Leave the northwest coast behind you and you'll find Merseyside has a number of beautiful parkland layouts, one of which can be found in St Helens
Grange Park Golf Club Review
Summer: £55 (weekdays); £70 (weekends and Bank Holidays)
Winter: £40 (weekdays); £60 (weekends and Bank Holidays)
27 holes £70 (summer, weekdays); £85 (summer and winter, weekends and Bank Holidays)
Visitor Times: Visit the website for available tee times and limited availability special offers
Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,509 Yards
Grange Park Golf Club Review
However, complimenting the many world-renowned links courses, there are a number of parkland gems in this part of the country – and Grange Park is certainly one of those.
Coming off the M57 and into St Helens on the A58 and, as you’d expect in this neck of the woods, rugby posts pop up here, there and everywhere.
The nicest pitch of them all, however, can be found just off Prescot Road.
It may feel as though you’ve missed your turning as you head towards town, but hopefully your sat nav directs you to a set of gates, beyond which lies a real parkland beauty.
It’s not the industrial town’s smoking chimneys that dominate the background; the rolling landscape, which dips and climbs throughout, offers stunning views of lush green fields.
Visitors can expect a warm welcome, although that doesn’t mean you won’t feel a little edgy as you tee off right in front of the clubhouse.
Still, it’s a relatively friendly opener and after making your way downhill on the 2nd to a green that slopes severely from front to back and with no room to go long, you should have a pretty good idea of the test that lies in store.
The first of the par 3s comes at the 4th, and it’s no picnic at 208 yards, but then you have a chance to open your shoulders with back-to-back par 5s.
If the course’s main defence are the slick, sloping greens – many of which are fairly small targets – the ponds are a close second, with tall, lush reeds providing regular warnings of the need to plot your way around carefully.
The par-5 6th wouldn’t be the only hole where it feels as though you’re on a bit of a rollercoaster, with ponds encroaching the fairway, before you climb fairly steeply to the green.
Next up, and you’re faced with another tricky putting surface; this time it’s long and narrow, which puts a lot of pressure on your approach shot.
In 2021, Grange Park will host the English Senior Men’s County Championship Final and there’s doubt it will provide a stern test, especially on the back nine, with the par 4s on 11 and 12 both exceeding 450 yards.
However, alongside the ‘brutes’ there are a number of shorter holes, and with a long iron off the tee – often the safest option – you should be able to set yourself up with a good few looks at birdie.
There are many standout holes, although the par-5 13th, which features a wonderful elevated tee, might top them all.
You’re sure to remember the 17th, too, especially if you take your drive directly over the marker post – it’s quite rewarding following the course’s advice when faced with a blind tee shot.
Back in the clubhouse and you can enjoy a friendly chat with the members, who’ll be only too happy to find out how you got on.
It’s worth staying for an hour or so, too, to have a bite to eat. The menu is full of golfers’ favourites, as well as daily specials.
Should time allow, you might even want to stay for a frame or two of snooker.
There’s an interesting juxtaposition of nature and urbanity to be seen on the fairways. With a wonderful mixture of holes – long, short, uphill and downhill – it tests every aspect of your game. Make sure you add this ‘hidden gem’ to your golfing getaway in the northwest.