XXXX Monkstown Dundrum House This is such a peaceful estate setting for a golf course with the Multeen River sliding gracefully through the Co. Tipperary landscape. It affects several holes and is a serious water hazard. Big trees dominate and the course’s designer, Philip Walton, did a wonderful job using the natural features to create this impressive par 72 course. It starts calmly, easing you in, but after three lakeland- style holes Dundrum House really begins to hum from the par five 7th on. This is when the river comes in to play and it is a danger on tee shots and approaches alike. One of the undoubted highlights is the tenth, where a stand of three regal oaks dominates the fairway and the river runs along the right hand side. It is a dogleg and Index 2. Clonmel Set in the foothills of the Comeragh Mountains, high above the town, Clonmel is a hillside parkland that embraces its natural charms… just as so many Eddie Hackett courses do. Woods are everywhere and border much of the course, revealing a mountain- scape at one end and views over the River Suir valley at the other. In between are some bumpy fairways, slippery greens and strong changes in elevation. The par three 14th is an exceptional par three, hitting into the heart of a mountain from a high tee, while the 13th is Index 1, with a sharply sloping right-to-left fairway. Expect plenty of entertaining shot-making. 108 Monkstown A fine, mature parkland awaits at Monkstown, just south-east of Cork city and sitting in peaceful surroundings. Trees define holes from the start and as a short course you’ll find those trees prove over-protective time and again. Careful judgement is required off the tee and the best hole on the course – the par four 10th – calls for two razor sharp shots, first through a tricky dogleg in the trees and then to a perched green sitting above water. But this is a gentle, embracing affair and its length makes it fun and accessible for everyone. There’s a modern and plush clubhouse, too. Castletroy This is a quality suburban parkland on the outskirts of Limerick city. It may not have acres of space, but it uses smart design and routing to provide an invigorating test of golf. And, at 6,000 metres, it is longer than you might expect. The 2006 renovations have proved a big success with new bunkering, water features and sparkling new greens elevating the course’s reputation and challenges considerably. Today’s course slides comfortably back and forth between the trees, with some high tee box settings offering terrific tee shots – particularly on the back nine.