The elegant clubhouse at Royal Lytham & St Annes is a museum to the game’s finest moments. A protrait of Bobby Jones hangs upstairs next to the club he used to play one of the greatest shots ever – from a bunker at Lytham’s 17th hole on his way to victory in the 1926 Open. Seve Ballesteros furthered Lytham’s legend when he made a typical Seve-style birdie form an overflow car park at the 16th en route to the 1979 title.
When you step onto the first tee you’ll be in no doubt as to the quirky character of this old course. The only Open venue to start with a par 3, the course is unrelenting and every player must face the first three holes with out-of-bounds looming to the right over the railway tracks. So anyone nursing a slice will need to tread very carefully.
However, the final six hole stretch provides the real sting in Lytham’s tail. The par 4s of “Murder Mile” span more than 2000 yards and include the difficult 15th and 17th, scene of Jones’ remarkable shot.
With a host of other great courses within easy reach, a trip to Lytham will reward you with British golf at its very best.
Best Hole: The final hole is one of the toughest on the course. Often playing into the wind you’ll need to avoid numerous bunkers off the tee to have a dig at the green.
Location: Links Gate, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire FY8 3LQ
Green Fees: £110 wd, £165we
Tel: 01253 720094