Monday, August 25, 2008

Make the most of Moyola Park

When you play nearby courses and talk to various people in the clubhouse, you’ll always hear various tidbits about the course you’re going to next. Perhaps I wasn’t listening closely enough, because Moyola Park took me completely by surprise. And it hides it all so well, especially as your drive in cuts the 5th in half – it doesn’t look particularly interesting and it is very dangerous to vehicles, as golfers can’t see the road from the tee box.

But Moyola Park is a serious estate parkland course. Huge trees are everywhere and the River Moyola has a beautiful, wide darkness to it as it fronts the 8th hole which is set in a beautiful arboretum. The river appears again on one of the prettiest par threes around – the 17th – a downhill hole that demands at least a couple of tee shots, purely for the thrill of it. You then have a long walk to the 18th – coincidentally, back past the 8th green and over the bridge – and there are few of these walks. I’m always amused at how golfers grab onto something this and milk it for all its worth. Ask someone to describe Rathsallagh and almost the first thing they say is that there are long walks from green to tee – yet there are only two, and compared with Moyola Park they’re a short stroll. If you’re walking the best part of five or six miles around a golf course surely an extra few yards isn’t going to hurt. And if it does hurt, don’t come here. All that will happen is that you will miss a beautiful parkland course.

The day after my visit was the Captain’s Prize – it was the second attempt after the terrible rains. Dunmurry, which I played a few weeks back, took four attempts, and it is a common complaint at the moment. It seems to be almost guaranteed that if you want to play golf in Ireland in August, you’re going to get wet. And with locker room towels at Moyola Park costing £4.50, you might want to make sure that you bring your own.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kevin, looking forward to reading your piece on Castlerock. Hope you mention the cough syrup you tried from Tommy!!
    The guys who played with you enjoyed your company. Any other time you are in Castlerock of a Sunday morning you will be more than welcome to join the Early Birds Golf Society.
    Cheers. Gordon Patterson, the tall one with the receding hairline!!