Played the course as part of a 4 course tour in December 2012. We loved this course so much that we went straight to the pro-shop and paid again to have a second round. It has great character, with the slightly red sand in the bunkers and the long 'linksy' grass and severe elevation changes giving it an other-world feel.The course had been closed for work the previous day, so was not in tip-top condition, but the layout and the excellent greens made up for that. There were several really memorable holes, with 4 very challenging par 3s (2 across water and all exposed to the wind) and 4 really strong par 5s, including the excellent 18th where just a handful of bunkers are so well placed that they force you to make difficult decisions on each shot. The contrast to the over-bunkered Earth course could never be felt more than on this very subtle hole.My favourite hole was 6th, with it's huge bunker at the front right of a raised green playing havoc with the psyche! Another great hole was 15th - a brute of a par 4, into a strong breeze on the day we played, with a drive over water and a big bunker complex to the left of the green, which cuts into the fairway 30 yards short of the fringe - leaving just enough room to encourage you to take the shot on. Wonderfully well thought out!But really there isn't a weak hole on the course and although it is noticeably easier than Earth, it punishes poor shots while rewarding good course management in a way that is far less arbitrary than its more celebrated sister.I really loved the definition that the different types of grass give the course, shaping the fairways and helping to create a visually imposing challenge while still looking very natural and even rugged in this otherwise overly manicured oasis.The practice facilities are first rate, but the clubhouse is still a (very opulent) porta-cabin, and until that is sorted out this remains a 5 ball experience.
Date: March 23, 2013