It’s not everyday you get to hit a 360 yard carry and then a 180 drive with the same swing, same driver and same course.
That’s the easiest way to describe my first round at Darwen and my second wasn’t too far off that either, and apparently it wasn’t even that windy!
Darwen is the golf clubs of yesteryear that value good greens over manicured tees and £million+ clubhouses. They’ve done so recent work to increase terrace size but you visit the pro-shop and get a feeling of heritage and that’s exactly what the course gives you too.
Tight lies and undulating fairways are waiting for you if you can hit them and while there’s some room, you’ll want to hit them to be able to score well. Very few bunkers come in to play however the course is a test and when you hit the green you’ve got a chance to hole out, respectfully.
It feels like a course of two 9s with a parkland, twisting course with a mix of quirky and longer terrain holes. You’ll experience some really challenging par4s, especially if you’re into wind.
To start the back nine, you’ve got a 210 yard par 3 which I’ve seen a driver hit and then a 6 iron. Did I mention it’s also up hill?
Finishing the 12th, you’ll be left breathless in two senses. Rising up to the highest part of the course (and the local valley), views across the Ribble Valley will take your breath away. A stunning way to start your trip down to the 13th. As you can see it’s beautiful!
But don’t think going down hill is going to be easy as you’ll have a monster Par 4 back up the hill, inevitably with the wind in your face, then you’ll have what can only be described as a proper par 3.
For the umbrella golfers out there, you know the ones, the ball follows the wind like a lost umbrella, yep that’s me, you’ve got about 170 yards straight downhill over gorse. You can just about see the green there.
Darwen is a proper gem, a proper course and tough as old boots. It’s a course waiting to take your golf balls but it gives as good as it gets and rewards the safe and steady play.
At £25 a round midweek, I highly recommend playing Darwen but ensure you take a few balls with you too. Oh you also may want to take your umbrella for what it’s worth.
Darwen Golf Club - Lancashire Golf Club ReviewDarwen Golf Club - Lancashire Golf Club Review
Course Condition4/5 GoodThis isn't your immaculate hotel course, this is proper rugged inland links style. The greens are really good though considering the rain we've had.
Cost of a Round and a Buggy4/5 Good£25 for the round and £25 for a buggy (we didn't get one). That's £75 for two people to play a fantastic course. Not the cheapest for that price range it's a really good course.
Difficulty (5 Playable for All, 1 Only for the Pros)2/5 BadThis is a tough course. It's really for the steady Eddie golfers so I would highly recommend that you play texas scramble or Stableford.
Hole Layouts/Design3/5 NeutralThere's some really great holes but nothing stunning. A few simple par 3s and some ok holes. Gets a 3 because of the stunning views and a couple of greats.
Clubhouse and Bar (Quality and Cost)4/5 GoodSimple clubhouse but simple works. Cheap pint and good value homecooked food. Not for all but it's my definition of a proper clubhouse.
Additional Points2/5 BadIt's got a little range there and it's open to society days.