|View of the 18th green from the clubhouse deck|
And three golfers were about to find out how wonderful it is.
“Excellent clubhouse and warm up area,” noted Jonathan, a sentiment echoed by Mark, who spent a good 30 minutes using the driving range and chipping greens before our tee time. “The practice range is very good, and it’s a lovely clubhouse,” he said of the building with its famous thatched roof.
|The short par four 9th - one of the holes where an iron is the sensible play.|
“I like it for its variation,” said Jonathan. “There are narrow fairways and wide fairways, so it has a very broad scope of interest.”
|Jonathan's drive on the short par five 8th - you can see his ball in the tree-line. |
It was our best hole of the day: 2 birdies, 1 par, 1 bogey.
Mark pointed to the par threes. “They’re not all the same yardages, and every green was smooth and true.”
There are also downsides to being new. “It’s still a bit ‘young’ looking and a bit open around holes 1, 2, 3 and 10 and 11,” Conor suggested, “but it’s improving.”
|Conor, Mark and Jonathan on the par three 14th tee (green behind)|
|Mark hits in to the 12th, with its nest of bunkers |
(the clubhouse is blow and to the right).
“Many of the approaches were varied, so it made me think. I probably used every club in the bag,” Jonathan said. Conor added, “shots are very varied and despite a lot of short holes there’s plenty of trouble. Sensible play is rewarded.”
|View from inside the lift, out over the 17th green.|
The other and far more pertinent reason why golfers visit this quiet part of the world is the stunning finishing stretch of holes.
“Holes 14 to 18 are a great finishing stretch,” Mark enthused. “They’re tight but rewarding holes.” The 15th would be regarded as Bunclody’s signature hole, and it was the hole highlighted by Conor. “A great tee shot,” he said, despite stuffing it left into tough rough. His recovery was a moment of brilliance and followed by a superb up and down from the back bunker for par. [Watch the video of his bunker shot]
|The guys on the 'green' tee of the spectacular 15th. |
They're looking down on the 16th beside the river.
For Conor, an even better way to end the round was winning the Titleist ProV1, with 37 points, which included a scratch on the last. "I'll be too nervous to play with it now."
When asked for final comments, Mark pointed to the incredible views, Conor joked about his missed eagle chance on 8, adding that Bunclody is under-rated, while Jonathan summed it up best:
“It’s a hidden gem and definitely great value for money.”
Conor's Drive on 12
Mark's Approach on 11
Conor's Bunker Shot on 15
Jonathan Tees off on the par three 7th
Mark chips in to the 15th green
Mark blows a raspberry on the 4th green