I played the strand course in October on another trip to northern ireland and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a proper irish day with winds between 20 and 30mph and although difficult didn’t ruin our experience.
Hole 1 is spectacular, still the best opening hole i’ve played in my lifetime. The starter, the view, the wind off the sea and the difficulty of that opening hit it makes this one of the most challenging and memorable opening shots in world golf. This hole should be held in higher regard as it’s as good as any at nearby Royal Portrush.
The second certainly doesn’t let up with a tee shot from high up requiring a 180-200 yard shot through pyramid like dunes onto a landing area below, this hole feels more man made than the first but also can’t be compared to any other hole i’ve played or seen. Its a complete one off, and extremely memorable.
The front 9 continues with very strong holes with 7 and 8 big highlights. The greens were the some of the best i’ve ever played, they had a little softness which i didn’t expect for a links course, and so you could hit full high shots in and on that day didn’t require too many pitch and runs or classic links shots.
The back 9 is a lot weaker, becoming more open as it goes along. The large dunes and heavy gorse becomes less frequent, and i felt the last two holes were a little limp. From some of the courses i’ve played often after some of a run of weaker holes you get a couple of excellent holes, especially to finish, but this never materialised and so leaves you a little disappointed.
To summise the condition of the course was perfect and we had really good fun. It was very challenging and on a very windy day beat me and my partner up a bit. It was well priced and if i was visiting Royal Portrush i’d definitely play the pair as the strands front 9 for me is as good as it’s the nearby Dunluce course.
Overall an excellent golf course.
Date: April 21, 2020