|Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1961
|Re-released as a free download April 2017. Thanks Mike.
CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.
Fictional, ocean course
Less of a Links course than a heavily-influenced and almost fantastical clifftop excursion, Cara Brae might not be the most realistic of Mike Jones' creations, but by Gods it isn't half compulsive. From the moment you are presented with three options from the first tee, to the do-or-die final stretch with its tiny greens and perilous bunkering, this is in-your-face challenge golf: ideal for matchplay or skins contests. Although the hole design is staggeringly original, though, it doesn't come across as the effortless design of other courses from the same designer.
Amazingly-worked coastline and the gorse planting combine to give an utterly remote location the ultra-realistic edge. Perfect textures and blending, particularly in the trademark bunkers, underpin the whole thing. The clarity and precision of the whole thing is remarkable, but then again do we expect anything more from this designer?
Utterly addictive course. With the variability in wind conditions and pins taken into account, it's virtually impossible to play this course the same way twice. The slightly bare stretch running up to the ninth doesn't quite have the verve of the rest of the course, but once you hit the cheeky 13th, you're on one huge roller-coaster than will sweep you to the end of the course on holes designed with audacity and a range of spectacular views.
If anything, Cara Brae seems to have become tougher over time. There are one or two approaches that border on the unfair, and the heavy rough is difficult work. It's a surprisingly long course, as well, from something that - frankly - could easily handle being 400 yards shorter. Thankfully the bunkers are of the wasteland variety rather than treacherous pot bunkers, but you've your work cut out if you want to break 70 around here.
Technical magnificence is the least we'd expect from Mike Jones. He delivers, as usual.
|An amazingly contrived semi-links course, but maybe 'contrived' is the idea that takes it too far.
|This course is available as a FREE download.
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