Played the albatross in April of and i was desperate to play the current ryder cup course having known nothing about it previously. I didn’t really know what to expect but on arrival was blown away with the clubhouse and the whole ryder cup experience that was on offer. Before reviewing the course i’d like to say that the set up of the adjoining hotel and facilities makes the club possibly the best resort in europe for a weekend break/short stayover. Although secluded and a little away from a big city it’s the perfect destination for a 1 or 2 night stayover. It has everything you need and feels purpose built and set up for modern golf travellers. The staff were exceptional and made sure nothing was too much bother even opening up the European locker rooms and showing us around.
Right the course. Tv really doesn’t do it justice, and i thought it looked great on tv. First hole was the second best opening hole i’ve ever played after portstewart. A tough menacing drive needed firing towards the lake then once finding the fairway a second shot with water in front and left, terrifying. Second no let up , medium par 3 back over the lake to a wide but not very deep green with three large bunkers behind the hole, brutal. If it’s possible to get through those two holes unscathed then the course does let up with the 5th, 6th (only poor hole) and 7th offering good birdie chances. Notable mention to the 7th hole that didn’t look too interesting on tele but if you can get to the top of the hill from the drive leaves an iron shot from up high that sticks long in the memory. Tough par 3 8th was a great hole requiring a well hit longer iron. then the 9th a stunning and especially testing par 5 with a very awkward green that just doesn’t seem to allow golf balls onto it. At the 13th we had made a note to go and see where rory hit the shot where he was teetering over the water and we’re still none the wiser as to how he achieved it. Coming in the 15th returns to the devilish course design requiring not only a drive central and on the short stuff but then asks to hit over the water to an island green. To finish 18 a real treat made easier by it being a par 5 off the yellow tees , allowed for a lay up and one last shot to an island green to finish. Superb!
I was and have fallen in love with the course, which was unsuspected as i usually prefer links/classic courses to this man made newly built stadium course, which you could say lacks in history and apart from the homes wasn’t very picturesque, however the course is so magnificently designed and on an amazing piece of land that its lack of soul never really tainted the experience as the course was such fun and such a challenge. It’s a complete modern classsic , set up perfectly for visitors and i’m scheduled to go back to do it all again in september of this year. Can’t wait!
quick note to anyone who’s going and playing both courses , avoid paying to play the eagle sister course as we paid around £80 and it was complete garbage barring a few holes. nothing to detract from my review of the albatross just some consumer advice
Date: January 12, 2020