Hillside Golf Club
|Red (W)||75||5888 yards|
|White M: 74.9/131||396||526||397||195||562||444||170||393||419||3502||172||509||400||402||419||421||218||547||439||3527||7029|
|Blue M: 74.0/127||392||510||381||183||487||384||149||376||405||3267||139||494||362||394||384||378||183||530||427||3291||6558|
|Yellow M: 73.3/123||386||493||340||175||482||344||143||365||376||3104||135||493||357||336||344||359||149||491||392||3056||6160|
|Red W: 70.2/119||382||456||332||165||423||326||141||347||381||2953||142||481||313||326||340||319||142||488||384||2935||5888|
Incredible back nine
This was the final leg of our English adventure, and boy, did we end on a high note. Our entire group struggled on the opening few holes, which meandered through tall rough and (seemingly) a million bunkers. We started to find our groove at about the same time that the holes got more visually appealing. Nos. 7-9 presented fun and contrasting challenges, and then we made the turn to the back nine, a nine-hole stretch that Gary Player called one of the best he has ever played. The par-3 10th is stunning -- 140 yards, up the hill, with a green the size of a placemat. That was followed by the long par-5 11th, which plays drastically downhill and on this day was into a three-club wind. Though I'm not sure it's the best nine-hole stretch I've ever seen, the entire course was spectacular and a must-play for any golf nut.
Don't overlook Royal Birkdale's beautiful neighbor
This was the fifth round in 3 1/2 days and I could hardly get out of bed. I was tired and my body ached. Glad I found a way to solider on. Hillside is right next to Royal Birkdale and many locals in these parts consider it a better course. I haven't played Birkdale so I can't officially weigh in, but it'd be hard to imagine it could be better than this beauty. That par 3s are great, and make you think. The real fun starts on the back nine, which is more beautiful than the front. We played the first 12 holes in relatively benign conditions but the wind started to blow down the stretch. We had our hands full. I'm a big fan. Pleased that I got my act together. It needs to be near the top of your list if you visit the Southport area.