Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club: Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

A very natural layout with a selection of highly memorable holes, S&A is a welcoming club with a rich and interesting history.

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review
Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Key Information

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1
AddressBradshaws Lane, Ainsdale, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 3LG
Phone Number01704 578000
Green Fees£230 - £250
Visitor TimesEnquire through Charlotte Pilkington for availability
Slope Rating145 (Black 1), 142 (Black 2), 140 (White), 134 (Yellow), 126 (Red), 154 (Yellow Women), 142 (Red Women)
Opened1906 (Club founded) 1925 (Course dates from)
Designed byJames Braid
Golf Monthly Verdict

Southport and Ainsdale general view

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

A natural feeling links where extensive improvements in recent years have enhanced the offering.

The club welcomes visiting golfers and the clubhouse has all the facilities and history to provide a good base for a golf-day: A thoroughly enjoyable experience walking in the footsteps of many of the game’s greats.

S&A makes excellent use of the dunes with some raised tees (3rd, 17th), and the excellent par-3 8th playing on to a plateau green.


– Historic venue, host to two Ryder Cups

– Characterful and unusual links with a touch of the heath about it

– Some highly memorable holes, none more so than the famous 16th "Gumbleys"


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 59

Southport & Ainsdale Golf Club was founded in 1906 and it has hosted numerous prestigious elite competitions over the years. In both 1933 and 1937, the club welcomed the fledgling Ryder Cup. The latter event witnessed the first victory by the USA on British soil.

The course dates from 1925 and was the work of five-time Open champion and prolific course designer James Braid. His design remains largely unchanged. It's one of the best courses in Lancashire.

This is a very natural feeling links, that has just a touch of heath about it, set over undulating dune land that was previously used for grazing cows and sheep.

The course shows its teeth from the outset. The 1st is a challenging par 3 of almost 200 yards to a green guarded by nine bunkers. The front nine delivers an excellent and eclectic selection of holes from the very long, straightaway par-5 2nd to the testing par-3 8th. Just 150 yards to a plateau green, anything coming up short will roll back some 30 yards.

There’s no let up on the run for home. A great emphasis is placed on straight hitting from the tee and anything straying off-line tends to result in five minutes of forlorn trudging through treacherous rough.

The 16th is one of the most challenging and unusual hole you’ll find. A par 5 of just over 500 yards, “Gumbleys,” it looks innocuous on the card but the prospect from the tee is extremely intimidating. Your drive must find the fairway but it’s tough not to go left with the railway line waiting right. The second is then blind and over a huge sleepered bank.

If you manage to pick the correct line over the dune then this becomes a birdie chance, pick the wrong line and you’re in big trouble.

The green configuration of the 17th was altered back in 2018/19 by golf architect Marc Westenborg.

Some interesting further changes to the course in the last few years. – Gravel paths have been removed and turf pathways reinstated to match others on the course. Dunes have been slightly lowered on the 1st hole to create a better visual of the iconic green, and a substantial dune complex has been added on the 18th hole.

Gorse has been removed and sand areas opened up which has improved the aesthetics.

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

What the Top 100 Panel Said

Emily Hudson UK&I Top 100 panel
Emily Hudson

The best opening Par 3 I’ve ever played. It challenges you immediately and gives you an idea of what is in store. It felt like a really nice balance of holes - 6 Par 5’s on the ladies' card but they varied with 3 longer one’s on the front 9 and 3 shorter ones on the back, so it seemed well thought out for those of all abilities to enjoy. In the clubhouse, the Ryder Cup Room was a very nice feature, with some historic duels mapped out on the walls

Matt Weavers UK&I Top 100 panel
Matt Weavers

My first time around S&A and I was very fortunate to play with their consulting course architect, Marc Westenborg, who kindly talked me through all the various changes they are making.

The biggest changes thus far are the introduction of a new dune along the right-hand side of the 18th (thus tightening the drive whilst also dramatically improving the visual aspect by blocking out the driving range) and the creation of a series of small dunes in front of the 1st green. More developments are planned including a potential revamp of the par 3 13th. S&A is a great mix of links and heathland combined - this is clearly a club going places with the intention of improving in the future. 

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Location

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Green Fees

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Apr - Sep 2023 Mon to Fri (not Bank Holidays)£230
Apr - Sep 2023 Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays£250
Twilight fourball (after 3pm on weekdays)£500

For more packages and green fee information visit the club website

Best Courses Near to Southport And Ainsdale Golf Club



Venue for the 2019 British Masters hosted by Tommy Fleetwood, Hillside is a links with a twist as mature pine trees frame a number of the holes. Also featuring are the impressive sand dunes that line the fairways.

The front nine is strong at Hillside, but the course really comes to life on the back nine as the holes move up and through the sand dunes.

Elevated tees on the run in provide stunning views to the Lake District in the north and Snowdonia in the south, but these views shouldn’t distract from the sheer quality of the holes you are traversing.



Since 1954 Royal Birkdale has hosted no fewer than ten Open Championships with the roll-call of victors including Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson. The design ethos here has been to run the holes through the dunes rather than over them, the result being a very honest test that receives universal praise.

Best Places to Stay near Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club

The Vincent Hotel - Book now at
This stylish 4-star boutique hotel has a 6th-floor gym and a relaxed restaurant with chic surroundings. The Vincent Hotel is on Southport's main shopping street. Just a couple of miles from Hillside.

Waterfront Hotel Southport - Book now at
On Southport’s Promenade, the 4-star Waterfront Hotel Southport offers stylish rooms and a waterside terrace. The luxury hotel also has a modern fitness suite and an excellent restaurant.

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Gallery

Southport and Ainsdale Historical Top 100 Ranking UK&I

  • 2023/24 - 59
  • 2021/22 - 62
  • 2019/20 - 60
  • 2017/18 - 66
  • 2015/16 - 69
  • 2013/14 - 64
  • 2011/12 - 58
  • 2009/10 - 50

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club Course Review

Frequently Asked Questions

When did Southport and Ainsdale host the Ryder Cup?

The Club hosted the Ryder Cup matches of 1933 and 1937. 

In 1933, Great Britain team won the competition by a score of 6.5 to 5.5 points. JH Taylor was captain of the home side and Walter Hagen captained the Americans.

In 1937 Walter Hagen was again captain of the USA against a GB team led by Charles Whitcombe. The US were the winners by 8-4. It was the first time the home side lost a Ryder Cup and the second of seven straight wins for the USA.

Is there a dress code at Southport and Ainsdale?

The club website gives the following information:

On the course or practice area, golfers are required to wear smart conventional golfing attire with spike or dimpled golf shoes. Shirts must be tucked in at the waist. Only tailored trousers or tailored knee length shorts are permitted. Shorts must be worn with knee length socks or short white sports socks.

Players must not wear any of the following:

  • any form of denim
  • trainers or open sandals
  • track suits

In the clubhouse, smart casual dress is allowed in all parts. All members, guests and visitors who have been playing on the links, are requested as a matter of courtesy to change from their playing apparel before using the Main Lounge and Dining Room. Please be aware that in the clubhouse, hats, collarless tee shirts, jeans, track or shell suits, trainers or open sandals are not permitted.We have a Spike Bar where golf clothing and shoes can be worn. Golfers wearing shorts are reminded that these cannot be worn in the clubhouse with the exception of the Spike Bar.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?