Castlerock (Mussenden)

Castlerock (Mussenden)

Castlerock, like nearby Royal Portrush, began as a nine-holer in 1901 before being extended by Scottish clubmaker Ben Sayers seven years later. In 1925, Harry Colt fine tuned the layout.

You enjoy holes routed through majestic sand dunes and when you emerge from these towering masses you catch views of Donegal and, on a clear day, towards Scotland and the Isle of Islay.

The Mussenden (there is also a nine-hole Bann) offers the chance to attack in the shape of five par 5s but some of that kindness is retracted by some long, tough short holes.

One, the 4th – 'Leg o'Mutton' – is a 200-yard hole with a railway line to the right, a burn (and OB) to the left and a raised green awaiting all those able enough to find it.

The 18th also has a raised green and many a bogey has been made by those under-clubbing, coming up short and trickling back down into the fairway, leaving themselves an exacting chip. Chris Bertram