Formby Links Review

Formby is a classic. Although the golfer is protected from the elements by pine trees that line several of the holes, the course is a tough one. It is in a Site of Special Scientific Interest with the dunes a designated conservation area.

The 1st will give you an idea of the test that lies ahead. It is a par 4 and it measures 435 yards. The right side of the fairway is lined by trees, and heather also awaits the wayward drive, as do two fairway bunkers. The ideal drive should be struck as close to the bunkers as possible, leaving an approach to a green that slopes from front to back. The 3rd is a magnificent par 5 that measures 538 yards from the back tee. A row of five bunkers on the left of the fairway need to be avoided. Find the center and if you decide to go for the green there are two bunkers short of the putting surface to be carried. Trees run down the right hand side. A memorable golf hole.

The 7th may well be the best hole on the course. Trees to the left and right of the 415-yard dogleg leave a narrow fairway which demands an accurate drive. There is only one bunker, 50 yards short left of the green, but it must be avoided at all costs. Walk off with a par and you should be delighted.

You will also remember the 422-yard par 4, 11th. Trees around the tee give the impression that the hole is extremely tight. Bunkers on the right await the wayward drive, and there is also a solitary bunker on the left. The approach is to a green surrounded by mounds on three sides.

The 15th measures 405 yards and there is not a single bunker. However, there are lots of humps and hollows and swales waiting to throw your ball off target. Do not go right under any circumstances or else you will be waving goodbye to your ball in the bushes. The green is slightly raised and will throw off anything not hit properly.

The 18th is a classic finishing hole, a par four that measures 440 yards. If you come to the final tee needing a par, then you may want to take a deep breath. Trees run all the way down the right side and there are two bunkers on the right and three on the left. If you avoid all of that trouble, you will be playing to a green protected by six bunkers that sits proudly in the shadow of Formby's magnificent clubhouse.

Find out more detail or request a quote if you are interested in playing this course as part of your golf vacation with the golf travel experts at

Derek Clements

Author, Derek Clements

Derek Clements is a golf journalist - he has covered many Open Championships and European Tour events, as well as The Masters. Born in Glasgow, he writes for The Sunday Times and Golfshake, and has also written for Today's Golfer, the Daily Mail, Swing by Swing and many other golf websites, magazines and newspapers. He has played golf all over the world and numbers Gleneagles, Kingsbarns and Aldeburgh as his three favourite golf courses in the United Kingdom. He lives in Suffolk, is a member of Waldringfield Golf Club and has a handicap of nine. He had lessons from the late Bob Torrance and has worked with Jean-Jacques Rivet, one of the world's leading golf biomechanists.