Feature Review: Herons Reach
What do you say when you think of Blackpool? Stag and Hen parties, the tower, the pleasure beach? What about golf?
In the middle of this golfing heartland, surrounded by Open venues and wonderful links courses is De Vere’s Hidden gem.
Located not far from the M6 and only 10 minutes from the coast Herons’ Reach has become one of the finest golf resorts in the North West, with their fantastic range of facilities and quality service, the golf is certainly the icing on top of the cake.
The par 72 course is not the longest by any means, only 5848 from yellows and 6628 from the maximum championship tees, but that doesn’t matter when you have water coming into play in 12 out of the 18 holes and perfectly placed bunkers, trouble is easy to find.
Designed in 1994, by former Ryder Cup players Peter Alliss and Clive Clark, the course boasts USGA standard greens and is only one of four courses in the U.K to have a PGA Professional academy to help with your game during your stay.
The 1st and 2nd holes are a reasonably easy start. The 1st is an uphill par four with a wide fairway to aim for with your first shot. You need to be accurate with your second however as water lurks to the right of the green.
The 2nd is a very reachable par 4; at 241 yards you will be very disappointed if you walk away with anything less than a par.
You then face the difficult 3rd, accuracy is certainly the key as at around 200 yards the fairway narrows to about 50 yards, you are able to fly the over the bunker which will then leave you in the middle of the fairway, but if not the your second shot will be blind.
Narrow tee shots are certainly something you will notice over the next few holes until you reach the 8th. The par 3 over water is could certainly be a card wrecker. If you do get a good one off then you will have to miss the four greenside bunkers that surround the hourglass green.
The par 4, 9th is the hardest hole of the course. With more water to drive over, and with another huge lake that runs all the way down the right hand side you would hope if you negotiate these hazards you will be fine. Well the six bunkers around the green may have something to say about that.
When playing the course you will realise how much the water comes into play even if it is in front of the tee or besides the green or fairway.
Holes 13, 14 and 15 are all shortish par 4’s but very narrow again as you reach the far side of the course. Gorse bushes run down one side of every hole.
The course’s signature hole is the 16th. The 172 yards par 3 from the back tees has bunkers guarding front left and right-hand side of the green, out of bounds all the way down the right and water down the left.
The par 4, 17th is reachable again as you shoot back towards the hotel and with Blackpool tower in the distance. If you don’t get all of your drive though, the ditch will gather your ball.
You finish off with a generous par 5, where if you get a good drive away, the green is very reachable if you thread it between the two huge bunkers either side of the green.
I haven’t mentioned the greens, but they were in excellent condition. A few weeks after they had been treated, we were warned that they may not run very well, but they were possibly the best green I have played on this year. Receptive and fast, for me you couldn’t ask for much more.
It is certainly a resort I would want to go back too and if you were staying over you will want the next day to come around quick so that you can get back out on the course.
More information on De Vere Heron Reach visit here: http://www.golfshake.com/course/view/14491/De_Vere_Herons_Reach_Golf_Club.html
More Golfshake Member Reviews:
- This is a great course, Parkland with a links feel in that you get quite a lot of roll with your ball. Well laid out course with bunkers (all uniform and plenty of sand) and hazards at the right place, and if your long enough to drive them, the landing area is much smaller, water on lots of holes so you need to place the ball to score well. Greens although large are fast but receptive, all in all a great course and thoroughly recommended. Due to the tree lined fairways you feel on most holes as if your the only one playing
- Excellent course and value for money
- Spent 3 days here a very challenging course. Had a great time.
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