Destination Golf Ireland 2018 * - Page 59

Courtown K Club (Smurfit) The K Club Smurfit course opened in 2003. Like its sibling, it was designed by Arnold Palmer, with the aim of offering a very different experience to the Ryder Cup course. The Smurfit is a shapely beast with huge shoulders of earth creating channels to play through. And water is a frequent visitor especially on the strong back nine. The cliff and lake that dominate the 7th hole are an intriguing (man-made) feature… but it is the final six holes that will tempt you and test you most. The par five 18th requires at least two excellent shots over water. The course has its own entrance and impressive clubhouse, and considerable investment in the past two years has enhanced playing conditions. Courtown The sunny south-east is a popular holiday haunt and Courtown Golf Club certainly blossoms during the summer, but this 80 year old parkland offers smart and enjoyable golf all year round. The course roams over lilting, tree-lined terrain with several delicious drives at fairways below or over crests. From a couple of them the proximity of the sea is abundantly clear. The trees squeeze in and out, presenting different challenges, and for every hole where you have room you’ll find another where accuracy is paramount. Combined with some short par fours this is why it is so much fun to play. The greens are good, two of the par fives offer good birdie opportunities, and the par threes are excellent. Dunmurry Springs The Smurfit is a shapely beast with huge shoulders of earth creating channels to play through. Dunmurry Springs opened in 2005. Holes stretch over a hillside and down to the clubhouse, where more level terrain is drenched by water features. It is a lovely mix and the recent re-routing has kept climbs to a minimum. It is also maturing well with trees structuring holes and stunning green complexes providing vibrant targets. Views fall across seven counties from the top of the course and from here there are some glorious tee shots over the mountain backdrops. It is not a long course (par 71, 6,068 yards, white tees) but that doesn’t mean it won’t fool you… you need to think strategically to score well. 57