The Bottom Line
- One of the finest public golf courses in the United Kingdom.
- The scene of many a British Open Golf Championship.
- Anyone and everyone is allowed to play.
- The green fees are very expensive.
- Tee times must be booked months in advance.
- Every hole has a unique character all its own.
- The 447-yard 7th hole is a bear, especially when played into a the teeth of a 25-mile-an-hour, westerly wind.
- The par three, 9th hole so impressed Bobby Jones when he played it in 1926 that he decided to build a similar one back home.
- The long tortuous road home culminates with two long par fives and more than 1,000 yards of out-of-bounds along right side.
Guide Review - Royal Lytham and St. Annes - England
Royal Lytham Golf Club was founded in 1886. The course we know so well came into being some 11 years later in 1897, the Clubhouse a year later in 1898.
Royal Lytham is, arguably, the premier links course in the world. It has hosted 10 Open Championships, two Ryder Cups and countless other major tournaments including the Women's and Seniors Open Championships.
Although the course has undergone some changes over the years, the layout today is much the same as it was when the club's first professional, George Lowe, created it more than a century ago. True, there have been a few significant changes since then, but none have drastically altered its wild and beautiful character. Through the years 1919 - 1923 Harry Colt repositioned some of the greens and tees, added a lot of new of bunkers, and lengthened the course.
It's been said that Royal Lytham is not a beautiful course. I'd have to disagree. To me it has a wild and scenic beauty found only on a few other links courses of its ilk: Turnberry in Scotland is one that comes to mind.
Yes, it's a links course, but it's quite a long way from the sea, though close enough for the gulls to wheel overhead and the heady scent of the salt spray to waft across the greens.
Royal Lytham is a tough course. More than 200 bunkers guard the narrow fairways and it's rumored that unearthly beasts stalk the rough waiting to swallow every wayward ball, and even the odd wayward player.
They say it's tough to scramble a good score at Lytham. I'd say they were right. True, the yardage might lull you into thinking you can crack it, but beware. When you stand on the first tee you're looking out over 6,263 yards of some the wiliest-designed golfing terrain on the English map.
So, you'd better leave the big clubs at the hotel. Either that or buy yourself a couple of dozen spare balls. This is one tough old lady.