I absolutely loved Formby when I visited for the first time in the fall of 2015. In much the same way I favor SFGC over Olympic and Sommerset Hills over Baltusrol, it just had an intangible "feel" that made me wish I was a member. My sense was I'd enjoy playing, walking and drinking at Formby more than the other nearby clubs? Hard to put a finger on exactly why sometimes, as they are all obviously wonderful places.
FWIW, my group consisted of a PGA Tour winner, a scratch club pro, an 18 handicap senior golfer and myself a middle age 8 handicap, and between the 4 of us it was the one course of the 7 we played in the Liverpool area that we all loved. Jimmy Herman our tour pro favored Birkdale, the club pro liked Hillside and our senior favored Hoylake, while I though L&A great. But Formby was the one where we combined to have the most fun, the best match, and walked off 18 trying to figure out how to make room in our schedule to play again on our trip. I thought it was a perfect mix of comfortable landing areas alternated with shots that had to be executed just right.
A question we had - has the predicted erosion that necessitated the rerouting actually come to pass? When we visited it looked like their was still quite a bit of land below the turn that could have still been employed closer to the water?
And one more question, just to be nosey - from the parking lot and surrounding neighborhood it appeared Formby membership the wealthiest of the Liverpool area?