Destination Golf Ireland 2018 * - Page 148

North West Farnham Estate A parkland of sweeping variety and landscapes, which drifts lazily around the impressive Radisson hotel at the heart of this plush resort. Farnham was designed by Jeff Howes and opened in 2009. The opening nine holes stretch over a hillside and then around it, enjoying acres of space. There are several water features (the 2nd and 4th are beauties) and deep swathes of rough are to be avoided. The back nine take you up into the forest where the tree corridors present a very different challenge. Holes finally break free on the far side… with the par five 18th sweeping around a lake, below the hotel. Rosapenna (Old Tom Morris) When you adorn a course with the name of one of the game’s most legendary figures it will bristle with a certain ageless aura. Today’s course combines Old Tom Morris with new Pat… a new nine holes designed by Pat Ruddy were opened in 2009, and form the front nine, away from the sea. The dunes are bumpy and low allowing Ruddy to create plenty of deception, especially on green approaches. Old Tom’s classic holes (with a sprinkling of Braid and Vardon) snuggle up to Sheep Haven Bay, behind the resort’s hotel. They are so natural and they use the landscape to perfection… it promises a quirk or two. 146 North West Links subtlety and ingenuity might be the only words you need to sum up this gem on the Inishowen peninsula. Nearby Ballyliffin may receive all the plaudits but North West has something different and special in its make-up… and that dates back to a bygone age of golf course design, as 2016 saw the club celebrating 125 years. The terrain here is low and bumpy… idiosyncratic and unpredictable… and perfect for what links golf is all about. Use your brain and you can play well here, but given the occasional invisible hollow and semi- blind approach, not to mention the speed and natural undulations to greens, you need to play sharp gol