Friday, 6 May 2011

Ireland - Day Four – Co. Sligo

The 4th

I really enjoyed Sligo and found the course fun to play.

The opener was easily the best one we have seen so far with a stunningly good green site. The next stretch of holes was great as you traversed the high hill with a four and five. The 4th hole was a highlight with an outstanding plateau green that employs a cool Redan style green. It was really hard to hit the required shot being downwind, but the area long and left was all kept short providing some realistic options for play.

The 5th tee is set 80 feet above the fairway and offers a wonderful view of the remaining nine and a great view of holes 13 through 17. Very few links courses offer such a panorama and it set the table for the holes ahead. The 5th played downwind as did the 6th. The 7th and 9th were played with a cross wind while the long 8th was down wind once again. The holes rely mainly on the combination of burns and a really cool set of greens to be far more interesting than you would expect of flat land holes.

9th hole

The interest was raised once again One beginning with the 9th and ending with the 12th that all play along a far spine that eventually ends at Rosses Point. Each hole deals slightly differently with a major cross fall including a stunner of a three at the 9th where some outstanding bunkering presents a really nasty challenge.

The 13th quarters back into the wind with a three set close to the beach. From then on it’s all hard work. The 14th through to the 18th have you fighting your way back home straight into the prevailing wind. I found the holes somewhat interesting because the dunes are in play, but I was also disappointed in the architecture since it was almost non-existent. I was surprised at how the architecture was far less interesting than some of the interior holes over lesser land.

It leaves me with an interesting question about routing. Is an out and back that finishes into the wind “a firm test” of a players skill or simply a “slog” that I must avoid in my own routings.

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