The answer is simple. I am on a mission to play all the true links golf courses in Great Britain & Ireland.
The book “True Links” by George Peper and Malcolm Campbell was my original inspiration because they listed all of them in their excellent book. However, since my pilgrimage started I have discovered a number of links courses that were not in the book... but should have been!
I had been tipped off that Warren, located near Wallasey on The Wirral, should have been included. There was only one way to find out and calling in on the way home after getting off the ferry at Holyhead seemed like as good an opportunity as ever.
Firstly, I’m very pleased to report that Warren is indeed a true links course and should have been included in the book.
It is only nine holes but routed over a compact piece of genuine linksland! The maintenance budget is very low from this council owned course but there are a few highlights as you nearly always find with links golf. The scruffy condition is almost immaterial. A poor links course is always infinitely better than a poor inland course.
I paid a measly £10.90 green-fee and although it was very rough around the edges I don’t mind this on a links course. I am more interested in the movement in the land and the quality of the holes. In this respect the 4th and 5th are excellent. They are played on a separate tract of land to the rest of the course and although the backdrop of flats is not the most inspiring the interior views are good. The first of these two holes is a short par-four played towards a marker post sat in the middle of a hogback fairway. The second is played to a fairway that gradually narrows before sliding through a gap between the biggest dunes on the property.
None of the other holes are duds but these two holes stood out amongst the others. The train-line that runs down one boundary side of the property also gives an authentic feeling of playing links golf.
Owned by Wirral Council and founded back in 1911 you do catch a glimpse of the Irish Sea and have views over towards Liverpool Bay but the course is mostly hemmed in by housing.
The course also has Warren Ladies Golf Club attached to it and I followed a pair of ladies playing what I assume was the final of a matchplay competition with an entourage in tow.
I’m not going to say Warren is a hidden gem but in terms of value for money it is worth a knock if you are ever on The Wirral.
The game of golf has the ability to take you on amazing journeys to the most wondrous places where you meet such interesting people.
It was an impulsive, crazy… and some would say utterly ridiculous… decision that took me to The Machrie in the Spring of 2018.