In GolfCheshire

Cheshire has been known as a prime golf destination for over a century, with a rich history of golf championships highlighted by a dozen Open Championships hosted by the historic Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake. The first home of The Amateur Championship and the location of the first official rulings on what constitutes an amateur golfer, Royal Liverpool is known more recently as the location of Rory McIlroy’s impressive 2014 Open Championship victory.

But there are many other golf courses in Cheshire, from coastal delights with gorgeous seaside vistas to inland links courses laid over the rolling hillsides. The Cheshire Union of Golf Clubs boasts over 100 member clubs, and the Cheshire County Ladies’ Golf Association is one of the largest women’s’ golf associations in the country.

Golf Influence

These are some of the best courses that Cheshire has to offer.

1. Royal Liverpool Golf Club

The aforementioned Royal Liverpool has long held the top spot on the list of Cheshire golf courses. It first hosted the Open in 1897 and has hosted eleven more since then, most recently in 2006 and 2014. It’s one of nine courses currently on the Open rota and is on the schedule to host The Open again in 2022.

Its main defense, like so many great links courses, is the wind. If it’s a calm day (and it almost never is), good golfers will find low scores fairly easy to come by. But when the legendary Hoylake wind picks up, there’s a little respite and the real links golf can begin. Only six holes are among the dunes and offer any wind protection; the rest are exposed and will challenge all golfers’ mettle and creativity. It’s a beautiful, natural golf course that feels like it’s been there since ancient times; it’s an essential part of Cheshire’s storied golf history and a flat-out great golf course.

2. Delamere Forest Golf Club

Another course that’s over 100 years old, Delamere Forest Golf Club is a true gem from Herbert Fowler that deserves to be talked about among the best golf courses in the world, but it’s often overlooked. That’s to your benefit, however, as its “hidden gem” status means it’s not too hard or too expensive to get a tee time.

A number of blind tee shots will challenge your accuracy and your trust in your local caddy (making use of a local caddy is a must here), and the combination of long par 5s, short par 4s and challenging par 3s keeps things fresh. A recent 6-year renovation has restored the course to its original Fowler design, with numerous bunkers and greens complexes rebuilt and restored.

Ponds, trees, and natural dunes all direct your strategy at Delamere Forest, but the show-stopping panoramic views from the high points of the course may leave the most indelible impressions in your memory.

3. The Mere Golf Resort and Spa

The Mere is a parkland layout that’s always kept in great shape and is frequently used as an Open Championship qualifying site, which is a testament to the challenging nature of the design and the high quality of the conditions of the course. The front nine will challenge you, especially with the approaches over water to the 7th and 8th greens, but it’s the back nine and the closing stretch that really shines at The Mere.

The short par 4 15th challenges you to take on a stream off the tee that offers great rewards if you can clear it but will require shorter hitters to lay up to a difficult approach distance. The dogleg left 16th dares you to be aggressive without bounds gathering up the balls of those who bailout.

The signature hole is the dogleg par 5 finishing hole that dares you to reach its lakeside green in two. Long shooters who are successful have the opportunity to end their round with an exciting eagle, but missing into the lake is a more common outcome. It’s a beautiful risk/reward hole and a fitting end to a memorable round of golf.

4. Reddish Vale Golf Club

Reddish Vale is an extremely nice par 69 golf course designed by the legendary Alister Mackenzie. Though best known for his work on Augusta National Golf Club and Cypress Point, Mackenzie left his mark all over the world, including this Chesire gem. Reddish Vale challenges your iron play with four par threes on the front nine, before stretching things out on the back nine.

The course makes great use of the elevation changes of the natural terrain it’s situated upon, highlighted by a dramatic tee shot on the 6th hole and the difficult, steeply uphill approach shot to the 8th. Better golfers will find plenty of challenges if they play boldly, while the weekend duffers actually find some forgiveness for their errant approaches. It’s this type of design that makes Reddish Vale so much fun: it’s not just going to punish you, but it won’t lie down either.

5. Prestbury Golf Club

Prestbury is a beautiful and fun golf course that probably should be ranked higher on this list, and held in higher esteem overall. Its major drawback is that it’s fairly short, maxing out at about 6400 yards. But the incredibly well-designed greens complexes that offer numerous options and unique challenges from hole to hole are enough to bring you back time and time again.

Making good use of the natural terrain to feed your ball to its ultimate destination is a must. In classic links fashion, if you don’t control your spin or hit your landing spot, you’ll find your ball scampering off into places you never imagined it would end up when you struck the shot. Miss the greens and tough but doable up-and-downs await. The steep slopes and clever greens will require all the shotmaking and creativity you’ve got in your bag.

6. The Tytherington Club

A relatively young golf course compared to most in the area, Tytherington opened to much acclaim in 1986 and served as headquarters for the Ladies European PGA Tour for a decade. The challenging first hole is a long par 4 that serves as one of the best opening holes you’ll find anywhere in Cheshire. The Tytherington Club bills itself as a championship golf course and lives up to the billing with a series of interesting doglegs and impeccable course conditions.

The course is not a links course, unlike many others in the area. Its main areas of defense are the trees that line the fairways, several ditches that gobble up errant shots, and interesting bunkering that puts a premium on distance control. It’s a more American style of golf nestled into the beautiful Cheshire countryside and a very welcome change of pace.

7. Carden Park

Carden Park bills itself as “Cheshire’s Country Estate”, presenting two lovely and lush golf courses as an excellent getaway spot that feels like a billionaire’s country estate. The Nicklaus course, designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus and his son Steve, is a beautiful resort course with some very interesting split fairways and a 17th hole that runs right in front of the hotel, guaranteeing a gallery. It’s the thinker’s course you’d expect from a Nicklaus design, but take a buggy as there are long walks between greens and tees.

The Cheshire Course at Carden Park is the superior of the two, with beautiful panoramic scenery and an incredible finishing hole in the short par 4 18th. It’s a perfect birdie hole: you’ll have to choose between a tough layup or a tough aggressive drive. Place your tee shot properly and a short birdie opportunity will result, but find a bunker and you may see your match slip right through your fingers.

Blog provided with thanks by Golf Influence.

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