With perfect weather for our day at Silloth we were very excited for the two rounds ahead. We played on the 1st of October on the summer all day package, which consists of breakfast, lunch, two course dinner and two rounds if golf. The cost was £89! The reception from Simon the pro, the knowledgeable staff and members were as good as i've experienced. The food was the best course food i’ve eaten. There really cannot be a better value golf course in the Uk and Ireland.
The course is a mixture of a links landscape but with the heather and gorse of a moorland/heathland style course. The pot bunkers across the course are all small but devilishly deep and must be avoided at all costs. Stunning views of the Irish Sea and nearby Scotland are visible on many of the holes as is the industrial buildings that embody Silloth.
The round opens up with a stunning straight par 4 with a blind shot second having to hit over a hill to the green that sinks down into a bowl. The second hole was my favourite tee shot of the day requiring either an accurate iron down to the largest part of the fairway or a driver to get closer to the green on more of a risky line. Holes 3 and 4 were very strong par 4s with the green on 3 being just above you and leaving a stunningly beautiful shot in. The green on 4 miss it at you peril as both sides run off into deep gully’s where you can find yourself hitting back and forth if you haven’t got a good flop shot in your armoury. Hole 5 is the most picturesque. A short par 5 from the yellow tees, downwind and although S.I. 4 on the card played the easiest hole for our trio. After a great par 3 6th and two solid par 4s the par 3 9th ‘postage stamp’ for me was the courses signature hole. At only 120 yards long with the sea in the background and the green below a solid wedge shot to a small green is required avoiding three front bunkers that are some of the toughest on the course. A really fun hole and one you’d look forward to on each visit. The 10th is one of the courses weaker holes with another blind shot to the green. At the 11th you reach the end of the stretch and immediately turn back into the wind. The holes on the back on the main have slightly wider fairways, are a tad longer and require a greater test of your skills. The 12th par 3 was a long tight testing tee shot where with stronger winds could require many golfers to call for the driver. The 13th was the hardest hole. From the tee it read 450yards par 5 downwind and we thought this must be a mistake, however after doing the easiest part of putting a drive or 3 wood onto the fairway the second shot required pin point precision through a feathery gorse opening to a tiny fairway that was tightly flanked by thick rough and heather. The third shot to the green was so difficult that you never really felt in control even from inside 50 yards and miss the green to left or right and you’d have just as tough a shot from the run off area. It perhaps felt slightly unfair rather than testing and a hole you can easily come unstuck on even with good shots. The next another par 5 was another solid test that defied its stroke index. Hole 16 was a very long hole even into the slight breeze we played it in needing two hefty strokes. Hole 17 brought in the neighbouring houses right as does hole 18 which was a long slog back to the clubhouse. The houses on the right hand side I personally didn’t mind although some are in disrepair. I thought it epitomised Silloth as a quirky local course. However they do have a major problem with balls being hit into the houses as there is no protection and they are alarmingly easy for any level of golfer to hit towards. Gratefully the green fee covers the insurance for such a misdemeanour.
Overall we loved the course. Nearly all the par fours left you pondering which club to use from the tee and the par 3s as a package were as good as it gets. As a negative the greens sadly had just been seeded and tined as is the time of the year and were very difficult to putt on. There were far too many blind shots. For visitors who haven’t experienced the course you do spend a lot of time running up a hill to see the green and back down to your ball as most of the blind shots are from the fairways. Condition wise it didn’t match up to some of my local links courses or to other 5 ball reviews i’ve given. Fairways were a little scrappy and had a lot of divots. There was also some bare parts in the rough that looked a little worse for wear.
I’m between 4 and a half and a 5 ball rating and i'm going to opt for the latter. I’ll give Silloth the benefit of the doubt conditions wise as the beautiful course layout should not be given any less than 5 balls. Get in your car and go you will not be disappointed.
Date: October 04, 2020