Played by NCG: West LancashireMarch 22, 2017 Courses and Travel
NCG's Craig Middleton headed back to England's Golf Coast to test his links game at one of the truest of all, West Lancs.
Reason for a West Lancashire Golf Club review
This was day two of a mini golf trip to Lancashire for the old man’s birthday. We had played Hesketh the previous day and wanted to test ourselves on an Open qualifying course.
Luckily we had some really nice weather for it and didn’t embarrass ourselves too much.
Where is West Lancashire Golf Club?
West Lancashire – West Lancs to friends – forms part of the north-west’s formidable England’s Golf Coast. It’s just a few miles down the coast from 2017 Open Championship venue Royal Birkdale, and neighbours Formby.
What to expect
A true links test, with undulating dunes, firm fairways and well-designed holes. If you like links golf West Lancashire simply must be on your to-play list.
Being a straight hitter of the ball is important here due to some of the tight fairways. Going left or right will likely result in having to chip out back onto the fairway.
The par-5 11th down the railway line is a really nicely designed hole with bunkers down both sides. If you hit a good one down there you can either have a go or lay up. The sensible play suggests laying up as a wild slice will result in a lost ball!
Overall you can expect a really enjoyable round of golf at one of the best links courses in the British Isles.
My best bit
I played pretty well all day really but my best bit would have to be my birdie on the par-3 3rd. The ‘bowl’ as it’s known is a green guarded by bunkers on both sides and slopes from left to right.
I hit a 9-iron pin high to about 15 feet and rolled it perfectly into the front door. It was never missing.
I think my opening tee shot was another ‘best bit’ of my round. Looking out to the dunes feeling a bit stiff you always worry about where you opening tee shot will end up.
Luckily I made a really nice swing and thanks to the firm fairways my ball rolled out past 270 yards. A simple wedge and two putts later and I’d made a solid par to get my round underway.
What to look for
The course, despite very poor weather over the winter, was in brilliant condition. The greens had just had a top layer put on but in a couple of months they will be perfect.
The practice area at West Lancs is also really impressive. It boasts a huge putting green and a really nice chipping area.
You also have to look out for some of the views you get when you are on a raised tee box. When the sun is out there are some amazing views of the whole course, especially on the back nine.
When I go back
I will definitely plot my way around more methodically. If you play this course for the first time, you will notice that their are places you cannot put your ball and sometimes a driver is the complete wrong club choice.
Playing irons off the tee is something I will be doing a lot more of next time I play.
For more information, visit the West Lancashire website.