I played The Dunes Course at Barnbougle the day after Lost Farm, a course which was an absolute revelation. So it was was with great curiosity our round began.
The course design was handled by former tour player Mike (I fell on my ball) Clayton and design master Tom Doak, and right from the outset questions were asked....
Hole 1. A gentle opener, sloping left to right eases you into the round, the ideal approach is from the left, the bail out is right but the angle is less appealing. Cracker.
Hole 2: A pretty par 4 with bunkers pinching at driving distance, cool green, I missed right and banked my chip down to the hole - I was in golf heaven.
Hole 3: Risk reward is everywhere, but the throat to the green is very narrow, a lay-up is wise and the green tiny.
Hole 4: Could be one of my favorite holes anywhere, its all in from of you, the chance to be a hero, or play safe, only you can decide. the punchbowl green is a delight, oh for a twilight 2 hours here chipping and putting around!
Hole 5: Starts a run of holes in similar direction that takes you all the way through to the 11th. A long downhill par 3 that gives you a bank in from the left, the right side of the green is hidden by a massive dune. The walk from tee to green is about as good as it gets.
Hole 6: This fairway snakes right to left and back the other way, a fascinating hole with danger at every turn.
Hole 7: Hands down the best 100m hole I have seen, you almost have to hook your gap wedge to get close, play safe and stay short right to avoid a big number.
Hole 8: A split fairway make you unsure from the tee, but you can be certain - this is a man size golf hole, it will take your best to make par here, you cold put this hole on any course on earth and it would shine.
Hole 9: A generous fairway flows over what seems like a rumpled carpet, undulations are everywhere, the green is deceptive, and cold drink await at the turn.
Hole 10: A flat fairway turns uphill as you reach the green, there is no shortcut here, a solid 2nd is required and the green is steep.
Hole 11: This reachable 5 shot hole has a generous driving area, the fairway dips into a massive hollow, this is a difficult place to find yourself as the approach now becomes blind (with the green running away).
Hole 12: A very cool short four that requires accuracy and bravery in equal doses, what a hole, our group made 4, 6, 6, 6!
Hole 13: The hilliest green on the course keeps things interesting, the green sits between 3 dunes, hit a good shot and the ball will feed toward the hole.
Hole 14: This 5 par is reachable, but beware the left and the hilly green.
Hole 15: Conservative off the tee and aggressive on the approach is the plan here, don't miss the green left, the ball will race away down the hill and probably not end up on shorts grass.
Hole 16: The last of a stunning set on 3's, the green slopes hard from left to right, use the slope but don'
t get caught on the high side!
Hole 17: A stunner of a par 4, following the beach left to right with a raised green, once gain the designers ask the question - how good are you, how much can you bite off here. (Below)
Hole 18: Beware the left (and the right), this long raking hole is a tough finale.
Verdict: Leave me here in heaven!