Hillside golf club is located very close to Royal Birkdale in the north of the UK. We played the course a couple of weeks after the British Masters 2019 as you can tell from below picture.
Our flight arrived into Manchester in the morning and drove straight to the course where it was raining heavily. They had a club tournament on and we had the first tee time after the competition.
We had coffee and a bit to eat whilst watching the players coming back from their round in full rain gear. In many parts of the world golfers complain about the weather, but it is great to see players just accepting the conditions and making the most of it. Talking to a few of the players after their round they were positive about the weather today as it was even worse the day before….
Hillside opening hole is a straight par 4 with well placed bunkers on both sides of the fairway. I hit a decent drive down the middle but missed the green right. After a decent chip I scored an opening par.
The 3rd hole is protected by water running in front of the green. I hit a driver from the tee which was a bit too risky in hindsight. Be aware that the landing area is quite narrow with the water running along the left hand side.
Good par 3 with bunkers protecting the green. I missed my tee shot right which leaves a difficult up and down with the pin position on the right hand side.
Best par 3
This was for me the best par 3 on Hillside Golf club. A really good and challenging par 3 with well placed bunkers. My playing partner and I both came up short as the wind was difficult to read. I had another tough up and down from behind the bunker to a short pin. As with most courses you cannot leave your shot in the wrong positions and of course playing new courses this is even more challenging.
Dogleg left and a bit intimidating from the tee. There is more space on the fairway than what is apparent from the tee, but still needs a good tee shot to hit the fairway.
A strong finishing par 4 to the front nine. From the tee you can go save down the middle of fairway and leave a longer second shot or try and carry the road. A good risk/reward hole and decision you need to make from the tee. I went for the risk and hit a nice drive onto the left hand fairway which resulted in a wedge to the green. I did not capitalize on that drive from the tee as my second shot was long. It was a difficult chip and made bogey.
The back nine
Considered the signature hole at Hillside Golf Club and it is good looking hole. There is something special about standing elavated from the fairway and hitting down on the fairway.
One of the most difficult driving holes on Hillside as there is water on the right hand side and trees on the left.
This is a well designed par 4 with the mounts on both sides. The landing area is relatively small and as the hole is not than long you can go for a shorter tee shot to make sure your playing the approach from the fairway.
The green is divided into multiple levels which adds a bit more pressure on distance control to avoid a difficult putt.
Favourite Par 5
I really enjoyed this hole. A strong par 5 uphill with a tough green to hit. I was in the fairway bunker from the tee but manage to get close in 3 shot for a good birdie chance as you can see from below picture….it was missed and unfortunately no birdies for me on Hillside.
A good finishing hole with bunkers in play from the tee. I hit a driver perfect onto the fairway but missed my approach in the green side bunker.
Summary & score
Hillside Golf Club is a good test of golf. It is especially fun after watching the British Masters and playing the course with many of the holes in mind. We got lucky with the weather as the rain stopped on the 1st tee. The course was in decent shape, nothing extraordinary but as you would expect. Like many courses there are some really good holes that you remember well and some that are average. I missed to many greens from the fairway and did not have the short game to get away with it. The score of 83 was fair with the game I had on the day.