A golfing hotbed if ever there was one, England’s golf coast stretches from Liverpool up to Blackpool, with the popular town of Southport located at the heart. The sheer number of great courses here rivals the likes of St Andrews and South West Ireland, with easy transport links making it perfect for a bucket-list golf tour!
From Open Championship venues to unknown hidden gems, join us as we discover the best golf courses on England’s golf coast.
A perennial contender – along with the mighty Royal St George’s in Kent – for the title of England’s No.1 course, Royal Birkdale is a truly magnificent place to play. It’s golf on a grand scale, with giant dunes, fiendish bunkering, and a classic finish back towards the iconic Art Deco clubhouse.
Royal Liverpool (Hoylake)
Now firmly established once again as an Open regular, Hoylake might not be as easy on the eye as some of the other Championship links but from Jones and Hagen to Woods and McIlroy, the challenge of Royal Liverpool always uncovers the very best players. A supreme test of golf.
Sandwiched between Birkdale and S&A, Hillside Golf Club is a true great. The front nine is decent enough but by the time you reach the 10th green and 11th tee, the giant dunes appear and one of the finest back nines in world golf lies in wait. Magnificent.
The oldest club in the county, West Lancs is a classic links that is flanked on one side by the railway line and the Irish Sea on the other. The standout hole is the fabulous 14th – a massive dogleg par 4 with the green tucked away in a wooded corner. An absolute belter.
Southport & Ainsdale
It’s not often that a two-time Ryder Cup venue (1933 & 1937) is described as a ‘hidden gem’ but that’s exactly what the brilliant Southport & Ainsdale is. There are many great holes, not least the 1st – a challenging and heavily bunkered par-3 named Trial.
Famous as the home club of Dr Frank Stableford, Wallasey is another lovely seaside course that boasts some cracking links holes, particularly at the beginning and the end of the round. Raised tees and greens, huge dunes, fast greens, and a friendly welcome… Wallasey has the lot.
Set among the beautiful dunes and flanked by towering pines, Formby GC is a special place to play golf and one that deservedly sits high up in many course ranking lists. Serene, idyllic and bursting with nature, Formby should be on all players’ bucket lists.
A heady mixture of tree-lined parkland holes and some bonafide links action, Hesketh is another venerable old club (it began life as Southport GC in 1885). The closing stretch is superb, with a long par-3 being followed by back-to-back par-5s… perfect for matchplay!
Royal Lytham & St Anne’s
Some might consider it an acquired taste, but we absolutely love Royal Lytham. It might be surrounded by housing and not exactly close to the sea but it’s 100% pure links and will test every club in the bag. Historic yet timeless, Lytham is the real deal.