Birkdale is in very good shape. Greens are doing just fine in the summer heat and rolled with good speed. Lots of ball marks to fix, but most were fresh and not causing permanent pock marks. Tees and fairways were all good. About the only issue I had was with some of the rough just off the fairway and nowhere near out of play. To the right of #8 fairway really penalized me with tall grass and weeds when I was maybe 5 feet off the fairway for my 3rd shot into the par 5. Right of #9 fairway gets you into a net or an area of rough loaded with driving range balls. This hole will likely be altered next year when they take out the driving range to develop that land. Overall, this course is worth playing right now – which is great news for a course I’ve been down on in recent years due to poor maintenance. $59 after 1:00 on a weekend is a bit pricey compared to other courses in similar or better shape, but not far off market price these days. Arnie’s Tavern is open and they have tables outside overlooking the 18th green — which is a great spot to relax before or after your round.