Ladies and Gents... give it up for Chris Lane (aka MAJOR HIGH), who has designed one of the best Countryside (Links) courses in this game so far! In my honest opinion!
This design has a very untouched look and all those (waste) bunkers and the (massive) planting fit so perfect into the undulating landscape. While it is meant to be a Links course, you can not expect a course like you may know it from the UK. That's not it.
Fairways are pretty narrow occasionally, so make sure you concentrate from the Tee. If you miss the fairway, your one and only goal will be to safe Par somehow. The medium firmness of the course will offer quiet a few birdie chances if your game is good, allthough the greens are quiet challenging.
Summary: Royal Blackburn is a true test! But it is fair enough to reward really good shots! This is one of the courses you absolutely have to play at least once!
I was excited to see what Chris would do with an attempt at the Countryside links look. There are some nice holes to this one, especially through the middle portion of the round, but I didn't really get the Links feel throughout the round. The holes along the water, in particular, didn't have a real sense of place to them. They were almost like cliffside river holes in the middle of the countryside.
What I did really like, though, were the big and bold greens. That, to me, is part of what links golf is about, and I liked the chances Chris took on them. I wouldn't say they all worked perfectly, but there were some good ones for sure.