GWEL AN MOR is a new golf course with a difference.

Well, two differences actually.

Firstly, The Famous Nine has been designed to replicate - ready for this - nine famous holes around the world, writes Matt Dixon.

Secondly, the tees and greens are on an all-weather surface, making it the first course of it's kind in the country.

Positioned just inland from towering cliffs near Portreath on the north coast, resort director Bill Haslam has realised his vision, which is part of a £5m investment along with a fishing lake and an indoor play centre.

I was lucky to play the course as part of the grand opening yesterday, teeing off behind three-times Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher OBE, who came to Cornwall to unveil the plaque before playing the unique nine.

"I'm intrigued by the course and I think it ticks all the boxes as far as the problems that golf has at the moment. It seems that people are taking too long to get around the golf course but this is perfect, because people can get round in an hour and a half."

So how realistic are the holes? Sadly, the opening day brought it with some truly appalling Cornish weather. Strong winds and driving rain which would be oft-seen at St Andrew's and Troon, but a rare experience at California's Pebble Beach or Georgia's Augusta.

Hole 1 - 12th hole, Augusta, USA

A 155-yard hole which would usually be a seven-iron for me required a rescue club, such was the severity of the wind. Surprising lack of elevation from tee to green, compared to how it appears on TV

Hole 2 - 18th hole, Carnoustie, Scotland

The approach to the brutal Par 4 is what you're faced with here. Scene of Jean Van de Velde's infamous meltdown in the 1999 British Open.

Hole 3 - 17th hole, St Andrews, Scotland

Perhaps one of the most feared holes - the Road Hole Bunker has even the very best players twitching as they play their approach. At Gwel An Mor, it is just 130-odd yards, but the round-wrecking bunker awaits....

Hole 4 - 17th hole, Pebble Beach, California, USA

I hit a 177-yard six-iron to two foot here, so I loved it. And it was filmed by BBC TV. So there. Lacking the watery backdrop of the real thing, but there was plenty enough water falling from the sky on the day.

Hole 5 - 16th hole, Augusta, USA

This one looks great. Water eating into the front left portion of the two-tiered green. Into wind when I played it, so very much shut your eyes and pray.

Hole 6 - 8th hole, Troon, Scotland

Arguably the best reconstruction on the course. Based on the famous Postage Stamp hole and measuring just 123 yards, it's a little gem. And guess what? I had another two.

Hole 7 - 7th hole, Pebble Beach, California, USA

Short and sweet this one, with bunkers ready to gobble up an errant wedge. 106 yards.

Hole 8 - 18th hole, St Andrews, Scotland

Complete with Swilken Bridge, this leaps out and says St Andrews from the moment you enter the tee

Hole 9 - 17th hole, Sawgrass, Florida, USA

Arguably the most famous of all the Par 3s, with a green entirely surrounded by water. Not at Gwel An Mor though - the designers felt it would be a tad too punitive for fun golfers. Lovely big green, with plenty of swales and hollows.

It would be easy to sniff at the artificial greens, but they really are excellent to putt on. They are quick enough, even when sopping wet, and have enough borrow to keep them interesting. I played with two of the guys who laid the turf and they say the surface will get better, the more it is played on.

It took six of them a total of 67 days to lay the tees and the greens and they have done an exceptional job. There is no suggestion of novelty golf, they are proper holes with greens which command your attention.

One of the beauties of the course is its accessibility. Two competent players could complete the nine in little more than an hour, but equally there are plenty of hazards waiting to trip you up.

Gallacher played with Cornwall's junior champion Simon Hobbs, senior champion Simon Harper and ladies' champion Laura Andrew, watched by a small, hardy number of spectators who made light of the dismal conditions.