By Jeremy Ellwood published
Chorley Golf Club Course Review
GF £45wd only (£160 for a fourball)
Par 71, 6,284 yards
GM Verdict - A very enjoyable course over rolling terrain with a particularly good mix of genuine scoring chances and tougher tests
Favourite Hole - Gazing out over the down-and-up 1st hole from the clubhouse really makes you want to get our there asap!
While many of the best golf courses in Lancashire are to be found on the coast, there's plenty of good golf on offer if you venture inland too as Chorley Golf Club proves. First impressions can be very important, and if what you see as you gaze down the 1st hole is visually enticing, it can really set the mood for the round ahead. Chorley, which started out as a nine-holer in 1897 before growing to a full 18 in 1926, scores particularly highly in that regard. The course gets out of the blocks fast, with a beautiful, mid-length, attractively bunkered opener that plays down and gently up towards a stirring backdrop of the distant moors.
Related: the best inland courses in the UK&I
The 2nd is a very generous downhill par 5 where birdie is very much on the cards, although the green is not to be missed in the wrong place. The two other par 5s at 13 and 17 also seem eminently ‘gettable’ though misfortune can still, no doubt, befall you on both.
The shortish par-3 3rd may then look innocuous enough from the tee, but with OOB tight right and a steep bank left it’s a good early test of your iron-play accuracy. Next there's a tough and slightly awkward drive along a valley and across a sideslope to contend with on the 4th, plus a blind approach to the green.
The second par 3 at the 7th is a similar length to the 3rd at 155 yards and looks a very attractive proposition from the tee as it plays slightly uphill to a well-bunkered green that sits towards you. You climb back towards the imposing clubhouse on the 9th before a hugely tempting short, downhill par 4 kicks off the back nine – an easily drivable hole for some, particularly in the summer.
The 11th is then a long and very strong par 4, where the further down you can get it, the more you’ll see as the hole unfolds before you. Mercifully, it is at least downhill and if you’re looking to run it in rather than carry it all the way, you’ll need to aim for the left-hand edge of the green and let your ball feed round on the slope.
After the slightly fiddly uphill 12th comes the second of the par 5s, which may well be reachable for some. But it is blessed with one of the trickiest greens on the course, so even if you do make it, two-putting will not always be a formality.
Starting the final run for home, the 15th doglegs gently round and down to the left with a great view beyond the green as you contemplate your approach. And while the 18th may be a par 3, it’s certainly no pushover, stretching to almost 200 yards and playing slightly uphill back towards the clubhouse terrace.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
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