This is a superbly maintained and presented course with some really interesting holes. You can see why it was chosen to host the Irish Open. The practice facilities are superb and are just a few short steps from the clubhouse. Yes, the course is flat, but the routing does do just about enough to avoid the dull 'up and down' tag. We were lucky to play it with just a gentle breeze blowing, but even that was enough to make us think very hard about club selection. The length of the rough just off the fairway will also keep you very honest. Expect a lot of fruitless ball searching if you are fractionally off your game as the rough just swallows golf balls. The bunkering is clever and you do have to position your tee shots in order to have the best line in to what on the whole are tiny targets. The greens were in perfect condition - possibly the best I have ever putted on at a links course and very very quick. The holes around the turn were probably my favourites - 7, 8, 9 and 10 - closely followed by the 5th, a brute of a long par 4 with out of bounds all down the right side, the 6th, a real slog into the wind, and finally the quirky but dangerous 18th which I'm sure has wrecked many a good card. All in all, it's hard to fault this course - perhaps a few more dunes to give it definition would have made this a top rated links course. It's expensive at €170 a round at weekends, but in my view given the conditioning of the course, the warm welcome and the practice facilities, well worth the money.
Date: August 26, 2007