This wonderful gem proudly sits in my top 3 courses where measuring the all important "glad to be alive" factor (alongside Cruden Bay and Bamburgh Castle). You are never apart from the sea, and at times you are nearly in it! Stunning views of the rugged Down coast, and the Mountains of Mourne to the south. There's also some pretty good golf to be had! Holes 1 and 2 are real knee knockers with carries required over cliffs, and anything left will be swallowed up in the waves. The spectacular golf continues, with highlights at 11 and 12, 11 a brutal par 5 along a beach, with thick gorse left and rocky beach OOB right either side of a narrow fairway with a brook running through it, then 12 a glorious par 3 playing from a high rocky outcrop down back to the sea. The weakest part of the course is probably 14-16, but 17 and 18 are crackers, 18 in particular a classic risk/reward short par 4 that can end in eagle/birdie or much much worse. Luckily for me it was a birdie. I can still picture several of the holes so clearly in my mind a few weeks after playing, a sure sign of a course well worth travelling for. The only negative was the speed of the round (and I don't mind a slow round). 2 big groups of Americans ahead (playing off back tees when they really shouldn't have been), slowed us down to 5 hours (despite them going round with caddies!). Meant we didn't have time to enjoy a beer in the spectacular castle that is the clubhouse.
Date: June 05, 2017