Formby Golf Club, one of the world’s greatest links courses which has played host to all amateur golf tournaments over the last 135 years, is proud to announce significant investment in its golf course over the next six years.
Formby, which nestles amongst three Open venues in the north-west of England, commissioned renowned golf architects Mackenzie & Ebert to conduct a full course assessment and development plan. Influenced from recent course enhancements at the venue of this year’s Open at Royal Portrush, Royal Troon and Turnberry, Mackenzie & Ebert have recommended a series of improvements and strengthening of course characteristics to the existing 18-hole layout.
Mackenzie & Ebert have a pedigree in advising Clubs with classic courses. This includes seven of the ten (British) Open Championship venues (Turnberry, Royal St. George’s, Royal Liverpool Royal Lytham and St Annes, Royal Portrush, Royal Troon and Carnoustie) and other courses designed or redesigned by Harry Colt including Rye, Royal Cinque Ports, Royal County Down, Royal Porthcawl and Royal Belfast.
Rodney Wilson, the Captain at Formby Golf Club said: “We are proud of our challenging golf course and the amazing scenery which surrounds it and are thrilled with the designs presented to us by Mackenzie & Ebert. They have captured the essence of what Formby is about and have made recommendations which retain our character whilst improving the course for the enjoyment of future generations.”
Formby will embark on one large project annually plus a series of interspersed smaller improvements throughout the year. The changes are designed to add to the aesthetics and playability of existing holes with some re-shaping, new bunkers and new tees. No greens are being modified as part of the works. Work will commence this winter and will not impact golfers with work being completed by the following April.
Martin Ebert will be the partner in charge at Formby Golf Club and explains: “Golf at Formby comes with a serious feeling of class which begins with the arrival at the clubhouse and continues throughout a wonderful tour of a tremendously varied 18 holes. The course works its way around the flatter heathland of the early holes, a gradually more dramatic duneland terrain, into the pine woodland and out again and then back to calmer seaside undulations to the perfectly located 18th green in front of the clubhouse.
The other positive aspect of the course is the fine detail of many of the greens and green surrounds. A fine set of green complexes always elevates a course amongst its peers. The adjustments proposed are not made for the sake of change but will offer real benefit to the course and should lead to more enjoyment of the course by the members and visitors. The changes also keep an eye on the championship status which the course has enjoyed for so many years.
There is no doubt that the game at the elite level has moved on in recent years, especially in relation to the distance that tee shots are being hit. Maintaining firm and fast conditions is the ultimate defence of any course but some of the proposals made are to ensure that the best players have to think carefully about their strategy when playing from the back tees.
There are some major projects which are extremely exciting to imagine. These include the widening and re-bunkering of the 1st fairway, the adjustment of the 6th fairway to create more of a dogleg, the lengthening and reshaping of the 8th hole and the creation of dunes and dune slacks around the 16th hole.”
Formby is on a stretch of coastline heavily affected by coastal erosion. Thinking ahead some thirty years or more, Mackenzie & Ebert have created inspirational designs which will completely replace the current 9th and 10th holes which are forecast to be significantly impacted by erosion and sand blown from the nearby beach.
We hope you can all share in Formby’s ambitious plans for its course, maintaining its reputation as one of the very best championship golf courses in the UK.