This is a place you’ve just gotta play. If you’re looking for a golf adventure you’re unlikely to forget then Barnbougle Dunes will do the trick.
From the moment I arrived it was like being transported back to Scotland. Windswept coastline, misty rain and links golf that’s hard to find anywhere else. I was hooked from my first look (I arrived late on Friday and walked a few holes) and it only got better once play commenced.
Here’s a list of what I like about Barnbougle Dunes:
- The golf course is amazing. It really is. I love links golf and really think it’s a pure version of the game. All the hazards are on the ground and it challenges you to play the right shot at the right time.
- Although Barnbougle Dunes is a tough golf course it is incredibly fair. The fairways are wide, the greens are at medium pace and the layout gives plenty of options to avoid bunkering and the punishing rough.
- It’s isolated. This adds to the charm. If it was near a big city I think this golf course would be over run. Because it’s a little bit difficult to get to it attracts real golf enthusiasts, not those playing it for the wrong reasons.
- It’s challenging. From the back tees and with a little wind this course will throw more than enough at you to keep you interested. I don’t think I’ve played a more challenging and fun golf course
- Speaking of fun, there are so many shots that are exciting to play. There’s short par fours that you can drive (downwind of course), little par threes and lots of shots that you can play over rough, sand and dunes. This place really does excite the golfer’s senses.
- The staff are amazing. Everyone is made to feel welcome and they do everything to ensure you enjoy yourself. Nothing is too much trouble and for me the staff make it more than just a great golf course. It’s a fantastic experience.
- Pricing is affordable. Seriously, they could charge a lot more for golf, accommodation and food. But they don’t.
- The place is relaxed. The clubhouse was a hive of excited golfers talking about their adventures. The place was humming each night and there were no stupid dress regulations. Everyone was having a great time and it was good to be there.
- The course is set up for all standards. I played with Clare who enjoyed the course as much as I did. Despite being a 45 handicapper she was able to make some pars and negotiate the course without too much trouble.
- Great practice facilities. Everything you need to work on your game and take in the place when you’re not playing. I particularly like the practice green near the accommodation.
- It’s a walking course. No motorised golf carts in sight.
But beware. The rough is super tough. You’ve got to hit the ball in play otherwise you’ll lose your ball. The rough reminded me of Muirfield, unbelievably penal but it forces you to focus on the fairway and the shot at hand. It’s a great course for automatic golfers. You have to find your mojo early otherwise you’ll lose a dozen balls.
If you’re serious about your golf then Barnbougle Dunes is a must. I wasn’t surprised to find that although it’s only five years old it is already ranked the 35th best course in the world. I think in time it will get even better.
They also have a new course that’s nearly completed. It’s called The Lost Farm and Michael Clayton says it’s even better than the original. From what I’ve seen it looks amazing and will make the trip to Barnbougle even better. It could be the best 36 holes going around.
For those interested, I’m thinking about arranging a “Cam’s Way” get together there later in the year. The idea at the moment is a clinic, golf and discussions over dinner. Let me know if you’re interested.
No matter what you do, get down there and take a look, you won’t be disappointed.
I did take some photos but after visiting the Barnbougle website they have done a much better job than I have. I’ll stick to the golf and let others worry about photography 🙂