Contributing Editor Rob Smith reviews the charming and quite different course at Chorley Golf Club
Chorley Golf Club Course Review
The north-west of England has some very fine courses, and as someone who values setting and scenery very highly in his golf, I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit and two rounds over the genuinely quite different design at Chorley this Summer.
The club was founded in 1897, but it was almost thirty years before it settled on its current site where the course offers something for everyone both in terms of golfing examination and fun.
Visiting the week before the US Open at Chamber’s Bay, I was expecting to find something of a hidden gem, and I was not in the least disappointed.
The opening hole draws you straight in; attractive yet strategic bunkering, far-reaching views, inviting. There is a real sense of anticipation and I was very pleased to start with a regulation par.
The second is a gentle par 5 offering the opportunity for a birdie, and the third a very pretty short hole where the slope away on the left and boundary on the right mean that there is no need for any bunkering.
Several sloping fairways ask some tricky questions, and the fourth, fifth, eleventh, twelfth and fifteenth are all outstanding and quite demanding two-shotters. The sudden appearance of a drainage ditch just short of the eighth green seems a little penal to me, but other than that, I was taken with all that I saw.
The two par 5s on the back nine run in the same direction; so I would advise arranging your visit for when there is a northerly breeze as that will make them both very inviting.
In the afternoon, we were lucky enough to bump into this little chap on the seventeenth in his not very soft-spikes.
Such a wind will also mean that the closing hole, a tough but beautifully framed par 3 played back to the 18th-century clubhouse, can become something of a monster. Off the course, I got the impression that this is a very friendly place to be.
There is great diversity from start to finish, and the current maintenance plans and planting of wild flowers mean that the experience is only likely to get better and better. Presented in fine condition with true greens, the lovely course at Chorley Golf Club kept me fully engaged from start to finish.