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HILLSIDE

Hillside Golf Club is situated in Southport, ‘England’s Golfing Capital’. The course forms part of England’s finest stretch of coastal links courses, and is adjacent to Royal Birkdale and Southport & Ainsdale golf club, with Formby Golf Course a few miles down the road.

From the white tees, the Southport golf course at Hillside measures just over 7,000 yards and meanders through majestic sandhills and tranquil pinewoods. From the blue tees, this Northwest golf course is a more manageable 6,558 yards. Many of the holes have elevated tees with fantastic views over the Irish Sea.

After playing the course, Greg Norman once wrote to the club and said: “The back nine were the best in Britain”. Jack Nicklaus described the course as: “A wild looking links.”

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FORMBY

Formby Golf Club was founded in 1884 and is a magnificent golf club, with plenty of charm and elegance.

It is situated close by the shoreline of the Irish sea near Southport, and the highly popular golf course is located within the sandhills and pine woods of Formby. The natural terrain provides a memorable challenge to the golfer.

The traditional clubhouse offers comfort and relaxation in the welcoming Golfers Bar and full catering is available on the first floor dining room, with magnificent views over the course, making for a very enjoyable golfing trip in Southport.

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FORMBY LADIES

Formby Ladies Golf Club, founded in 1896, is a charming links course, situated close by the shoreline of the Irish Sea between Southport and Liverpool, making it easily reached from the national motorway network and the Ramada Plaza Southport Hotel. Laid out by D. McEwan, the Club sits among pine trees and sand dunes in the central area of the property owned by Formby Golf Club, close to the National Trust Nature Reserve. It also boasts a wide variety of flora and fauna – including several protected species.

Additionally, it is home to the protected Natterjack toads, sand lizards and the famous red squirrels. The course provides a wonderfully varied challenge to the visitor, with small greens and natural sandy bunkers. Formby Ladies Golf Club’s narrow fairways and heathery rough demand skill and precision from golfers of all levels, making for thrilling golfing events in Southport.

The par three holes are some of the most picturesque and difficult you could wish to play, and elevated tees on several holes provide excellent views over the spectacular golf course, towards the Irish Sea. The holes lying on the flat landward side entice players into error by their misleading air of innocence; while the holes lying among the sandhills and pinewoods provide mental and physical hazards.

Major events held on Formby Ladies’ links include the British Girls’ Championship, the English Girls’ Championship, the Girl’s Home Internationals, the British Men’s Seniors, the British Ladies’ Seniors and the English Ladies’ Seniors. More recently, Formby Ladies Golf Club has co-hosted with Formby Golf Club on the Curtis Cup, 2004. In 1998, the Junior World Championships were co-hosted by Formby Golf Club and Formby Ladies Golf Club, during which Greg Norman and Tom Watson walked the course with their sons.

Afterwards, the following comment appeared in a letter received from Greg Norman: “Over a hundred years old and still your course can stand the test of time. What a beautiful course. It clearly shows that courses do not have to be 7,000 plus yards to be formidable.” For information, including course details, reservations and more about the special golf packages you can set up with the Ramada Plaza Southport hotel, fill in our enquiry form.

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HESKETH

The Hesketh Golf Club is set amidst the towering Victorian villas of Southport’s premier residential area – Hesketh Park and is the town’s oldest golf club, founded in 1885. Standing alone on the crest of a tall sandhill, the clubhouse dominates the golf course and the surrounding district.

The course is at the northern end of south-west Lancashire’s sand dune system which is the home of so many great golf courses. Professional championship golf has been played on these famous old links from the club’s earliest days and the course is regularly used as a final qualifying course when The Open is played at Royal Birkdale.

The course sets a unique challenge with half of the holes threaded through tall sand dunes; whilst the other holes border the Ribble estuary. Here the course’s neighbour is a nationally renowned bird reserve where winter visitors are rewarded by seeing great flocks of migrant geese, swans and waders. Across the estuary the mountains of Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire provide an unforgettable backdrop.

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SOUTHPORT & AINSDALE

Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club is a true championship links course with first class facilities to match. The course is set amongst the dunes on the North West coastline and is another of course designer James Braid’s great creations. S&A (as it is widely and affectionately known) was founded in 1906, as part of the great golf boom around the turn of the 20th century.

Inevitably the passing of so many years has brought about changes to the course, but the traditional feel of a championship links has been retained. All the holes are of championship standard and no two are the same. However, if one had to be singled out it would be the sixteenth.

This famous hole has a big hill and bunkers lined with railway sleepers, making it a cunning trap for catching poor second shots. It is called ‘Gumbleys’, after the gentleman who spent some time in there! The Merseyside golf course is a magnificent test of golf, especially with the sea breeze, profusion of heather and gorse combining to provide a challenging and immensely enjoyable experience.

In the past, the club has hosted two Ryder Cup matches in 1933 and 1937 and a number of other prestigious championships, including The British Ladies Open and The British Amateur. It remains a final qualifying course for The Open Championship and it has been voted by one golf magazine as among the top 50 courses in Great Britain.

The course is a magnificent test of golf, especially with the sea breeze, profusion of heather and gorse combining to provide you with a challenging and immensely enjoyable experience. In 2012, Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club was used for the Local Final Qualifying of the 2012 Open.

For more information about the Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club, including course details, reservations and the special golf packages you can set up with the Ramada Plaza Southport Hotel, fill in our enquiry form.

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WEST LANCASHIRE

As is the case with many long established golf clubs, West Lancashire owes its origins to Scottish influence. As the shipping industry boomed on the river Mersey in the second half of the 19th century, along with ship building and insurance, Scottish businessmen swept South.

Many of them were also golfers in Merseyside, and they had a lasting impact on the game in the North. They were also among the first members of the West Lancashire Golf Club.

In 1885, the club was one of the twenty four clubs which contributed to the cost of the Amateur Championship Trophy, played by golfing professionals visiting the North West to this day, and still bearing the names of those pioneering clubs.

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ROYAL LYTHAM & ST. ANNES

Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club was founded in 1886 and the present course was constructed in 1897. It is one of the premier links courses in the world, having hosted ten Open Championships, two Ryder Cups and numerous other major tournaments, including the Women’s and Senior’s Open Championships. Northern hospitality has always been famous and Royal Lytham leads the way, so you will always be made very welcome at this club.

The layout of Royal Lytham & St. Annes has remained faithful to the original created by the club’s first professional, George Lowe, over a century ago. The only significant changes were made in 1919, when the club asked Harry Colt, the pre-eminent course designer of the time, to make recommendations for improvement.

It is a links course that is a long way from the sea, yet close enough for the sea breeze to have an effect on the game. It was aptly described by Bernard Darwin, the leading golf writer of the thirties, as: “a beast of a course, but a just beast.” He went on to say that: “no one could fail to be impressed by its difficulties, which sets a golfer just about as ruthless as an examination as any course of my acquaintance.”

Ryder Cup Captain Mark James wrote: “And Lytham was set up magnificently in 2001 (for the Open Championship). It was perfect for the world’s premier golfing event. I do not think they could have prepared that course better. “It was an ideal combination of width of fairways, length of rough and pace and quality of greens. It should be used as a model for future Opens. Everyone who knows Lytham knew that it would be the one course where Tiger Woods would not have a big advantage because of the distance he hits. There are relatively few holes where you can carry the trouble. Tiger could not tame it.”

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ROYAL LIVERPOOL

The Royal Liverpool Golf Club has opened up again after undergoing an intensive programme of improvements to the prestigious golfing course. These changes to the challenging golf circiuit have included improved run-offs, bunkering, new tees and the rebuild of the 17th green. The Club now welcomes friends old and new from all over the world to test their skills on what is now the most challenging of all the Open venues.

The course will held The Open Championship in 2014. Paul Cassidy, the Captain of Royal Liverpool Club added: “We are very proud of our club’s rich heritage and the many memorable golfing moments staged at Hoylake since our founding in 1869, and we are extremely thrilled to be again invited to host The Open Championship in 2014. “We are thoroughly looking forward to working with both The R&A and Wirral Council in the planning, organisation and staging of another successful Major Championship.”

With The Open Championship estimated to boost the local economy by £70 million each time it is played in the North West of England, the news has also been welcomed by Councillor Steve Foulkes, the leader of Wirral Council.

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