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 Mussenden course is routed through sand dunes adjoining the Bann River estuary, the Atlantic Ocean, and the local railway line. There are some gigantic dunes on the property, but most of the really wild territory is occupied by the Bann course. The Mussenden course wanders through some lovely dunes, along the railway line to the river Bann, across a few burns, and through flatter territory and then back into the bona fide dunes terrain. The course is well maintained with very good playing surfaces.
There are some average holes and some exciting holes
I particularly liked the short dog leg par 4 first hole with it's natural dune setting.
Hole 4 ( Leg o' Mutton ) is a par 3 with railway running on the right hand side of the hole, burn on the left, and some revetted pot bunkers protecting the front of the green.
Hole 6 ( called Burn ) is a short par 4 with a burn running across in front off the green
Hole 8 ( called Bulldozer ) is a strong dog leg par 4 requiring a long and accurate tee shot to set up an approach to a green protected by dunes each side
Hole 9 ( called Quarry ) is a par 3 set in an old quarry site surrounded by rough and wild terrain.
Hole 17 ( called Inishowen ) is a par 5 through lovely linksland to a natural links green
The Mussenden Course at Castlerock is wonderful links golf, and makes a nice addition to golf at Royal Portrush and Portstewart. The turf is fast and running and the green are superbly maintained. I dont regard it as a championship course, but rather a nice links course with some outstanding holes. Start your northern Ireland trips here and brush up on those bump'n'run shots before you hit the serious business at Portrush. And if you have time, nip out and play the 9 hole Bann Course- you wont be disappointed!
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to Ireland to suit your group. For itinerary suggestions please see Destinations: Ireland