If you're in search of a golf experience that combines intellectual rigour with scenic beauty, then Ashton & Lea Golf Club is worth putting on your list. Founded in 1908, this members-only parkland course in Tudor Avenue, Lea, Preston, is a staple in the North West for its well-maintained greens and fairways. With a Par 71 layout stretching 6359 yards from the white tees, 6112 from the yellow tees, and 5508 from the ladies' tees, the course is approachable yet requires thoughtful play.
Navigating Ashton & Lea's 18 holes is like navigating a chessboard, with each move demanding precision and forethought. Take for instance the three challenging par-3s. The 6th hole, in particular, is an aesthetic delight that punishes overhit tee shots with out-of-bounds consequences. Water, that unforgiving element, graces seven holes on the back nine, daring you to question your club selection and approach strategy.
Yet, perhaps the true character of the club is best captured at the 13th hole - a par-4 of deceiving brevity. Players at the tee box are presented with a daunting choice: fly over the water hazard lurking some 210 yards away, or play it safe and prepare for a challenging second shot. If you manage to find the bowl-shaped green with your approach, consider yourself fortunate; a par here is a triumph to savour.
Beyond the challenges of the course itself, Ashton & Lea offers a comprehensive range of facilities. The clubhouse serves as a cosy retreat, complete with a bar and restaurant, rooms for hire, and even a venue for weddings. A well-stocked pro shop managed by professional Daniel Clark offers custom fittings, tuition, and a performance studio. For those looking to refine their skills further, the club boasts a 14-bay driving range along with putting and chipping greens, and even an indoor practice facility.
In conclusion, Ashton & Lea Golf Club isn't just a place to hit a few balls; it's an institution that asks you to engage - both mentally and physically - in the nuances of golf. It's a course that invites you to think before you swing, to strategise before you score. No matter your handicap, this is a course that will not only test your abilities but will also deepen your love for the intricate ballet that is golf.