Destination Golf Ireland 2018 * - Page 11

Par-4 6th - Rosapenna’s Sandy Hills. The fabulous par-4 16th at Enniscrone (Pic: Mount Falcon). Carne’s signature par-3 16th from an elevated tee (Pic: Carne Golf Links). Ballyliffin Golf Club - County Donegal. A remarkable 36 holes meander through this most beguiling of links land, with rocky outcrops, perfect greens and enchanting views of the coast. Designed principally by Mother Nature (with some tweaks by Sir Nick Faldo), the classic Old Links undulates in the glory of its natural terrain. The rippling fairways give the course a unique character, and its the type of place where you can imagine the golfing forefathers striding along the sheep-cropped turf with their hickory clubs. The more recent Glashedy Links is fashioned around the incredible dunes on higher ground above and beyond the Old Links, offering stunning views as you play. After kicking off with a trio of long par-4’s the challenges never let up – making it a worthy venue for the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in early July. Rosapenna Golf Links - County Donegal. Way up in the north- west corner of Ireland, the hands of the golfing greats have shaped and moulded the links at Rosapenna, one of the oldest in the country. Old Tom Morris laid out the original course in 1893, and over a century later came the equally inspiring18holes of Sandy Hills designed by Pat Ruddy. Sandy Hills is a course of gargantuan proportions that bobs and weaves its way through mammoth sand dunes, with spectacular elevated tees, clearly visible landing areas and large greens. A statue of Old Tom Morris who must have seen it all before, watches on as you tee off on the par-5 opener. A standout hole is the par-4 6th, where you drive over a crest then look down at the emerald green below and a stunning panorama of Muckish Mountain, Sheephaven Bay and the golden beach of Tramore. A golfer at Carne Golf Links. Enniscrone Golf Club - County Sligo. Enniscrone started life as a modest nine-holer in 1918, but it was the prolific Irish designer, Eddie Hackett, who put the place on the map when he extended the layout to eighteen in the mid-1970s. Then, a few years back, Donald Steel visualised another six holes in the dune range and built three others, enabling the club to spread its wings to 27 holes. The scenery of the main championship course, appropriately called The Dunes is second to none. Twelve of the holes wind and twist their way through a maze of the tallest and shaggiest dunes land on the coast, where a sense of isolation and tranquility surrounds you, along with the tall marram grass rough. One hole that will etch itself in the memory is the mountainous 350-yards par-4 13th, called The Burrows, which is like teeing off the summit of Everest with the green nestled down at base camp below. Carne Golf Links - County Mayo. The special charm of Carne lies in the journey required to get there, plus its remote location in magnificent sand dunes overlooking Blacksod Bay and the wild Atlantic Ocean near the town of Belmullet. “If ever the Lord intended land for a golf course, Carne has it,” so said the late Eddie Hackett, who laid out the course in the early 1990s. This was his final links layout, and it is now believed by many who have played it to be his greatest challenge. Carne finishes with a great trio of holes – the par-3 16th drops steeply from an elevated tee to a green encircled by dunes, and the challenging par-4 17th and par-5 18th are a memorable finale to this rugged links that has a lasting impression on all that play it. Complementing Hackett’s original eighteen is the recently created nine-hole 9