Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review - James Braid's links poses a fine test on this famous coast where S&A continues to impress amid strong competition

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: £65-£130

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,803 Yards

Visitor Times: Weekdays except Thursday morning – limited times at weekends

Website: www.sandagolfclub.co.uk

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review

The course at Southport & Ainsdale dates from 1925, the work of five-time Open champion and prolific course architect James Braid.

The fact the layout has remained largely unchanged since that time is testament to the quality of Braid’s design and the terrain on which it sits. This is a very natural-feeling links set over undulating duneland that was previously used for grazing cows and sheep.

The course bares its teeth from the outset. The 1st is a challenging par 3 of almost 200 yards to a green guarded by nine bunkers.

The front nine delivers an excellent and eclectic selection of holes from the very long par-5 2nd to the testing par-3 8th. Just 150 yards to a plateau green, anything coming up short will roll back some 30 yards.

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review

There’s no let up on the run for home. A great emphasis is placed on straight hitting from the tee and anything straying off line tends to find trouble.

The 16th “Gumbleys” is a most challenging and unusual hole. A par 5 of just over 500 yards, it looks innocuous on the card but the prospect from the tee is extremely intimidating.

The drive must find the fairway but it’s tough not to go left with the railway line waiting right. The second is then blind and over a huge sleepered bank: An excellent hole on an excellent links course.

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict

James Braid’s links poses a fine test. Among the highlights are the par-3 1st encircled by nine bunkers, and the 16th, where your second is played blind over a vast sleepered bank. S&A continues to impress amid very strong competition on this famous links coast