This relatively unsung seaside course has fantastic views of the ocean and the castle ruins, after which the club is named. It runs on a small strip of linksland and a few tricks had to be employed to come up with a decent 18 hole routing. The most controversial is the inclusion of a plateau north of the clubhouse, which the non-descript first hole leads towards. Then holes 2-5 are played on top and the sixth hole comes back down to where the round started. The remaining 12 holes lie south of the clubhouse and are routed in a more conventional out and back loop along the coast. The plateau has some exciting holes and a cracking par 3, but purists will argue that it's not all linksland, although it plays plenty firm and fast. The hike up from the first green to the second tee is also manageable so early in the round, therefore the plateau is simply a unique feature of the course, without which it would not have 18 holes.
There are plenty of short and quirky holes, but the first and the last are brutal in any kind of wind. And around the turn a number of side by side par 4s appear, which seems odd, because that is the fattest part of the site and it might have accommodated a more imaginative routing. But overall the dull moments are very rare, most of the time either the views or the wild green complexes catch the golfer's attention. It's great fun to play this course in the right conditions and if it weren't owned by the National Trust - hardly an organisation with golfing genes - it would surely have a clear path into the very first tier of English courses. As it stands, it's a little rough around the edges and somewhat incoherent, but that could also be considered as part of its charm.