Formby Golf Club

The best links course you may not have ever heard of! It is set amongst Royalty and holds its own.

Formby Golf Club

Merseyside, L37 1LQ, England


Formby Golf Club is routed around Formby Ladies and is not to be confused with nearby Formby Hall Golf Resort.

Despite a variety of architects and terrain, the course is a unified whole.

Bernard Darwin wrote: "I know no more romantic moment on any course than that at Formby, when, after playing a few holes on the flat, we come into the country of hills and valleys."

The golf club itself dates from 1884. A fire destroyed the clubhouse in 1899. In 1901, the current clubhouse was built but it would be 1909 before the iconic clock tower was added.

The nearby National Trust Formby sports a dramatic beach with sand dunes surrounded by coastal pinewoods.

The club hosted the 33rd Curtis Cup in 2004 and the Arnold Palmer Cup in 2016.

Course Review
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Golf Course Review

Formby Golf Club is a links golf course set in a forest with another golf course, Formby Ladies Golf Club, sat inside it! On a clear day, you can see the Welsh Mountains to the south and Lake District hills to the north. The course is sat in sand dunes surrounded by firs on three sides with the Irish Sea on the other. Found in West Lancashire south of Southport and Ainsdale, it is a major player in the local area from Hoylake in the south to St Annes in the north. The first two holes run alongside the railway with the Freshfield station no more than a few hundred metres from the clubhouse.

Early Layout at Formby Golf Club

In 1902, a report and course review was printed in Golf Illustrated. The 18 hole course consisted of 8 holes amongst the dunes and 10 on the flat ground. Cop bunkers and the ‘Twins’, two renowned horseshoe-shaped bunkers, were iconic landmarks. The 8th hole had two greens – one that made the hole play 350 yards and the other 410 yards. Blind shots and punchbowls punctuated the inward 9.

The current 18 hole layout was set by none other than Willie Park Jr in 1912. In 1922, James Braid introduced a new set of closing holes from 15 to 18. In 1933, Harry Colt made minor alterations when he bunkered the 2nd, 5th, and 18th. The same year, Hawtree & Taylor made minor adjustments. Donald Steel took action when coastal erosion threatened the seaside holes in the early 1980s. Holes 7, 8, 9 & new 10th tee were built.

Tree planting, bunkering, irrigation, and extended tees have all been added in the interim. In 2005, a new practice ground was sited where the former 14th hole once lay. The routing runs counter-clockwise around the perimeter of the site.

Formby Golf Club Architect by Hole

1-6 & 11-13 – Willie Park Jr (Harry Colt bunkers on 2, 5 & 18)
7-10 – Donald Steel (Original Wille Park Jr green on 10)
14 – ?
15-18 – James Braid

Formby Golf Club Reviews

Take Sean Arble’s tour of Formby GC.

Formby Golf Club Photography

Purchase Kevin Murray’s Formby photography.

Read More World Ranking
in GB&I

Formby Golf Club - Videos


Featured Architect: MacKenzie, Alister

As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...

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At A Glance



Short Game


Harry Colt Collection
Best English Golf Collection
Doak Scale Collection

Contact Details

Merseyside, L37 1LQ, England
Visit Club Website


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