It would be interesting to read about your favourite courses (of the 4) and holes.
Firstly, can I just say how much I have enjoyed the threads you have posted on the four courses in your Donegal tour. Thank you. I've really enjoyed reading and pondering them including the various comments made by others. Tours like these are a real highlight of GCA for me so thanks to all who prepare them and post on them.
Right, here goes:
All the courses mentioned were played by me in the dry (phew) and in winds between 2 and 4 clubs in strength but blowing from the opposite direction to the normal prevailing winds so that may alter my perception of some of the holes/courses in comparison to the norm.
Narin & Portnoo – first class course, lots of strong holes, few, if any (2nd maybe?) weak holes. Pretty quirky in parts, especially the holes at the far end of the course. Some blind shots but not excessively so. 8th-9th holes particularly memorable. Very firm and fast, shots made a lovely solid ‘thump’ sound when landing. I can’t really fault the N&P course. Certainly worth a visit for enthusiasts. Shame it’s so out of the way and the roads relatively slow and twisty. Would I play N&P again? For sure.
Rosapenna OTM – The first-9 is good strong golf and I liked it but it was somehow not very memorable. The second-9 is just a delight - the holes and routing just flow together soooo beautifully. Holes 12-15 are a lovely stretch and the 14th is just a cracking par-3. I did notice that the course has no sprinkler system, just manholes and hoses.
Rosapenna Sandy Hills – this is a bit of a re-write of some of my comments above - we played and coped okay in a 2-club wind but I can imagine how in a 3-4-5-club wind or in the rain that SH could be a monster. In such conditions it could be possible for someone to maybe develop a serious 'hate complex' about the course, which would be a shame, as IMO it's a damn fine tough test of golf, shotmaking and course management. I didn't like the new 18th green at all.
Portsalon – I liked the course very much although an exceptionally scenic clubhouse location adds to it’s appeal. The 2nd hole gets all the photogenic glamour - tough hole too, with a maybe an unappreciated green - we played it into a 4 club wind! Initially I thought the more linksie holes were the better holes but after thinking it through a bit more I reckon the last few holes, which are less linksie in character, were very likeable too. Perhaps they make the most of the lesser quality land. Not keen on the newer fairway bunkering style.
If I had 9 rounds to play I think I'd split the rounds like this amongst the four courses above -
N&P & Portsalon - 3 rounds each
OTM - 2 rounds
Sandy Hills - 1 round - I do like it, but jeez, it could play sooo tough - so I'd pick an appropriate day and tee colour depending on the wind/weather conditions
My preference to be a member at - equal between Portsalon and N&P
Most difficult course – Rosapenna Sandy Hills
Quick 9-holes after work/late of an evening – 2nd-9 at Rosapenna OTM
Biggest regrets – not playing the Rosapenna pitch-n-putt course and..........leaving my Ping 1-iron behind!