Hesketh is the oldest golf club in Southport, established in 1885.
Part links and part on mature sand dunes, it is set among the Victorian villas of a residential area at the northern end of South West Lancashire's sand dune system. Course designers have included George Lowe, the designer of the original Royal Birkdale and Royal Lytham courses as well as the illustrious James Braid.
Hesketh sits beside a nationally renowned nature reserve and is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Seabirds and other wildlife provide an added attraction for visitors.
Professional championship golf has been played at Hesketh from the early days. In addition to being regularly chosen as a Qualifying venue when The Open is played at nearby Royal Birkdale, Hesketh has hosted County Championships, National Championships and top events in women's golf. These include the Lancashire Amateur Open, the Lancashire Ladies' Amateur Open and the British Senior Amateur Championship.
In 2008, Hesketh hosted the R&A Junior Open Championship with 110 youngsters from over 70 different countries taking part and, more recently, the Club hosted the Centenary Lancashire Amateur Championship and the English under 14 Championship in 2010 and, with Hillside Golf Club, co-hosted the Amateur Championship in 2011.
Hesketh is well established in the history of golf - the English Golf Union has its roots here, the initiative came from a former Hesketh Captain who went on to become the Union's first President. Among the famous names to play at Hesketh is Henry Cotton (set a then course record of 68 in 1932) and no history of Hesketh would be complete without referring to the Bentley brothers, Harry and Arnold, who are often described as the most illustrious pair of brothers in the history of the amateur game. Arnold also deserves special mention for being one of the two-man team that triumphed for Britain at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, leaving Hitler decidedly unimpressed that the Germans could not demonstrate their superiority. The so-called 'Hitler Trophy' now resides in Hesketh's clubhouse after many years without a permanent home. Another part of Hesketh's folklore is the fir tree that was unusually presented to Arnold as part of his prize and which now sits on a sand dune outside the clubhouse.
More recently, Hesketh has been a breeding ground for a number of professional golfers. Two, Lee Slattery and Mathew Baldwin, are currently enjoying some success on the European Tour whilst two of their colleagues in the Hesketh scratch team some years ago, Mike Kanski and Martin Edge, are also locally-based professionals.
Professional golfers associated with Hesketh have experienced considerable tournament success with two former Assistant Pros, Tony Coop and Brian Waites (twice), winning on the European Tour. Lee Slattery became the Club's third European Tour winner when he won the Madrid Masters in 2011.
Mike, set the then Amateur Course Record of 67 back in July 2002 and although not everyone can emulate this score, the course sets a testing yet fair challenge for golfers of all abilities. It is distinctive by virtue of the fact that half of the holes nestle between sand dunes, while the others border the Ribble estuary. The 14th to 18th loop that meanders its way between the sandhills and around the imposing Hesketh clubhouse provides a tremendous finish.
The Club offers visiting golfers a series of open competitions including the week-long golfing festival and a competitive range of golfing packages that are available to visitors and societies alike.