On arrival you can’t help but be taken aback by the clubhouse and the surrounding course. Weather in the previous week hadn’t been kind but the course didn't show any signs of wear and tear. The fairways were hard and true as were the exceptional greens and the course was quiet for a saturday afternoon in October.
We first played the 9 hole Bann course in the morning and we’re blown away (metaphorically) so we were really looking forwards to the afternoons round on the premier 18 mussenden course, however and don’t get me wrong the mussenden is a really good course it just didn’t quite hit my expectations. The course is situated in superb surroundings but i do feel the best views, layout and holes are on the Bann course and should have been incorporated more into the mussenden. Holes 7 and 8 on the mussenden were excellent and tough, but very beautiful holes and hole 18 was a very good hole to finish. What disappointed slightly was that a lot of the holes were just ok nothing special holes that seemed to follow one another and i didn’t overly love the par 3 4th hole that i’d heard such good things about.
Whilst myself and my playing partner both enjoyed the round (in which i had my best score of the holiday) I couldn’t help feel that value for money wise it doesn’t quite match some courses i’ve played or some of its close neighbours.
To summarise whilst there’s no doubt castlerock is one of the top golf courses in northern ireland i was left feeling like i needed a little more , a couple extra top holes or a real signature stand out hole.
A quick note the special warmth we received from the pro, staff and members at castlerock. Without doubt the best we've ever experienced. We stayed in the bar for around two hours after we’d finished and we chatted to every person present. A truly special atmosphere.
We will definitely be coming back, but probably just to play the Bann, maybe twice round.
Date: January 08, 2020