Having grown up playing golf around nearby Carlisle, I shockingly had never experienced Silloth until last August, at the age of 24. The first thing that hits you about the club is the understated clubhouse and very friendly welcome. Members at Silloth are very proud of their club and feel like they have hit the jackpot, with membership to an incredible club for a fraction of the cost of other great links tracks. There are great tales to be heard of the club denying Walter Hagen an exhibition match, the exploits of former Captain, Willie Whitehall and the familiar quotes of Bernard Darwin, which are part and parcel of most top clubs in Britain.The course itself is tough. Accuracy off the tee is rewarded but stray approach shots often end in classic pot bunkers or dramatic hollows, like those that flank both sides of the tricky 4th green. The greens run fast and true and I believe the area drains very quickly, so you're unlikely to find it soggy under foot. Where the course turns, the hand of Alistair Mackenzie is especially evident, with false fronts and cleverly disguised bunkers.I cannot stress how impressive this course is. It will rightfully host the English Amateur Championship in 2012 and has been reinstated as a qualifying course for the Open Championship. Many trusted golf writers claim it is a better course that several current 'Open' venues. Without the local infrastructure, it will never host that tournament. So use the opportunity to experience championship-quality links golf with tiny green fees!
Date: May 22, 2010