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castlerock golf club

Played by NCG: Castlerock, Northern Ireland

The classic links is getting ready to stage the Women’s Senior Amateur Championship in 2021
 

Flashback to The Open and when NCG descended on the tournament, it just so happened our rental house that week backed on to the lovely links at Castlerock. Never ones to let this kind of opportunity go by, we jumped over the back fence and…

What can we expect from Castlerock Golf Club?

Like me, you probably grew up on tales of the Irish links and those wild looking dunes. The Mussenden course (there is also the 9-hole Bann layout) doesn’t disappoint. Some of the dunes are towering but, just as impressive, are the views of Donegal and out to the Isle of Islay when you emerge.

castlerock golf club

What were your favourite holes?

Castlerock is renowned for its long par 3s and the pick of those is the 9th – although the 4th, at 200 yards off the back tees and with the railway line running down the right side, runs it very close. What’s amazing about the 9th, apart from the green being set in among the tall fescue, is the look back across the course when you walk up to the 10th tee. The view is simply stunning.

That tee shot at the 10th, the fairway for which seems impossibly narrow, was also a joy to find – even if it was on the second attempt.

Tell us about your best bit?

Given my colleague Mark shot 72 gross, there wasn’t much joy in the matchplay department but one of the most enjoyable parts of Castlerock came at the 12th – known as Spion Kop.

It’s got nothing to do with Liverpool and Anfield. The massive mound which covers the middle of the 12th fairway surely refers to the Boer War battle fought out on a Natal hilltop in 1900. It might not quite be the obstacle the British tried to defend but a ball that strikes it in full flight can go absolutely anywhere. That kind of randomness is one of the things that makes a round at Castlerock so much fun.

Will you do anything different next time?

Probably take a hybrid on the last. It’s more important to get the ball in the fairway, flanked by dunes, than it is to hit one hard at this short par 4. I’ll try and take more advantage of the par 5s too – the longest of which is 529 yards even off the back tees.

castlerock golf club

Anything else?

The club are set to host the Women’s Senior Amateur in August 2021 so get yourselves down to watch some top class elite action.

Finally, where is it?

You’ll find Castlerock on the Causeway coast, a short 20 minute drive from Royal Portrush and Portstewart. Take those on as a trio and you’re going to make some memories.

You can find more information, including tee times and green fees, on the Castlerock Golf Club website.

Have you played Castlerock Golf Club? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below, or tweet me.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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