Ballycastle Golf Club – April 2016 I am not long returned from driving the Coast Road on my return trip from Ballycastle Golf Club. The views from that road are magnificent. On the way I drove through the various Bally named villages (most villages on the north coast seem to called Bally something – and it makes lots of sense considering I found out today Bally is the Anglicized Irish world for town).
I arrived at the course and as I was heading to the pro shop Mary came out the clubhouse and greeted me. Maura joined us and after a quick chat in the pro shop we were off and running.
The track runs along the coast however the first five holes are across the road, the 1st running along the river. I started alright, hitting ok until the 3rd when I might have hit the ball on to the road (well not quite the road but near enough) so was happy to come away with a five after being three from the tee.
Crossing back and in front of the club house and up the hill over the Hog’s Back on the 6th. The Hawk (my 5w which I have named) is my favourite club and I used it many times today and besides two drop kicks (one caught on film) I nailed it again and again and again. I can’t believe I have only owned it for a week.
The ladies nicknamed me “the mountain goat” as any wayward shots that they told me to leave, I was off and bounding up the hills picking them out of the rough and returning them to their owners. Maura was impressed as she usually loses a ball a round but today she had everything returned to her.
I had a wonderful day meandering over the hills whacking balls and chatting with the ladies. My putting was online and if I didn’t drop the putt I wasn’t too far away well except for my last putt on the 18th which ended up about four feet away.
I hit some great balls all over this wonderful track that looks over the water to Rathlin Island and all the way to Scotland.
Rathlin Island is famed for Robert the Bruce seeking refuge there in the 1300’s, the site of the worlds first commercial wireless telegraphy link established by Guglielmo Marconi in the 1890’s and the nearest landing point of Richard Branson when his balloon when down in the water in the 1980’s.
Ballycastle is a gorgeous spot and was recently voted “the best place to live in the UK”. I was in awe looking at the cliffs and the views are simply stunning. This track is a wonderful park by the sea – as Maura’s children call the golf course.
I hit some very long drives (only duffing one drive all day – but it still shot forward straight down the fairway and if all my shit shots go straight down the fairway I am happy a very happy golfer). On the 14th after a long but slightly right landing drive I absolutely nailed The Hawk with the sweetest shot landing on the dance floor. I must admit I danced a little happy jig where I stood. I missed the long birdie putt but was well satisfied with a par.
I shot 58 out and 51 in and while 109 is not an amazing round I did some amazing things. Playing so many different tracks has given me some great course management and usually I am only confirming where my line is after taking the wind and lay of the land into account. While currently I am not able to practice, my club and shot selection is usually correct and while heavy handed or short I am online and happy with my game.
I can’t wait until I am able to practice in Canada. I must say my bunker shots were better today than Monday but I look forward to some uninterrupted bunker practice as I seem to have lost my knack in the sand.
I filmed the ladies and the ladies filmed and photographed me and Maura got a great video of me drop kicking The Hawk and having a good laugh. We had a wonderful day and I look forward to playing with the ladies again – perhaps my Irish adventure next year as I am barely scratching the surface of Irish golf and I will be back.
Following our round we headed into the clubhouse for some more golf chat and I met current captain Celia who I had been emailing about my visit.
While the ladies enjoyed the special of the day with grilled salmon, rocket and sweet potato fries, I was a little cold and the weather led me to order a chicken, spinach and chickpea curry.
We had some good laughs over dinner and then more when I interviewed the ladies.
Another day, another round of golf – this time with a couple of wonderful women.
I love making new golf friends and I tell everyone I meet they have to come to Prince Edward Island and tee it up with me there – I just hope they do.