Fairhaven GC has an excellent reputation as an “inland links” on flattish land, interspersed with pines, gorse and heather.
The course is listed by Golf World in ‘The Best 10 Open Championship Qualifying Courses’ and ‘Great Britain & Ireland’s Best 10 Opening Holes’. Fairhaven moved to its current location, in what was then Lytham Hall Park, in 1924.
J.A. Steer (the professional at Blackpool Golf Club) and James Braid (three times winner of the Open Championship), landscaped the course by creating “dune-like” hills, hollows and bunkers that have since characterised the layout. There were said to have been 365 bunkers at the time, now only 118 survive. In 1931 some further re-modelling of the course was carried out by J.A. Steer to raise the standard of the course nearer to that of a championship course.
Later course improvements were carried out, firstly, by Dave Thomas in the late 1970’s and then, in the early 2000’s, by Donald Steel. This work has ensured the course remains a genuine test of golf in the face of advancing equipment technology and for all playing abilities.
GGD undertook improvements to hole #5 in 2014 (with John Greasley Contractors) to bring the style of this par-3 hole more in keeping with the “links” style to be found throughout the majority of the rest of the course – by creating a new tee complex, dramatic “dune-like” mounding features and hollows to frame the hole visually, make it more challenging and to improve the bunkering in strategic terms.
We continue to work closely with the greenkeeping staff on further improvements to other holes on the course, including the re-establishment of gorse and heather areas.
Photo credit: JG/James Hutchinson