It provides a stark contrast to the rollickingly, turbulent terrain of the Old course but there are some delightful micro undulations and it holds its own as a sound links golf course in its own right albeit flatter and more basic in design.
Rumour has it that Christy O’Connor used to practice here because the ground contours were so good. I’d take that with a pinch of salt but you certainly get the gist.
The Castle links is located on the other side of the road from the main course but does have its own car park and close by the excellent short game facilities. It came about in the 1970s and was designed by John Harris.
The opening hole is a gentle par four and a nice introduction to what lies ahead with some subtle movement in the land.
The next two holes, both par threes, feel a little awkward as we immediately return to the clubhouse and then head away once again. These two holes do not add much to the course but from here on there is some solid golf with the 5th and 7th the pick of the bunch on the outward half. The latter of which has a green sited right next to the remains of Dough Castle.
The 8th has a splendid heroic drive, over a burn which rears its head several times during the round, and the ninth has perhaps the best ground contours of all the holes at this delicious par five.
The back nine is not quite as strong but the 10th, 11th and 13th all contain much interest and the 17th has a very interesting and bumpy fairway.
On the whole the greens do not contain much challenge from a putting perspective but they tie in nicely to the feel of the course.
The yardage for the Castle comes in under 6,000 yards at 5,488 although it doesn't feel to play that short. Par is 71.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to play the course again if I return to Lahinch for a one-day visit but if I was spending a few days in town I would certainly have another round here.