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Pleasington Golf Club: now a Golf Monthly Top 200 Golf Course

Q&A with Golf Monthly’s Jezz Ellwood 

Golf Monthly Contributing Editor and expert course rater Jezz Ellwood reveals why a £1 million course upgrade and ‘Good to Great’ plan and has put Pleasington among the UK’s very best golf courses.

What’s your assessment of Pleasington’s £1m course upgrade and its ‘Good to Great’ vision?

Some people might think ‘Good to Great’ sounds presumptuous, but I admire that desire to take it from a good golf course to a great golf course. A Top 200 in the Golf Monthly ranking is a great golf course because you’re in the premier 6-7% in the country, taking you into realms of great rather than just good.

How does Golf Monthly rate golf courses?

Golf Monthly rates a golf course by five different criteria weighted for importance: quality of test and design (35 marks); conditioning and presentation (30); visual appeal (15); facilities (10); and the visitor experience (10). We have a big team of assessors visiting the 140 or so courses on our current ‘contender’ list to create our Top 100. Beyond that, to make the Top 200 list, that is achieved in a variety of ways – perhaps by visiting different courses and discovering somewhere that turns out to be very good, maybe because a club has invested heavily in course work and really raised its game. We benchmark these courses and it’s often a fine line, as some of them are certainly not far away from the Top 100.

What was your experience of Pleasington Golf Club?

I’d heard about Pleasington from a colleague who had been there some years ago, but I’d never had the chance to play much inland golf in Lancashire before. When I finally got the chance, it was way better than I was expecting for a course I had heard relatively little about.

What particularly caught your eye?

The course really comes alive after you cross the railway line and you are faced with a potentially drivable par-four, which is always a treat. I knocked it into the greenside bunker, but it’s nice to have that opportunity to drive the green and a chance to score. As with any good hole, there are no end of ways it can trip you up. Then, of course, you move onto The Mill, which is the signature hole… a very interesting golf hole.

Tell us about The Mill

The Mill is an attention-grabbing hole with a top fairway 100 feet above a lower fairway, connected by a grass chute. The first time I had played it, I thought it was bonkers. Now, having played it again after the work and a lot of clearing out, it’s a really interesting and exciting hole. If you’re in that upper level, you can actually progress it much further forward and be quite aggressive, if you’re feeling confident and in a risk-taking mode.

What would you say to golfers thinking of heading to the coast to play links golf, or passing by on the M6 on route to or from Scotland?

As a county renowned for its links golf, I think there is a temptation to overlook what else is an offer. I would have been guilty in the past of heading straight west off the M6 towards the coast, rather than lingering inland. I have now played four or five inland Lancashire courses in the last two years and Pleasington is the pick of the bunch. I’m a links lover by nature, so an inland course has got to do something special to catch my eye – and I would say Pleasington has done that on both occasions I’ve visited. It’s a beautiful stretch of countryside and it is definitely worth a day out.

Pleasington Golf Club’s £1M Transformation Pays Off With Golf Monthly Top 200 Courses Ranking

Pleasington Golf Club, Lancashire, has been rated among the UK’s Top 200 golf courses by Golf Monthly magazine following an ambitious £1million golf course upgrade.

While the North West region might be best known for its links courses, including three Open venues, Pleasington is now Lancashire’s top-ranked inland course and the No.1 heathland course in the county.

Golf Monthly Contributing Editor and expert golf course rater Jezz Ellwood, said: “A Top 200 position in our rankings puts Pleasington in the premier six to seven per cent of golf courses in the UK, and that’s a great achievement.

“Personally, I’m a links lover, so an inland course has got to do something special to catch my eye – and Pleasington does precisely that. It’s a beautiful stretch of countryside and it’s a friendly club with a warm welcome. It is definitely worth a day out.”

With panoramic views to the Pennines, Lakes and Fylde coast, Pleasington Golf Club is just an hour from Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds and golfers travelling to and from Scotland often stop off on route to play the course.

The £1 million course transformation, which has involved extensive scrub clearance and heathland restoration, bunker renovation and dramatic design changes to holes 6, 10 and 11, has been overseen by acclaimed golf course architect Ken Moodie of Creative Golf Design.

The project is part of the club’s ‘Good to Great’ plan, which aims to make the venue among the best golf courses in the UK as well as being an inclusive club at the heart of the community, encouraging golf for all and caring for the surrounding environment.

Pleasington Golf Club General Manager Mark Bleasdale said: “This major course upgrade is part of an ambitious vision and journey and to be recognised among the Top 200 Courses in the UK by Golf Monthly is an important validation of our ‘Good to Great’ plan.

“As a 12-time Open qualifying venue, as well hosting the Pleasington Putter, a leading national event for elite women golfers, our playing pedigree is well established. We look forward to welcoming visiting golfers and sharing our outstanding golf course.”

Visitor bookings are now open for the 2024 season, as well as a series of open competitions and a new Sunday Driver stay-and-play golf package, with accommodation at The Dunkenhalgh Hotel & Spa.

Pleasington Golf Club – Now a Golf Monthly Top 200 Course in UK & Ireland!

Pleasington Golf Club Continues To Improve After Being Highlighted As A Top 200 Course In UK&I

The delightful Lancashire club just keeps getting better under the watchful eye of Ken Moodie, who has been influential in restoring the course to its heathland roots.

The ever-improving Pleasington Golf Club in Lancashire has already cemented itself as the best inland course in the north west and it continues to go from strength to strength.

Read full article

Pleasington Golf Clubs beautiful 6th hole, Quary.

Now Featured in Golf Monthly’s Top 100 Hidden Gems 2022

Pleasington Golf Club are very proud to be featured in Golf Monthly’s Top 100 Hidden Gems for 2022. We see this as recognition of our Good2Great strategy both out on the course and in the Clubhouse and the first step in our journey to become a Top 100 Course in the UK. To read the review please click the link below.

Pleasington Golf Club Course Review

With way more variety than most, the ever-improving design at Pleasington Golf Club is a real crowd pleaser!

Holes 7, 8 & 9

Winter 2021/22 has seen the Club redevelop holes 7, 8 & 9 as part of the Good2Great programme. This has been a huge amount of work on tees, bunkers, fairways & greens. Work is now complete & we are looking forward to reopening these holes in early Spring.

Watch our timeline videos below:

Hole 7 –  ‘Mill’

Hole 8 – ‘Viaduct’

Hole 9 – ‘Plateaux’