The location is wonderful with sea, and a vista out to the Isle of Man, on one side and Black Combe looming large on the inland flank. It’s a fine setting for golf, especially in an evening when you get to see the sun set.
The course – which was established in 1903 - was omitted from the “True Links” book which details the world’s definitive links courses and it will take a more knowledgeable person on geology than me to say if it should have be included but there are certainly courses in the book that I have played which play less linksy. The turf is not hard, compact and overly sandy as you might hope for but there is a springy, firmness to it and the ground game can be played; I’d personally class it as an upland links.
Most of the holes are fairly flat with minimal movement although furrows can be found on some fairways and the greens do have some modest slopes to keep interest levels up.
If it isn’t great golf at Silecroft it certainly isn’t poor. Most of the holes are no-nonsense, straight-away ones with green complexes merging directly from the fairways where a bump and run is the shot of choice for most approaches.
The third is a par three and of particular note due to the fact it is located between no less than ten greenside bunkers whilst the next makes excellent use of out-of-bounds as we head away from the beach.
The fourth, as well as a couple of other tee locations on the early holes are dreamy on a nice day, which I was fortunate enough to enjoy. Another hole of note is the fifth which has a three-tier fallaway green.
Par is 69 from the white tees (68 from the yellows) and the yardage reaches 5,942 at its maximum. There are two sets of tees for each nine.
I included Silecroft in a four-day visit to Cumbria in late-October and whilst it is hard to recommend going out of your way to play here from afar it was a perfect second round after a game at Seascale, located around a half-hour drive up the coast, when daylight was at a premium.
The modest green-fee, paid into an honesty box if the clubhouse is closed, was worthy of the scenic walk along the cliff-tops and the splendid views; from the vast beach running the length of the course to the beauty of the Cumbrian hills.
Copt Heath is a very fine parkland golf course that requires precision, plotting and a deft touch around the slick greens.
The Blue is a mix of American-style design and traditional English parkland. It's an unusual combination which makes the most of the terrain available. It was designed by Simon Gidman and opened in 1994.