Friday, 6 May 2011

Ireland – Day Three – Ballybunnion Cashen

The 12th hole

We went to see the Cashen Course in the afternoon.

The front nine works its way through some massive dunes, but was reasonably playable. The opening hole was generous and the second was quite impressive, the third a beautiful par three and the fourth was a second stunning hole played down from a mammoth dune to the valley below and back into some smaller dunes at the end. I wondered what the fuss was other than the fact that the greens were at best 3,000 sq.ft.

The remainder of the nine worked pretty well although the routing could have easily been slightly different and eliminated the large walk from the 7th to 8th tees. The back to back par fives that followed worked well although one of them really should have been a long four making them feel different from each other.

The one thing I could not get my head around was the scale of architecture. The greens were so tiny and the bunkers were the smallest little “circular” bunkers that they were lost amid dunes. Even bigger was the issue of the greens being that small and presenting an almost impossible target

The 7th hole
The back nine was another story. The entire nine holes plays through the most extreme area of dunes and it felt like Trent had often sacrificed a potentially better routing to have the two finishing holes on the coast. The routing was often awkward, it had safety issues and almost every shot was an all or nothing proposition. Each player we talked to said the course was way too hard.

The issue with the Cashen is the scale. The scale of the dunes meant finding a routing was tough, although I’m fully convinced if he did not return nines and stayed out in the lesser dunes at the end of the site it would have been a much. The secondary issue was Trent’s inability to offer architecture that was appropriate for the scale and severity of the site.

I think Cashen was a huge miss on a great, but tough, site

1 comment:

  1. Ian - Do you think the site could allow for greens of a much larger scale?

    I felt as though the green surrounds could have been tied into the greens a little more to increase the 'target' areas. Would you agree?