Played by NCG: Castletown Golf ClubOctober 24, 2016 Courses and Travel
Rugged cliffs, outcrops and generally breathtaking views - Castletown is a mandatory stop in the Isle of Man.
Reason for a Castletown Golf Club review
I was a guest of Castletown on a three-day tour of the Island seeing as many of the nine courses as possible.
Where is it?
Castletown is in the Isle of Man, found on the Langness Peninsula on what the Manx residents call Fort Island.
What to expect
Cliffs, craggy rocks, rolling dunes and sumptuous views from elevated tees – if you close your eyes and imagine the archetypal links test, you won’t be too far away with Castletown.
You traverse around three sides of the Irish Sea and each section is brilliant in its own way.
But the most spectacular is the closing three holes, which hug the clifftops and force you to tackle them head on.
Henry Longhurst called the 17th the best hole in golf. I’ve always wondered whether he was over-egging the pudding and then I stood on the tee, looked out at the waves rolling into the cliffs on my right, and knew exactly what he meant.
All 421 yards off the tips it runs along the top of the cliff and, with the fairway carved into it, the first couple of hundred yards demands a carry over the surging water.
If that isn’t exhilarating, I don’t know what is and I couldn’t resist trying to fly a drive right over the heart of it.
My best bit
Just as spectacular as the closing stretch is Castletown’s very own Road hole, the 5th.
The sandy beach rolls into the right hand side and, with heavy gorse flanking the left, you have to hit a pinpoint drive if you want any chance of getting out of the hole with a par 4.
The fairway shapes to the right and, even if you get your tee shot in play, the approach to the green – with some ideally placed bunkers and a slope to the right – means you are not out of danger.
The wall, which also runs along to the right, frames the hole wonderfully and it is a picture perfect shot.
What to look out for
Make sure you take a good look around the 7th.
The par 5 is known as Racecourse and it is thought The Derby was first run here in the 18th century before taking up its permanent hole at Epsom.
These days, the hole is definitely one for the stayers. At 572 yards off the blue tees, it requires three excellent shots to get onto the green.
If you’ve time, have a look at the new tee for the 18th which will give members and visitors two very different ways of playing a suitably impressive closing hole.
When I go back…
I’ll be a little more cautious on the Road hole and I’ll bring another memory card to capture many more pictures.