Hole by Hole
The 18 hole Par 70 course is set in parkland with magnificent views of the Ribble Valley, part wooded with tree lined fairways, water hazards and bounded by the River Ribble. The variation in holes makes it a challenging course (see COURSE). The club is also equipped with a small practice area and putting green.
A demanding first tee shot with out of bounds on the left and a steep bank on the right needs to be placed just left of the large oak tree to open up the green for 2nd shot. Anything left will leave a blind and difficult 2nd shot. A 3 iron or 3 wood is usually the safe option for this first tee shot.
A good tee shot will be rewarded with a straight forward 9 iron or a wedge to the green. It falls away to the right hand side flanked on the other side with a severe slope. Keep the ball to the left and allow for the ball running on.
A large green that slopes gently from left to right on approach. A poor second shot may result in a very long first putt! Anything missed to the right will require a tricky flop shot onto the green, whilst a ball left hanging on the slope on the left will leave a delicate chip shot to stay on the green.
Fishwick’s Signature Hole.
Looking from tee, the lone tree in the fairway just to the left hand side isn’t as far as it looks. Aim just to the right hand side of this tree and you have set yourself up for an easy second over the ditch to the landing area just before the bunker.
The longer hitters will take this one on in two but as the green is guarded well by two bunkers, it’s best to lay up for a short 3rd shot into the green.
Another large green that has some subtle breaks on the left hand side as you approach. Otherwise, pace is your main concern here.
This tough Par 4 demands a good drive to have any chance of reaching the green in two. The ditch at either side of the fairway at 250 yards is a danger only for the long hitters off the tee. Yellow markers on either side indicate the end of the ditches, leaving only a 10 yard gap to run the ball through. Trees protect both left and right sides of the fairway, so accuracy is paramount.
The tough second shot is all up hill and the green is protected by a bunker on the right. Always take a couple of extra clubs to carry on to the green, which is surrounded by a steep slope at the back and sides. Anything short will leave a straightforward chip onto the green.
This green slopes severely from back to front and is considered by most to be the most difficult green on the course. To avoid 3 putting, try ot leave an up hill putt but be careful of the one coming back!! Two putts here are always welcome.
The tee shot is everything on this hole. Looking down from the elevated tee you must aim to keep the ball away from the out of bounds on the left hand side but be careful you don’t run out of fairway to the right – the clock tower in the distance is the ideal line for this hole.
A good drive leaves a 7 or eight iron to an elevated green which has bunkers to the front left and back right. Judging the flag position is difficult but try aim right of the flag to leave an uphill putt on the severe sloping green.
Another severely sloping green from left to right on approach. As with the previous hole, 3 putts on here are common. Anything right of the green leaves a simple chip up the slope, whilst anything falling down the left hand side of the green will leave a very tricky chip shot trying to stop at the hole.
A daunting tee shot for the shorter hitters requires a 200 yrd carry over the water to a receptive fairway. The further right you go though, the further the carry gets and risks finding one of the ditches on the right hand side of the fairway. A ‘bail out area’ is available for the faint hearted to the right hand side short of the pond leaving a longer shot into the green. Anything right of the fairway bunker will open up the green for the 2nd shot.
Guarded by bunkers on both sides at the front, the 2nd shot to the green leaves little margin for error, but a good shot onto a fairly level green leaves a good chance for a birdie.
This fairly level green is surrounded by trees and can prove hard to read. This is a good chance for a birdie after the tough first four holes.
The first par 3 of the round appears to be a straightforward short hole over the pond to a receptive green guarded on both sides by large bunkers. As the tee is surrounded by trees, it’s always difficult to judge the wind, so make sure to take plenty of club to avoid a watery grave!
The Green is well protected with bunkers on the left and right and generally slopes from back to front on approach. Subtle undulations make putting difficult.
On the card, this appears to be an easy hole, but playing from the back tee demands a good straight drive onto a tight fairway guarded on both sides by trees. Anything on the fairway will leave an easy 2nd shot into the green.
A good drive will be rewarded with an easy second shot with a short iron but anything wayward will then bring the bunkers short and to the right of the green into play.
This green is large and fairly flat so anything close the pin with the 2nd shot will leave a great birdie chance.
The demanding 8th hole is long and requires a good tee shot to enable the chance of a 2 shot into the green. Not much to worry about off the tee except keeping it within the line of trees on both sides of the fairway, particularly the ones of the right which encroach onto the “perfect line”.
A ditch across the front of the green is not visible from the fairway, but means that the 2nd shot must carry all the way to a receptive green. Otherwise, lay up in front of the ditch for a short chip onto a tough green. A bunker on the right of the green awaits any stray shots, and anything left leaves a difficult chip back down to the greem.
This tough green slopes from back to front on approach but also slopes towards the river making it a tough read. Again, take 2 putts here and go to the next hole.
The hardest hole on the course, the 9th plays a great deal longer than the yardage suggests. A long drive is required to reach the green in 2 but the River on the left is always on the mind making it a very tough tee shot. Anything too far right will end up in the trees.
Any drives pushed safely right will be blocked out by trees for the 2nd shot, and the bunker on the right in front of the green makes reaching in 2 a real challenge. There’s plenty of room for the 2nd shot on the left so don’t be tempted to aim too far right.
Anything short of the green, but avoiding the bunker on the right will leave a fairly simple chip onto this large tricky undulating green. The undulations run from front to back on approach and can make long putts difficult to judge. A bogey on this hole is not a bad score!
The 10th tee shot also has the river lurking on the left but a good drive up the right will clear the line of trees if pushed slightly for a good shot into the green. Fortune favours the brave who aim to the left hand side of the fairway, as this leaves a much better angle into the green.
The second shot on this hole is key, always playing longer than the yardage suggests. Two bunkers in front of the green wait to catch any misjudged shots into the green, particularly the bunker on the right of the green.
The 10th green is fairly flat and judging the pace is key here. Any shots past the green will find trouble in deep rough on a bank. Most shots fall short and leave a simple chip onto the green.
This tough par 3 requires a good solid tee shot up to a large raised green – anything short will be swept away by the steep bank. Judging the pin position is always difficult, and if the pin is on the left, this always needs an extra club for the extra carry. A steep bank at the back of the green will catch anything too long.
This large green is difficult to read but generally falls down towards the river. With no bunkers, the main protection is the steep bank at the front which requires a tough flop shot to get close to the pin, and also the steep bank at the back which has some thick rough.
Probably the toughest tee shot on the course (or in fact in Preston!), the out of bounds on the left and the trees on the right require an accurate drive up the hill where a ditch waits for anything hit too long. The competition tee is particularly narrow and does not leave any room for error. Anything too far right will end up on a steep bank.
A tough second shot awaits even a good drive on the sloping fairway. It is uphill to a long McKenzie green protected on the left by a bunker and a steep bank. A good line in is the large oak tree to the right of the green. Tee shots ending up on the bank on the right leave a very difficult stance and makes laying up a sensible option.
This is a long McKenzie green sloping severely from right to left on approach and protected on the left by a bunker and steep slope. If you manage to hit the green in two you could still be left with a very difficult putt, birdies are a rare sight on this hole!!
Another tough tee shot on this hole that doglegs to the left with trees all down the left hand side. The brave will go straight over the trees off the tee to cut the corner and hit the centre of the fairway but the normal line is to the lone old oak tree to the right of the fairway. However, beware as getting too close to this tree tends to interfere with the second shot into the green.
This is a tough second shot into a deceptively well protected green with anything short kicking sharply to the left, and a bunker at the back to catch any balls running through the green. With just the top of the flag visible, this shot requires accurate distance control to pitch onto a receptive green, or played short and to the right of the flag to utilise the slopes and run down to the flag.
A small gentle sloping green from right to left on approach, this is usually a good birdie opportunity if you are fortunate enough to hit the green in 2. Anything short is a taken left leaving a fairly simple chip up to the flag.
Another tough, long par 4, the 14th tee shot needs to be aimed at the trees on the left hand side of the fairway which slopes from left to right. Anything too far right will be taken into the small trees on the right of the fairway leaving a tricky 2nd shot.
The second shot into the 14th green also needs to be aimed slightly left and allowed to run into a long firm green protected by bunkers on the left hand side and back right.
The large 14th green is long and difficult to judge on the second shot which may leave a very long putt or a difficult chip if the approach shot went right. Subtle slopes cover this green making some pin positions extremely tricky, especially at the front of the green, where there is a pronounced left to right slope on approach to the green.
The tee shot off the par 5 15th tee must avoid the bunker on the left of the fairway and also the trees lining each side of the fairway. Otherwise, this is an open tee shot – time to open the shoulders, grip it and rip it!!
Long tee shots well past the fairway bunker bring with them the temptation to go for green in two. However, out of bounds on the left of the green, a gully short of the green, bunkers and a steep bank to the right of the green make this extremely risky! The safe play is to lay up with an iron to the front of the gully, leaving a relatively easy short iron to a very receptive green.
Another long and deceptively sloping green from left to right on approach, protected by bunkers on the right hand side and out of bounds close to the left hand side. The back right pin position is extremely difficult to get close from both chips off the green and long putts from the front of the green. Other pin positions to the middle and front offer real birdie opportunities.
The most difficult par 3 hole on the course, the 16th green is raised above the tee making judging the pin position on the narrow long green extremely difficult. The green is also well protected by two large bunkers on either side and one at the back so a precise long iron shot over the gully is required to have any chance of getting near the pin.
This long, narrow green is generally level and relatively easy to putt on, and an tee shots left short tend to avoid any trouble and leave a relatively easy chip down the length of the green. Care needs to be taken from the left and right bunkers to avoid going from one to the other – this hole has been known to ruin many a good score!
This short and seemingly straightforward par 4 only requires an easy tee shot and short iron into the green. However, long hitters will be tempted to go for the green but must thread the ball between the bunker on the right and a deep hollow on the left (a 5 yard wide gap!).
Any wayward tee shot faces a tough 2nd shot over a gully and tree on the left or over the two bunkers on the right. Although a short iron shot, this can be difficult to judge onto a two level green. Any long hitters who have found the left hand hollow will be left with a tricky blind pitch shot from deep rough.
This large, two level green is deceptively flat and can yield a lot of birdies when the pin is placed on the large upper level. However, When the pin placed on the back left lower level, a good second shot is needed to get within b irdie range, and this brings the back bunker into play. Any bail out to the right will leave a difficult long putt down to the lower level.
The finishing hole is an attractive, yet demanding par 3 with a semi blind tee shot over trees with out of bounds down the left and at the back of the green, which is surrounded by 3 large bunkers. The McKenzie green makes club selection crucial depending on the pin position. Remember to pay the Captains fine if you land in any of the greenside bunkers on the 18th hole!!
This large McKenzie green is receptive to a well struck iron shot, but is difficult to hit, particularly with the pin placed to the left making a blind tee shot and bringing the two large bunkers on the left into play. The green slopes from back to front on approach and gives a excellent chance of a birdie to finish off the round.