Castlerock Golf Course is a classic links course set amid towering dunes. It is located in the heart of Northern Ireland’s golfing country, with Royal Portrush and Portstewart golf clubs only twenty minutes away. This County Derry course is right up there with those neighbours in golfing standards.
Both the nine and eighteen hole courses provide daring tests. As you would expect, the rough is thick and the bad shots get punished. On a calm, sunny day, players might well get lulled into a false sense of security. The route will slip between a forest stroll and a mild hike, but this course will never play easy.
The signature hole on the course is the fourth, a two hundred yard par three known as the “Leg o’ Mutton”. It features water all down the left side and, remarkably, a train line down the right. You must guide your tee shot over the water, but still avoid the three bunkers which surround the green. With out of bounds markers on either side, the player really needs to find the green. This is the high standard that Castlerock demands of the players taking it on.
Castlerock has plenty of people willing to vouch for it. Ryder Cup winning Captain Paul McGinley holds the course record of 64, and he has remarked favorably on the quality of the greens. That score came during when the Irish PGA Championship was held there in 2007, which reflects well on Castlerock’s standing in the game.