Lost Farm has been created in a similar mould to its neighbour, Barnbougle Dunes. Generous fairways and vast waste bunkers are the order of the day as the 20(!) hole layout navigates the vast dunes, offering occasional views of the spectacular coastline. The clubhouse, perched on top of a massive dune, has brilliant views over the course and beyond which serves to raise expectations of what lies ahead. Starting on an elevated tee, you're eased in with a par 5 that should yield to a couple of solid blows, but the subtle contouring around the green can quickly turn a seemingly easy par into bogey or worse. 3 to 5 is probably my favourite stretch at Lost Farm, with the third a tantalising risk reward 280 yard par 4 which tempts you to place a drive down a narrow stretch of fairway which separates a huge waste bunker from thick rough. The fourth is a simply stunning short hole, with the ocean providing the backdrop to the well protected green. Teeing up at the long par 4 fifth is a great experience, with the brave line being down the right, over an enormous dune and flirting with a river. It's one of these special tee shots that reminded me of standing on the 4th at Royal St George's or The Old Course's Road Hole, but in even more spectacular surroundings. Of course, you can always play it safe to the wide fairway out to the left, but where's the fun in that? There's not a bad hole on the course, but after being blown away by some of the early holes, I felt a comparative lull as we entered the back nine where you briefly move away from the dunes, into some flatter terrain. However, it picks up again, with the 14th a superb 290 yard par four where the ocean one again provides a stunning backdrop. 18 is a fine par 4 to finish with, too (if you discount the par 3 hole 18a, which is where your round actually ends). If you're playing here, then the chances are that you'll also be playing the Dunes course and it's impossible not to be drawn into comparisons between the two. They're both world class layouts and after playing Lost Farm first, I wondered how it could possibly be bettered by its neighbour. There's not much in it, but I think the Dunes just nicks it. If you were to pick a composite course from these two, there would be very few better in world golf. Finally, don't miss the restaurants on site at Barnbougle. The quality of food and wine lives up to the golf. And that's saying something!
Date: April 24, 2014