Castlerock Golf Club was affiliated in 1901 as a 9 hole course and then Ben Sayers expanded it to 18 holes in 1908 ( Sayers was the resident pro at Nth Berwick ). Further refinements were made to the Mussenden Course by Harry Colt in 1925, and then again by Fred Daly in 1925. The nine hole Bann Course was designed by Frank Pennick and added in the 1980's.
The Bann course is routed through some gigantic dunes and it is a mystery to me why this territory was not used more for The Mussenden course. It covers some good golfing land with sea views and borders the Bann River for quite a stretch. The 9 hole course is not well known outside the club, and is not quite as well maintained, although the greens are in very good condition.
Playing the Bann for the first time is a magical mystery tour- there are a number of blind tee shots, and greens are small and tucked in dells or behind dunes. The emphasis here is on FUN!
Interestingly there are no bunkers on the course at all. Perhaps the knock on this wee course is that it is too tight and a little too penal- personally I would widen the landing areas a little on fairways and around greens to allow the natural dune slopes to bounce the ball back into play. But I have to say it is pretty wonderful the way it is now.
Notable holes include:
-the par 3 third hole
- a very short par 3 from one ridge to a kidney shaped green on another ridge.
- the par 3 fourth hole hitting from a tee on a ledge on one dune to a green on another ledge.
- the par 5 fifth hole with a semi blind tee shot to a fairway that runs along the Bann River- it's a pretty hole.
- the par 4 sixth hole which heads over a ridge to a very natural green set in a semi circle of dunes below.
- the par 4 seventh hole with a green set in a saddle between low dunes.
- the outrageous par 3 ninth hole with a large boomerang shaped green running alongsied and then behind a very large dune. A back right flag is completely unseen and a decent carry!
We loved the Bann Course!
Every fun loving travelling golfer visiting northern Ireland shoud make a point of playing it. Just dont take it too seriously..
We rate it a "Travelling Golfer must play!"
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