Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club
In spring 1906, the golf club was established and known as The Grosvenor Golf Club. By October 1906, the name was changed to the Southport Golf Club. There seems to have been some opposition from Hesketh Golf Club, which had merged with the Southport Golf Club previously. To keep the peace, the club again changed its name to Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club.
S&A is the venue where Jack Nicklaus played his first professional overseas tournament.
S&A hosted the Ryder Cup in 1933 and 1937. Providentially, Alwoodley Golf Club was offered the privilege in 1933 and refused. S&A accepted and the rest is history.
The golf club has also hosted The British Ladies Open and The British Amateur. It has also used by the R&A for Final Qualifying since 1965.
Golf Course Review
Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club, or S&A, is a two-time Ryder Cup Venue. Found in the Merseyside town of Southport in the northwest of England, the links are bordered to the northwest by Hillside Golf Club and separated by the Mersey Rail train line. Southport & Ainsdale’s other nearby neighbours include Royal Birkdale and Hesketh Golf Club.
Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club History
George Lowe laid out the first 18 hole golf course between the railway and cemetery. It measured 5600 yards and was built to be extended if needed. Formally opened for play on June 15, 1907, a news report at the time reported a lavish expenditure of both time and money on the links, calling the golf ‘good’ and ‘likely to improve’.
In the early 1920s, James Braid was called upon to make further improvements to the course. Frank Pennink reported changes in 1962 but it is unclear who was responsible.
A Tale of Par 3’s and Par 5’s
Despite being a true links, there is a heathland feel about it with scrub, gorse, and pines amongst the sandhills and dunes.
Uniquely, both nines at Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club begin with Par 3’s. The par 3 opener is followed by a par 5. The par 5 7th is followed by a par 3 on the 8th. This is again repeated at the par 5 9th and par 3 10th!
There are two par 3’s on the front nine and two on the back. However, the front nine sports three par 5’s and only one par 5 on the back nine.
A par 72 and under 7000 yards, there are stout two-shot holes that give the course its teeth.
Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club Photography
Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club - Videos
watch the official Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club video
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...