Short par 4. Trees line the fairway on both sides with out of bounds beyond those to the left. Miss the fairway to the right and accessing the green will prove difficult. An iron or rescue club played for safety from the tee will leave a second shot of 100+ yards. However, a well-placed shot with a driver should present a good birdie opportunity on a green sloping right to left and front to back.
Medium length par 4. Trouble both sides threaten errant tee shots with a tree lined ditch to the right and a pond which requires a carry of 200 yards to clear if you venture left. A MacKenzie green tiered from front to back challenges distance control when the flag is situated on the top level as this normally requires more club than the yardage suggests.
Medium length par 4. First of Helsby’s numerous doglegs. Trouble both sides of the fairway with a tree lined ditch to the right and a pond located to the left which requires a carry of 200 yards to clear if you venture left. (Exactly the same problems as the tee shot on the 2nd hole). Longer hitters can attempt to cut off the dogleg but beware going too far right as this is likely to result in a lost ball. A ditch 15 yards short of the green runs across the full width of the hole. Approach shots to a green located below the level of the fairway play at least one club less than the yardage suggests. Approach shots missing the green left or long are likely to end up out of bounds.
Great par 5 with probably the most generous fairway on the course but stray too far left and you will be in trees and beyond the trees out of bounds awaits. Too far right and more trees or even worse a ditch come into play. Even allowing for a good tee shot you are then faced with an uphill right to left dogleg shaped fairway with out of bounds down the left. A fairly flat green eventually awaits and net par is always a good result.
Long par 4. Generous fairway that requires a tee shot left of centre to offer a view of the green. However, a tree lined ditch to the left must be avoided and any shot left of the same ditch makes it almost impossible to hit the green. Two fairway bunkers are out of reach for all but the longest hitters. Once past the bunkers there is a tree lined ditch to the right. The green which is fairly flat is further protected by three bunkers. Net par is alway a good result.
Short to medium length par 3 dependant on pin position as the green is 60+ yards in length. Front pin positions present good birdie opportunities but middle and back pin positions are difficult to get near to largely due to oak trees positioned very close to the edge of the green on either side at about the halfway point. Bunkers front and each side of the first half of the green add to the challenge.
Par 5. One of the few holes where the green is virtually in a straight line from the tee. Three fairway bunkers down the right positioned at twenty-yard intervals can gather tee shots leaking down that side. There is a tree lined ditch down the right that comes into play for the longer hitters and a pond to the left of the fairway approximately 150 yards from a MacKenzie green tiered front to back.
Short par 3. Trees between the tee and green add a degree of difficulty. A fairly flat green is protected by four bunkers. Out of bounds is located closely behind the green so beware of over clubbing.
Medium length par 4. Fairway shaped left to right requires a tee shot centre or left of centre to have a view of the green. Trees border both sides of the fairway and a fairway bunker on the right can catch the longer hitters. Approach shots are slightly uphill and play longer than the yardage suggests. The green which is probably the most contoured on the course slopes back to front and left to right and is protected by two front bunkers with another to the right.
Short par 4. Sharp right to left dogleg with out of bounds awaiting anything left off the tee. Requires a tee shot of 175+ yards to provide a clear view of the green but tee shots longer than 200 yards can run out of fairway into heavy rough. Longer hitters can cut the corner but shots on this line must be high enough to clear trees between the tee and intended target. The green is fairly flat with no bunker protection.
Short par 3. Should be straight forward although out of bounds runs close down the length of the hole on the left-hand side. MacKenzie green slopes back to front with one greenside bunker positioned front left.
Long par 4. Normally good scores at Helsby are made over the first twelve holes as the last six will provide a serious test for club golfers. The fairway moves gently left to right but starts with a solitary oak positioned directly in line from tee which challenges any low flying tee shots. Miss the fairway right and trees come into play while a pond on the left edge of the fairway 200 yards from the tee is also an area to avoid. A tee shot positioned anywhere other than the left-hand side of the fairway leaves an approach shot that must clear a tall oak positioned 80 yards from the front of the green. The green which is fairly flat is protected by a front left bunker and out of bounds 15 yards to the left.
Long par 4. Another really good hole that is a left to right dogleg. Requires a good tee shot to provide a view of the green as two large oaks 150 yards from the tee make the fairway appear narrower than it is. Longer hitters can attempt to cut the dogleg but trees and a pond await anything leaking to the right. Approach shots are slightly uphill and play longer than the yardage suggests. A fairly flat green slopes gently from front to back and is protected by a bunker either side. Anything long leaves a difficult chip shot.
Medium length par 4. Tee shots down the right of the fairway do not provide a view of the green and longer tee shots down the middle of the fairway can be blocked out by a small oak positioned dead centre 245 yards from the tee. A ditch is in play left of the fairway from around 220 yards and ditches intrude on both sides of the fairway at around 260 yards. A fairly flat green is protected by a bunker either side. Back pin positions are always difficult to get close to.
Long par 4. Fairway moves from left to right. Most members believe this hole plays the longest of any of the par 4’s due to the difficulty of the tee shot. Cut too much off the dogleg on the right and trees will obstruct your next shot, go too straight and you will face the same problem on the opposite side of the fairway. No bunkers on this hole but the large fairly flat green has out of bounds 15 yards beyond it.
Long par 4. Probably Helsby’s signature hole. Fairway moves right to left with out of bounds down the left. Play too safe from the tee and you will be in trees to the right of the fairway with little chance of accessing the green. Approach shots are played to a green below the level of the fairway so play one club less than the yardage suggests. However, two tall oaks are positioned 30 yards short of the green so a high flight or a lot of luck is required to hit the green which is quite long and slopes gently from left to right and has out of bounds 10 yards beyond it.
Out of Bounds (Rule 18.2)
A ball is out of bounds if all of it lies:
a. Beyond all course boundaries, hedges and white stakes bounding the course.
b. Beyond the white stakes surrounding the club house, Bungalow car park and practice putting green.
c. Over Towers Lane from the hole being played.
Penalty Areas (Rule 17)
a. When both lines and stakes are present the line defines the margin of the penalty area, if this is not clearly defined, then the general break of the ground should be taken as the margin of the penalty area.
b. Bridges. Any part of a bridge lying within the margins of a penalty area is deemed to be inside the penalty area and free relief under rule 16.1 is not allowed.
Immoveable Obstructions (Rule 16)
a. Includes all paths with artificial surfaces, staked trees, water covers, white plastic strips set in the front and side of greens, seats, ball washers, yardage markers and fixed sprinkler heads.
b. Immoveable Obstructions close to Putting Greens. Model Local Rule F-5 is in effect: In addition to types of interference described in 16.1a, when a ball lies in the general area, interference also exists if an immoveable obstruction is, on the players line of play, is within 2 club lengths of the putting green, and is within 2 club lengths of the ball. The player may take relief under rule 16.1b.
All bridges are integral objects, and no free relief is allowed under rule 16.1.
The ball must be played as it lies or penalty relief taken under the unplayable ball rule 19.2.
Moveable Obstructions (Rule 15.2)
All posts marking penalty areas and green yardage posts are moveable obstructions and free relief is allowed under rule 15.2.
Tractor Marks (Rule 16.1)
All marks in the ground made by tractors or other such maintenance vehicles are are deemed to be Ground Under Repair.
Interference exists when one of these is true:
· The players ball touches or is on such a mark.
· Such a mark interferes with the players area of intended stance or area of intended swing.
· Only when the ball is on the putting green and such a mark on or off the putting green interferes with the players line of play.
Free relief is available under rule 16.1.
Penalty for breach of a Local Rule:
The General Penalty
NOTE: Yardage markers denote the distance to the centre of the green. The point on the fairway equidistant from the green posts is 150 yards from the centre of the green.