32 Hillside

Architect: F Hawtree
2006 position: 33
Stats: 6,558 yds; par 72; SSS 72
GF: £50-£95
T: 01704 569902
W: hillside-golfclub.co.uk

On a stretch of the Lancashire coast that is England’s answer to St Andrews, Hillside lies next to Royal Birkdale, but steps far enough out of its famous neighbour’s shadow to also sit comfortably inside our top 40.

Greg Norman described its back nine as the best in Britain, and it is certainly home to Hillside’s more dramatic holes, with the down-and-up par-5 17th perhaps my favourite – long yet inviting from the tee.

Unlike many links there are plenty of trees to shape and frame some holes, and the end result of these – and the more traditional-looking links holes – is an excellent overall mix. JE

+ Strong back nine; great winter value; good club atmosphere
– Too many trees for real links purists; takes a few holes to get going

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