Golf Vacations (Malaysia)

PAENNFNIEY­LDLA ANNED, THREE OPEN COURSES

Can Liverpool indeed be the ultimate fantasy land for golf mad, football mad and Beatles-mad maniacs?

- BY JAMES MASON

Liverpool is one of the greatest cities in the world and deserves a place on everyone’s must-visit bucket-list. A bold statement, sure, and you could also accuse me of being slightly biased because I was born in this unique, happening corner of the UK (even if I was raised in London from a nipper).

What makes that statement even truer, from my point-ofview, is that it has the greatest stretch of links golf anywhere in the world – and that includes Scotland and Ireland.

There are three Royal courses: Birkdale, Lytham St Annes and Liverpool, all of which sit inside Golf Monthly’s Top

100 courses. Also featured are Hillside (34) Formby (41) Southport and Ainsdale (60) West Lancashire (79), with these complement­ed by Wallasey, Hesketh, Caldy and Fairhaven – all within 50 miles along the coast.

Still with sport, a visit to Liverpool wouldn’t be the same without visiting one of the great cathedrals of world football: Anfield.

If you can take in a game (a full-house everytime) so much the better. Liverpool FC are rightly famous for their phenomenal success – five times European champions, including arguably the most incredible comeback in sporting history, in Istanbul in 2005 – and current, exciting team.

The city is also, of course, music to everyone’s ears. Popular culture would not be the same if it wasn’t for those four lads from Liverpool who shook the world. Beatlemani­acs are supremely catered for, as you might expect.

Rock ‘n’ roll arrived through the port-city’s docks just like people and produce from all over the planet, in and out, for over two centuries. Longstandi­ng trade links with both the Old and New World marks the importance of Liverpool as an internatio­nal trading port and is reflected by its handsome architectu­re.

Today the city-centre is a bustle of activity, especially at weekends, with countless bars and restaurant­s that have sprung up in wonderfull­y-renovated buildings, retaining original features while making them fit for modern use.

Check out the vibes around the classy Castle Street area, uber-cool Baltic Triangle and scenic Royal Albert Dock, or ‘up the hill’ around the elegant Hope Street/university Quarter.

Don’t just take my word for it, either. Liverpool is consistent­ly ranked as one of the best destinatio­ns for a UK break, most recently Travel Zoo have awarded it that accolade for 2019.

So, you’ve booked your flight and hotel – see our recommenda­tion for where to stay at the end of this feature

Rock ‘n’ roll arrived through the port-city’s docks just like people and produce from all over the planet, in and out, for over two centuries. Longstandi­ng trade links with both the Old and New World marks the importance of Liverpool as an internatio­nal trading port and is reflected by its handsome architectu­re.

- now let’s get your Liverpudli­an (or should that be ‘Liverputtl­ian’) adventure underway and start with those three Royal courses that have hosted no less than 33 Open Championsh­ips between them.

ROYAL LIVERPOOL GOLF CLUB

Also known as Hoylake, it hosted its first Open in 1897 and has held a total of 12 Opens since then. The club was founded in 1869 on what was the racecourse of the Liverpool Hunt Club. Hoylake was awarded its ‘Royal’ prefix in 1871 due to the patronage of the Duke of Connaught, one of Queen Victoria’s sons.

As I drive through the gates, the red-brick clubhouse just oozes history. Once you get inside, however, the facilities have been thoroughly modernised and there is a wonderful display of memorabili­a showing the club’s rich history.

After checking in at the proshop I head out to the starter, who gives me a few pointers about the course as I look down the first fairway. On my right is the practice ground, out-of-bounds. On my left, the clubhouse, also out-of-bounds. No pressure then!

I’ve managed to hit a good drive and cut the corner off the dogleg right with my second shot giving me a two-putt par.

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 ??  ?? CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The 18th at Hillside, site of this year's British Masters, hosted by Tommy Fleetwood, who is also featured in this issue; Hesketh Golf Club's 16th hole has a tight green set amidst an English parkland; The heathland beauty that is Wallasey and on the 18th, a view of the cottage styled clubhouse can be seen.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The 18th at Hillside, site of this year's British Masters, hosted by Tommy Fleetwood, who is also featured in this issue; Hesketh Golf Club's 16th hole has a tight green set amidst an English parkland; The heathland beauty that is Wallasey and on the 18th, a view of the cottage styled clubhouse can be seen.
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 ??  ?? CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Hoylake, or Royal Liverpool, site of 12 Opens is a tough links to compete in; West Lancaster Golf Club is one of the ten oldest golf clubs in the world; Hoylake's 17th green is formidably surrounded by bunkers; Formby's 18th and clubhouse is one of the most adored courses outside of the Open rota.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Hoylake, or Royal Liverpool, site of 12 Opens is a tough links to compete in; West Lancaster Golf Club is one of the ten oldest golf clubs in the world; Hoylake's 17th green is formidably surrounded by bunkers; Formby's 18th and clubhouse is one of the most adored courses outside of the Open rota.
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