Hillside Golf Club sits in the middle of England’s most densely populated golfing district. Its neighbours include Royal Birkdale and Southport and Ainsdale, as well as Formby being just down the road, making this an ideal destination for a substantial golf holiday.
Hillside holds its own in the neighbourhood, despite the calibre and reputation of the alternatives. The course plays at a maximum length of 7029 yards, although there are different options available to suit every player. The holes are very pleasing visually, with no shortage of rugged pinewoods outlining the course. The sand dunes on the back nine contribute enormously to the overall aesthetic, adding to the sense of real links golf. The greens are nicely contoured, and Hillside is a very pleasing atmosphere to play a round of golf in.
As enjoyable as this woodland walk can be, there is no shortage of tricky holes and testing shots to be played. The cavernous bunkers must be accounted for, or your wedge game will be brought into question. The rough is predictably difficult to negotiate, and fairways must be found to plot your way around successfully. The slick greens can also be challenging to those who can’t find the line.
While the front nine holes have plenty to offer, it is the back nine at Hillside where the course comes to life. It begins at the par three tenth, where you are faced with a daunting tee shot. With heavy pine areas down either side, four bunkers surround the green, with a sloping run off area just short of it. Players will find it difficult to get up and down in two if they find any of these. The ridged green is another challenge in itself, and it is a rude awakening for the unprepared.