That was not the case here at Hesketh. Just one temporary green – at the 18th – was in operation and that was only because of renovation work. The tee boxes were in really good condition and about 90 percent of the fairways were dry.

The greenkeepers have done a marvellous job of the place over the winter months and I am really looking forward to going back in the summer to see just how good this place can be.

When I go back…

I will play the front nine a lot better. I was rushing some of my shots and instead of staying in the hole I’d go for an ambitious shot that would effectively give me no chance of scoring.

I will also have a new set of irons so I cannot make any excuses as to why I missed yet another green in regulation.

For more information, visit the Hesketh Golf Club website.

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