Destination Golf Ireland 2019 * - Page 121

Oughterard Castlebar If you like to think your way around a golf course, then Castlebar is just the ticket. With a par of 71 and a length of 5,555 metres (middle tees), this is a course big hitters may feel they can take apart. That won’t happen. This is a tidy, often tight, undulating, tree-lined parkland just outside Castlebar town. Water features prominently, too, so tackling the greens requires smart positioning off the tee. Eighteen new greens were added in 2001, taking Castlebar to a whole new level, with putting surfaces and shapes described in glowing terms by all who have experienced them. New holes are under construction. Athenry A strong country parkland moving easily between the trees and into a woodland setting for several holes. This is country golf at its finest, with good maintenance, nice flourishes and one good hole after another. The 1st hole skirts a fairy ring while the par three 12th hits alongside a desolate, broken wood. There are no elevation changes so it is left to the trees and gently curling fairways to challenge you.The course can play short so be sure to play it from the back tees for the full experience – 5,859 metres, par 70. A comfortable clubhouse awaits your return. Gort Gort embraces 160 acres of bumpy, tossing, Co. Clare countryside. Some holes have big changes in elevation while others are far more gentle, but the course can change its shape within a few yards. It keeps you on your toes as these holes combine some tricky doglegs, blind drives, ponds and four very good par threes. The course opened in 1996 and was designed by Christy O’Connor Jr. The shapeliness of the landscape was ideal for him and he has created a course which will entertain all levels of golfers. The views stretch in every direction, including to the Slieve Aughty mountains and hills of Clare. Oughterard Oughterard has two things that make it stand out: the greens are large and beautifully shaped (thanks to new ones built at the end of the 1990s); and eight par fours fall between 370 and 400 metres, from the middle white tees… making Oughterard quite the test. The par of 70 stretches to 5,876 metres. The real fun comes on the approach shots through avenues of trees to raised and inviting greens. They promise deliciously tempting shots. There is only one significant dogleg and it’s the double dogleg par five 8th… which also happens to be the best hole on the course. 119