Castlerock Golf Club – April 2017 – Today I played the 18 hole Mussenden Course with the Club Manager, Bert Mackay.
Considering yesterday I played my worst round in over a year, today I was hitting the ball very well and played some great golf.
That is golf.
Bert (who has only played few rounds since October) was throwing darts and smashing the ball all over the course.
I was pleased to have improved greatly on my shots from the rough after implementing Padraig’s advice from yesterday to exaggerate my hands in front of the ball and I hit some wonderful shots and in the direction I was aiming!
I even pulled out my 6 iron. I think it was the first time I have used it this year. I am not quite sure why I carry it around the world with me. I’m sure I can save a kg or two in weight if I leave that and my unused 5 iron behind. I may trade them out of my bag this summer for a couple of wedges.
We caught up on the last year and while I am running Fairways and have travelled extensively, Bert has been very busy with a proposed redesign of the course.
Not only did I get to pick his brain about many things, including the cut and fill requirements of the plan – with my construction background I just want to know, I was also able to sit in on a meeting with one of the prospective tenderers.
Talk about a wonderful golf chat.
After hearing all the wonderful plans, I am already looking forward to returning in April 2018 and playing the course but in particular checking out the new greenkeepers hut.
I am not long back from my visit to Castlerock Golf Club. I met up with the Manager, Bert Mackay who unfortunately wasn’t able to arrange me to play with anyone so I started the day having a cup of tea and a bit of a golf chat before heading out solo on the 9 hole track – The Bann Course.
I met Ian (who is a member) on the first tee and played the first seven holes with him before he had to head off and I finished the last two holes solo.
There are views of the Bann River on one side and the rolling hills of the Mussenden Links on the other.
I love a links course as your ball always seem to get a good run (providing you are not directionally challenged). I hit some fantastic shots and my 5w is working very well. I hit so many good shots with my 5w I ended up being a little too long on some holes.
There seemed to be a lot of players perched on the hills between the fairways hunting for their wayward balls and while I donated a spider to the course on the 3rd, I found four balls so clearly I was winning.
There is one par five on The Bann Course that runs along the river and I must say it is always good getting a little local knowledge about where best to place your ball – or in my case, attempt to place your ball.
I was hoping that when I came in that I might have been able to partner up with someone who knew the track but no such luck. I went out on my own following a foursome and inadvertently hit up on them on the second as I had run up the hill and noted the green was clear – it was just this was not the 2nd green.
I actually have no idea what the green was I think just an alternate green and when I got up there it was flagless and the 2nd green was off ninety degrees to the right. I had hit a fantastic 5w but regardless of following the line I still have no idea where it went.
This is where a little local knowledge would have definitely come in handy.
I pulled out the card to see if there was a course map to no avail, as I hadn’t thought to grab one on the way out. The 3rd was better as I could actually see the crew in front of me and knew where I was aiming.
It was slow going as there were a lot of people on the course as the weather was fantastic -why wouldn’t you be out golfing. Although there was a biting wind that cut through me.
When I putted out the 3rd there were two groups waiting on the 4th so instead of continuing playing I decided to walk the next six holes with Val, Heather, Chris and Jim who were more than happy for me to join them, chat and film while I watched them golf.
As I was playing 36 tomorrow I didn’t mind not golfing although the course looks like a lovely track – well the front 9 did and The Bann Course was a great little track to play and well worth a look.
After strolling the course I decided to come in at the 9th as I was quite cold and fancied a cup of tea.
I had missed the window of the delicious carvery that had permeated the dining room so I settled for another cup of tea to warm me up before hitting the road again.
I will be back in Ireland again next year and will arrange to play here again.