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.