Destination Golf Ireland 2018 * - Page 76

St Margaret’s Castleknock Opened in 2006, Castleknock wraps around a stylish clubhouse. The drive in shows off a hotel and several holes. It is a tasty introduction to this new suburban course where holes move over a shapely terrain. As a young course it feels quite open so it is left to the well-placed, attractive bunkers and water features to threaten tee shots and approaches. Greens are often hidden by the swells of the fairway. There are five par fives and five par threes, which keep things interesting, and this is most noticeable on the impressive side-by- side par threes – the 9th and 18th – which hit over a lake to a double green beneath the clubhouse. Corballis Corballis has the honour of being the only public links in Ireland. It lies next door to the mighty Island Golf Club, even sharing some of the same dunes. A par of just 66 (seven par threes and only one par five), this is tremendous fun and great value. It is also an ideal introduction to links golf with all the trials and tribulations that links golf can bring. Stretched along the coastline near Donabate, with views to Howth and Ireland’s Eye, there are several excellent holes here. The new holes (4 to 7), designed by Ron Kirby in 2009, are the most thrilling: two cracking par threes and two short, testing par fours. 74 St Margaret’s It has been a fantastic return to form for one of Dublin’s most enjoyable parklands. St Margaret’s plays over mostly gentle terrain, with mature trees and lakes adding colour and challenges. Where there are changes in elevation they are used to dramatic effect – on the par three 5th particularly – but this is about the easy rhythm and holes curving gently between the ever-present trees to sweet greens. The lakes add tremendously to the heart of the course (holes 7, 8, 12 and 13) and especially on the long Index 2 18th. The par threes are all strong and the facilities are excellent. Balbriggan Balbriggan Golf Club is a rhythmic flowing parkland to the north of Co. Dublin. The course was redeveloped in 2009, by Eddie Connaughton, and the club has benefitted as a result. The water features which come in to play on seven holes have added to the character, but the course has and will always be defined by the strong movements to the land and the dense evergreen corridors, through which the holes sweep. It promises many thrilling shots. The new greens always make attractive targets, especially where the water comes in to play. Enjoy the 1st hole – it is a perfect appetiser for what is to come.