Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club Course Review - The thinking man's links at Lytham is as much a test of strategy and mental strength as it is of skill

Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club Course Review

Green Fee Range: £133-£195

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,731 Yards

Visitor Times: Monday and Thursday are the Club’s main visitor days, but there are times available in the late afternoon on other days

Website: www.royallytham.org

Significant Changes

Reduction in number of bunkers from 205 to 169 – improvements to drainage

Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club Course Review

Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club Course Review

That the course has hosted The Open on no fewer than 11 occasions is a testament to this excellent test of golf, which was first laid out by the club’s original professional, George Lowe.

Last time The Open was held here in 2012, Ernie Els won his second Claret Jug.

Harry Colt made some significant modifications shortly after the First World War, and further refinements have since been made by Herbert Fowler, Tom Simpson and CK Cotton to create what is widely regarded as one of the toughest courses in the country.

Even the club admits on its website that it is not a “conventionally beautiful golf course, surrounded as it is by suburban housing”, but such is the strength of the golfing examination throughout, that your focus has to be fully on every hole from start to finish.

Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club Course Review

And talking of the start, it was the opening hole – unusually a par 3 – where Ian Woosnam’s hopes of winning the 2001 Open Championship evaporated when he discovered that he accidentally had an extra driver in his bag.

Having almost holed his tee shot in the final round, he was in a joint share of the lead when this happened and so was somewhat less than happy with his caddie.

The sheer number of bunkers you must negotiate will be, for some, frightening – just ask Adam Scott, who fell foul down the stretch in the 2012 Open Championship.

Happily, the vast majority of memories created by this splendid course are far more positive, and changes made for The Open a couple of years ago are just part of the continual improvement.

Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club Course Review – Golf Monthly Review

A real thinking man’s course favouring sound strategy and precision