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HOME AT FIRST's

GOLF COURSES IN—

— Golfing Gems on the Emerald Isle —

 

Enniscrone Golf Club

 ENNISCRONE, COUNTY SLIGO, IRELAND
Photos courtesy Enniscrone Golf Club

Enniscrone is rated #13 on Golf Digest Ireland's List of Top 100 Irish Courses.

ENNISCRONE Golf Club  A classic Irish links with 27 holes, Enniscrone is set on 400 acres of sandy waste land jutting into Killala Bay 30 miles west of Sligo town in the western extreme of County Sligo near the border with County Mayo in Northwestern Ireland. The rolling sand dunes that separate the sea from the course form the perimeter and shape the character of this magnificent links, which is playable year round. Its location — on the Bartragh Peninsula, with grand views of the Ox Mountains extending across Counties Mayo and Sligo, and the untamed Atlantic Ocean rolling without interruption from North America — makes the Enniscrone links not only challenging, but also quite scenic (bring your camera!).

E

nniscrone Golf Club occupies the prime dunes land of the rugged Bartragh Peninsula where

the mouth of River Moy empties into Killala Bay, an eddy of the wild North Atlantic Ocean. Twenty-seven links holes have been carved into the property. The original 1918 9-hole track was expanded to a challenging 18-hole course by architect Eddie Hackett in 1974. At the turn of the 21st century Donald Steel was brought in to redesign the course, and Enniscrone's 18-hole championship Dunes Links gained six new hilly dunes holes and a "new" 9-hole Scurmore Course

The Bartragh Peninsula -- the ideal dunes land for Enniscrone Golf Club.
The Bartragh Peninsula IN FAR WESTERN COUNTY SLIGO —
the ideal dunes land for Enniscrone Golf Club.

Photo courtesy Enniscrone Golf Club.

took over six original holes in the

 

peninsular flats and added three new holes to complete the evolution of one of Ireland's least known great championship links courses.


 

ENNISCRONE Golf Club

 

LOCATION:
      ENNISCRONE Golf Club
      Enniscrone, County Sligo, Ireland
      Tel: (+353) (0) 96 36297
      Fax: (+353) (0) 96 36657
      e-mail:
enniscronegolf@eircom.net
      WEBSITE

 

Visitors Welcome:
      • No handicap certification or proof of club membership required.
      • Advance tee times required.
      • Courses Open & Playable Year Round.

 

LENGTH & PAR: Dunes Course - 18 Holes, Par 73
     • Blue Championship Tees: 7,033 yards, Par 73, SSS 75
     • White Tees: 6,814 yards, Par 73, SSS 74
     • Yellow Tees: 6,530 yards, Par 73, SSS 72
     • Green Tees: 6,372 yards, Par 73, SSS 71
     • Red Ladies' Tees: 5,634 yards, Par 73, SSS 72

 

GREENS FEES Mid-March through October:

     • 18-Hole Championship Dunes Course (Mo-Fr): €60/18-holes.
     • 18-Hole Championship Dunes Course (Sa-Su): €70/18-holes.
     • 9-Hole Scurmore Course (daily): €20/9-holes; €30/18-holes.
       
Currency Converter
 

FACILITIES:

• Golf Cart (Buggy): €35/round; reserve in advance.
• Pull Cart (Trolley):
€3.

• Club Rental: Yes — reserve in advance.
• Caddies available on request:
€40/senior caddy; €35/junior caddy;
   €15/player for a fore-caddy. Request in advance.
• Practice Putting Green.
• Practice Pitching Green.
• Practice Areas.
• Clubhouse with Restaurant & Bar.
• Visitors' Lockers, showers, towels.
• Pro Shop

 

BOOKING OF TEE TIMES (required in advance):
    Tel: (+353) (0)
96 36297
    Fax: (+353) (0) 96 36657
    E-mail:
enniscronegolf@eircom.net
    ON-LINE —
Credit Card information necessary to hold booking. 25% of greens fee
               charged to your credit card to secure your tee-time booking.
    NOTE: Booking On-Line for The Dunes Course reduces greens fees €10/round.
    CANCELLATIONS & NO-SHOWS: Cancellations without penalty of existing
               bookings outside of 28 days prior to play. Cancellations within 28 days of
               play suffer a 25% green fee penalty charge (loss of deposit). No-shows
               (without notice of cancellation) are penalized 100% of greens fees.

    Let HOME AT FIRST make your tee-time reservations at Enniscrone Golf Club
    as part of your next trip to Ireland. There is no service fee for this service!

 

DIRECTIONS: The course is just off the R297, Enniscrone road, 1/4 mile west of
         Enniscrone (aka Inishcrone) town. Ballina (County Mayo) is 8 miles south. Sligo
         (county town of County Sligo) 33 miles east. Ireland West Airport at Knock,
         County Mayo, is 34 miles southeast.

    NEAREST HOME AT FIRST LODGINGS: In Northwestern Ireland just north of
         the Rosses Point Peninsula and west of the village of Carney approximately
         75 minutes east of the course. Also in County Donegal about 130 minutes
         northeast of the course.

OTHER REGIONAL COURSES OF NOTE:
      • County Sligo (Rosses Point): County Sligo, tough, scenic peninsular course
        near Sligo town, 65 minutes east of Enniscrone. Rated #11 on Golf Digest
        Ireland
's "2012 Top 100 Irish Golf Courses".
      • Carne Golf Links, Belmullet, far northwestern County Mayo, about 90 minutes
        west of Enniscrone. Eddie Hackett's last course design, and one of his best.
      • Connemara G.C., Ballyconneely, far western County Galway, about  2 hours
        southwest of Enniscrone. Another splendid Eddie Hackett 27-hole links course.
      • Bundoran: quality, historic Harry Vardon links 20 miles north of Rosses Point
        on Rt. 15 in Bundoran, County Donegal.
      • Donegal (Murvagh): Long, scenic, and, especially when windy, difficult links 5
         miles south of Donegal town on the Murvagh Peninsula in County Donegal 45
         minutes north of Rosses Point. An Eddie Hackett masterpiece rated #16 on Golf
         Digest Ireland
's "2012 Top 100 Irish Golf Courses".


 

H

ISTORY: Golf has been played on the dunes at Enniscrone since 1918. The original 9-hole links at Enniscrone was expanded in 1974 when minimalist
Irish architect Eddie Hackett designed a 18-hole
links across the rugged dunelands. Like all of

The late Eddie Hackett, course designer of Enniscrone G.C. With Eddie, ess was always more. Photo courtesy Donegal Golf Club.
EDDIE HACKETT.
Photo courtesy Donegal Golf Club.

Hackett’s low-cost designs (including the wonderful links courses at Murvagh and Connemara, and the parkland course at Nenagh) the resulting championship course at Enniscrone offers a challenging array of interesting holes that requires a full bag of clubs to negotiate.
        A modest, religious man, Hackett, interviewed shortly before his death in 1996 for the book Links of Heaven (by Richard Phinney and Scott Whitley, Baltray Books, Ogdensburg, NY) said, "I’ve been very lucky in my life. Most people never get to design a links. I’ve done ten. When I’m

out (on the course) I pray to the Lord to give me the light

 

to do what’s right."
        The Lord apparently heard Hackett’s prayer when he was stepping off the 18 holes at Enniscrone. Its meager cost to the club belies the quality of the resulting course. Played from the back blue tees, Enniscrone deserves its championship moniker. From the whites, yellows, and the forward greens and reds the course modifies its configuration appropriately for shorter hitters, but still requires shot making in conditions often tight, usually windy, and always rolling. Typical of an Eddie Hackett course, Enniscrone offers numerous elevated tees to show off the grand peninsular geography, and, perhaps, distract the golfer from the task at hand. Another Hackett signature are the four exquisite par-3’s on Enniscrone, which serve to reinforce the idea that links golf is not about length, but all about shot making.
        In the years since we last visited Enniscrone, the course has changed again — and not simply tinkered with. When we heard that fully 1/3 of the course had been replaced with six new holes, we feared the worst. Old Eddie was barely cold in the ground when Enniscrone retired Hackett’s first six holes — using them as part of a new 9-hole links course ("Scurmore") — and replaced them with six new holes carved among more rugged undeveloped dunes on the peninsula. We feared the ambitions of little-known Enniscrone town to become northwestern Ireland’s leading entry in the proverbial "best new seaside resort" fixation in the British Isles would convert Hackett’s sublime vision of a course that fit the site nobly to a new-fangled gimmicky golf amusement park. Then we heard that Donald Steel was to design the new holes.
        Steel, if you don’t know, is a Scottish golf architect with a penchant for links courses, and a philosophy for minimal environmental intrusion that would have done old Eddie Hackett proud. Steel’s been lauded for his design of the Carnegie Castle links course at Skibo Castle near Dornoch, Scotland. He’s also directed redesigns at Turnberry (Scotland) and Royal County Down (Ireland), and serves as a design consultant for the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. Donald Steel’s six new holes among the dunes of Enniscrone, eliminate what had been the weakest part of Hackett’s design and compliment the final twelve of the course, Hackett’s best work. The resulting revision, now called "The Dunes" course, can rightfully be called new and improved.


 

THE COURSE & SOME NOTABLE HOLES

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 3rd HOLE 'DEVLIN', PAR 3, 208 YDS, #16 HANDICAP

D

ESPITE the fact that Enniscrone has hosted the Men's and Ladies' Irish Close and the West of Ireland Championship, the course remains one of Ireland’s least known great links courses. The course features three par-5’s in the first seven holes (and 5 par-5’s overall). While these can be very challenging in

rough weather, the first classic holes are two new back-to-back par-4’s: the 450-yard-long 5th (#2 handicap) and the 424-yard-long 6th (#4 handicap). A high tee at the par-4 10th (#5 handicap) with views over Killala Bay and the Ox Mountains kicks off the back nine dramatically. Enniscrone's great finishing holes begin with the punishing par-4 12th (#3 handicap). Number 14 (542 yards) is Enniscrone’s most difficult par-5 (#7 handicap), with a green sloping away from the approach. The toughest hole on the course is the par-4 15th with a 3-level green following 421 yards through sharply undulating dunes. Even the "easier" holes leave no margin for error, like the tight 149-yard, par-3 17th (#17 handicap) which requires a shot toward the ocean from an elevated tee to a tiny green. What follows is a glimpse of these seven challenging holes, but, flatly, every hole is a new adventure now at the "new and improved" Enniscrone.

#5 – 'Ox Mountains'

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 5th HOLE: PAR 4, 450 YDS, #2 HANDICAP
Two precise shots are required to reach and hold a green protected with chasm-like bunkers.


#6 – 'Carrowgarry'

 

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 6th HOLE PAR 4, 424 YDS, #4 HANDICAP
Before considering the approach to the elevated green, deep fairway bunkers lie in wait.


#10 – 'Moy'

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 10th HOLE PAR 4, 359 YDS, #5 HANDICAP
Don't let the view distract you — dangerous bunkers lurk in the fairway and by the green.


#12 – 'Cnoc na gCorp'

 

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 12th HOLE PAR 4, 345 YDS, #3 HANDICAP
Not long, but tight. Be precise here or pay serious consequences for missing the fairway or green.


#14 – 'Valley of Diamonds'

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 14th HOLE PAR 5, 542 YDS, #7 HANDICAP
While not the longest of the five par-5s, par at #14 requires a finer degree of accuracy.


#15 – 'The Strand'

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 15th HOLE PAR 4, 421 YDS, #1 HANDICAP
Length, a sloping green, and openness to Atlantic winds make #15 the toughest hole at Enniscrone.


#17 – 'White Horses'

 

ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB 17th HOLE PAR 3, 149 YDS, #17 HANDICAP
A short par-3 made intimidating by a tight green and notorious ocean headwinds.


 

T

HE REGION: County Sligo is best known for its favorite son, W. B. (William Butler) Yeats, the Irish poet and playwright whose literary artistry reflected
and inspired Irish nationalism during the first decades of the 20th century.
His gravesite is near Carney just 5 minutes north of Sligo town.

          The region is characterized by dramatic landscapes and seascapes. Villages and towns are few and far between in this underpopulated part of Ireland. Walking the hills, fishing the streams, lakes and sea, shopping for authentic Irish crafts and woolens, pursuing Irish ancestral roots, and playing championship golf linkses are excellent reasons for visiting this part of Ireland.
          Visitors will be impressed by the friendly welcome they receive everywhere in Ireland’s great northwest. Northwestern Ireland is blessed with some of Ireland’s most dramatic scenery where Ireland girds itself against the relentless forces of the Atlantic. Its people are equally hardy, but also welcoming and a little shy. The further north and west you go the more Gaelic you will hear spoken, and the more turf fires you will smell.
          Touring here is the primary activity for visitors, but the region properly draws numerous fishermen and hikers. There’s great seafood on the menu, along with many traditional, local delicacies. For a change of pace, it’s easy to cross into western Northern Ireland from Counties Donegal and Sligo, if only to visit the Belleek Pottery factory near Enniskillen in County Fermanagh.


TRAVELING TO NORTHWESTERN IRELAND TO PLAY GOLF?
Let
HOME AT FIRST make your advance tee-times at Donegal Golf Club and many other Irish golf courses as part of your pre-reserved Irish trip itinerary. HOME AT FIRST offers independent, flexible, fly/drive travel to Ireland and other great golfing destinations in the British Isles. There’s no extra charge for this service.

MORE RESOURCES:
     • Golf in Ireland
    
• Home At First's
IRELAND travel program.

GOLF IN THE BRITISH ISLES
Want to learn about other courses throughout the British Isles
including some of the greatest tests of golf in the world? See our
IRELAND, SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, and WALES
Course Guides for more information.

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