I had the pleasure of playing the Bay view course in mid April 2019. Is this a true links course, no, more of a seaside course with a links/heath like character but that’s not a bad thing, reminded me most of a Walton Heath by the sea! It's a great fun layout with the front nine being tougher and the back 9 more generous from the tee. When I played the course was just emerging from its winter hibernation and the numerous mounds lining most holes were not at their most penal, loose drives were not too costly. The greens were surprisingly quick despite still healing from aeration, numerous breaks and undulations that need to care to avoid 3 putting, I imagine in summer they become a serious challenge. Even after heavy rain the fairways retained a links like bounce and the numerous bunkers were fun to play out of, not too hard if you find one and are not too greedy with yardage. When I played it was a rare still day, like any links style course it needs the wind to compensate for the relatively short yardage, further protection is in the numerous elevated greens which I like, wayward approach shots are punished with deep run off areas or bunkers. The only negatives were the pace of play; we were stuck behind a very slow 4 ball who took nearly 3 hours to play the front 9 even in buggy’s, the course needs an roaming marshal to manage pace of play. I also think there are probably too many trees on the course taking away some of its links/heath charm, looking at pictures from the early days in comparison there now seems to be a larger number and out of character, clearing those not in the original design would really help.
Date: April 16, 2019