An early start saw us head to the home of the Beatles – Liverpool. It was a long and winding road to Hoylake….
When our friend and Royal Liverpool member Jim Saunders said “The rain usually bypasses this course, this is unusual” we knew we were in trouble.
Armed with our “impervious to water” Wilson wet weather gear, a positive attitude and nervous excitement we headed into the cool, wet and windy weather that “rarely happens at Royal Liverpool”. By way of geography Royal Liverpool is located on the North Western corner of England, a four hour drive west from where we had been the night before. Across the water lies Wales.
As you enter the car park the facade of the clubhouse is striking. Over a hundred years old, this building, covered in vines, exudes charm, tradition and character. The inside is even more impressive with a collection of photographic history and trophies that would rival any club in the world. This collection seen throughout the clubhouse reminds you of how special Royal Liverpool is and just how much history it has had of hosting major events including multiple Open Championships. It was great to see Aussies Peter Thomson and Graham Marsh featured in the collection of images adorning the walls.
The club championships were held the previous day (36 holes stroke) and the eventual winner started with a 10 on the first hole (he bounced back to shoot 74). A tight out of bounds running down the right hand side of the hole and finishing 2 metres to the right of the green strikes fear into you from the first tee shot. Our combined score equalled that of the cllub champion so we were happy with our start.
The course gets exciting as you play out to the water and driving accuracy is a must for any reasonable attempt at hitting the green in regulation. It was great to have Jim, a member for 27 years, help us with our target landing areas, many of which were not overly apparent.
The ocean side holes running over the dunes from the 9th to the 13th provide real excitement and reaffirms the challenge of links golf.
What is even more impressive about this 100 plus year old design is that it uses the relatively flat land to to its advantage carving interesting and diverse holes through these areas.
Notwithstanding the inclement weather, the conditioning of the course was the best we have seen to date. The well presented fairways, surrounds and greens were complemented by the well constructed and maintained revetted bunkers.
David’s putting was dialed in from the start with a number of long bombs helping his score of 31 points, far ahead of his playing partners. However no birdies for any of the golfers today. Sorry to the Door of Hope!
Shot of the Day: Completing a miserable day for Gary was his last putt for the day – a 35 foot snake on the final green for a working man’s par.
Tomorrow Gary hopes to be singing “Yesterday, all my troubles (bad driving, putting, bunker shots) seemed to be so far away!” and both Gary and David hope to be singing “Here comes the Sun”.
Overall Birdie Tally
David (0 birdies, cumulative 5)
Gary (0 birdies, cumulative 10)
This golf course deserves its World Top 100 ranking. Although drenched, we loved it. A one hour drive north to the seaside town of Southport and a comfortable overnight stay at the lovely boutique Vincent Hotel will see us tackle Royal Birkdale – close to many Aussies’ hearts with Ian Baker-Finch winning the Open Championship in 1991 on this course. Stay tuned.