Contributing Editor Rob Smith reviews the extremely varied and genuinely different course at Pleasington Golf Club
Pleasington Golf Club Course Review
On a wet day stuck at home, I thoroughly enjoy spending time looking at courses in the UK & Ireland that have been suggested to me by fellow golfing enthusiasts; people who, like me, have a penchant for scenic but less well-known little beauties.
It was via this route that I found myself booking a day with some friends as part of a trip at what looked as though it was going to be a most disparate and intriguing mix of holes at Pleasington, home of The Pleasington Putter.
Situated just to the west of the industrial town of Blackburn in Lancashire, I was keen to see whether my expectations based on the aerial photos on the website would be matched. Most clubs’ course galleries struggle to capture the magic, but here it looked as though we were going to be in for something special.
Beginning with three perfectly fine but perhaps less remarkable parkland holes, this George Lowe and Sandy Herd design really takes off from the 4th, an outstanding dogleg left played down towards the railway and up to a green with bunkers waiting short and right.
This is followed by a sublime par 5 calling for a semi-blind drive over a rolling hill. As you scale the brow, there is a superb vista as the hole unfolds before you running through a scenic valley with a stream snaking through the rough on the right.
The 7th is one of the most unusual par 5s I have ever seen with multiple strategies on offer, each calling for nerve and accuracy.
Beyond it, at the far end of the course, the 8th is a lovely short hole with the delightfully named and very pretty hamlet of Hoghton Bottoms to the right.
There is plenty more variety on the back nine, with the 11th bordering the railway and a green perilously close to the tracks.
Sadly, my approach shot in the afternoon ended up waiting to board the 16:32 from Blackburn to Preston. I decided against trying to retrieve it!
There is a thrilling drive from the elevated 14th tee and a delightful short hole to an arbour green two holes later, and whilst I am not sure about the farm track that crosses just in front of a couple of greens which can lead to some peculiar ricochets on your approach, it did me no harm at the 17th as I managed a tap-in birdie in the afternoon.
I would thoroughly recommend a game at Pleasington where its lovely course a little way off the beaten track deserves far more attention.