We arrived for the start of our 4 day trip to Northern Ireland with what we thought would be a nice easy ‘dust off the cobwebs’ type 9 holer before tackling the mussenden (main course) in the early afternoon, however what we got was in my opinion a bastion of 9 hole golf courses , which not only rivalled the main course but after much deliberating on our flight home concluded that it was probably the most enjoyable round on our trip, which also included Portrush and Portstewart golf clubs.
The Bann course is a 9 hole short course consisting of five par 4’s, three par 3’s and a solitary par 5 , although not long it is extremely tight , and in the wind we faced on the day a take your medicine golf course. YOU MUST! hit the ball where you can see it we were told and generally an iron or hybrid aiming for the largest parts of fairways is advised. The par 3s are mesmerising and the par 5 5th from the tee with the river running down the right hand side was as good as it gets. All the par 4s were strong barring the opening hole (which is the only average hole imo) with my favourite being the 6th where after driving to the top of the hill at around 200 yards a 120 yard shot down to a small green in the center of steep dunes with a pond short left really puts you under pressure, which might equate to why i hit it 20 yards right!
The greens were in excellent condition even after a weeks rain and fairways were surprisingly firm and true. Bunkers were also as you would expect from a top course. The rough was punishing and penal mainly forfeiting your chance of birdie, which happened on more than one occasion. A tough test in the 25mph winds we faced but on a good day a really good round for sharpening up your iron play and short shots to the green.
Arriving back at the clubhouse and overlooking the first and last hole you be hard pressed not to be wowed by the whole package that the club offers and how we couldn’t help but feel a little jealousy that for the locals this was 27 holes of golfing bliss on their doorstep. At £20 a round i don’t think there’s a better 9 holer in the uk and if i’m back in the area i would make a b-line to come back for the Bann course which i would have to play again. I would go as far to say this is a must play, and some of the best value for money golf i’ve played.
Also just to note the friendliest clubhouse we’ve experienced from any of our golfing trips, with members really excited that we’d come to play their course, and who also spent time to talk us through our upcoming rounds at nearby courses.
Date: January 05, 2020