ENNISCRONE GOLF CLUB
Enniscrone, County Sligo, Ireland
Enniscrone Golf Club
Enniscrone, County Sligo,
Tel: +353 (0)96 36297
Fax: +353 (0)96 36657
Web site: http://www.enniscronegolf.com
Enniscrone has 27 holes, is ranked #20 in Ireland, and, in 2002, was added to Golf
Worlds Top 100 courses outside the US. Enniscrone is a classic Irish links. Set on
sandy wasteland jutting into Killala Bay, 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 locationon 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 Americamakes the Enniscrone
links not only challenging, but also quite scenic (bring your camera!).
& PAR of the Championship "Dunes" Course:
Blue Tees: Par 73, 6,948
White Tees: Par 73, 6,814
Green Tees: Par 73, 6,372
50 Mo-Fr; 65 Sa-Su & Holidays
Husband & Wife:
75 Mo-Fr; 85 Sa-Su & Holidays
25 Mo-Fr; 30 Sa-Su & Holidays
VISITORS WELCOME: No
Course open all year
Weekdays (Mo-Fr) better than weekends
Pre-arranged tee-times strongly recommended
Tel: +353 (0)96 36297
Fax: +353 (0)96 36657
LET HOME AT FIRST BOOK YOUR TEE-TIME AT ENNISCRONE as part of your Ireland travel plans.
There is no service charge for
making your booking.
Practice Area & Putting Green
Motorized cart (buggy) rental
Caddies available weekends & summer months
Bar & Restaurant
off the R297, Enniscrone road, just
west of Enniscrone (Inishcrone) town (1/4 mi.); Ballina (Co. Mayo) 8 mi. south; Sligo
(county town of Co. Sligo) 33 mi. east; 34 mi. from Horan Int. Airport (Knock); 33 mi.
from Sligo regional Airport.
NEAREST HOME AT FIRST
LODGINGS: In and near
Sligo Town, 45 minutes east.
More information about HOME AT FIRST's travel program to Counties Sligo & Donegal:
Sligo (Rosses Point) G.C., just north of Sligo town
Ballyconneely, Co. Galway
Carne Golf Links,
Belmullet, Co. Mayo.
Bundoran, Co. Donegal
Donegal Golf Club, Murvagh, Laghey, Co. Donegal
HISTORY: 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
Hacketts low-cost designs (including the wonderful links courses at Murvagh and
Connemarra, 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, "Ive been very lucky in
my life. Most people never get to design a links. Ive done ten. When Im out
(on the course) I pray to the Lord to give me the light to do whats right."
The Lord apparently heard Hacketts 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 backs, Enniscrone deserves its
championship moniker. From the whites and the forward greens 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-3s 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 againand 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 Hacketts first six
holesusing 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
Irelands leading entry in the proverbial "best new seaside resort"
fixation in the British Isles would convert Hacketts 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 dont 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. Steels been
lauded for his design of the Carnegie Castle links course at Skibo Castle near Dornoch,
Scotland. Hes 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 Steels six new holes among the dunes of Enniscrone, eliminate what
had been the weakest part of Hacketts design and compliment the final twelve of the
course, Hacketts best work. The resulting revision, now called "The Dunes"
course, can rightfully be called new and improved.
THE COURSE AND SOME NOTABLE
HOLES: Despite the fact that Enniscrone has
hosted the Men's and Ladies' Irish Close and the West of Ireland Championship, the course
remains one of Irelands great unknown links courses. The course features three
par-5s in the first seven holes (and 5 par-5s overall). While these can be
very challenging in rough weather, the first classic holes are two new back-to-back
par-4s: 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 Enniscrones
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 140-yard, par-3 17th (#17 handicap) which requires a shot toward the
ocean from an elevated tee to a tiny green. Flatly, every hole is a new adventure now at
the "new and improved" Enniscrone. Here are a couple of the "easier"
HOLE 3, "Devlin",
208 yards, Par 3, #16 handicap: a testing
par-3 with a narrow, bumpy approach and a deep greenside bunker. An accurate drive here
can reward you with a birdie opportunity, but the rough, moguls, and the big, bad bunker
can steal your luck here.
HOLE 13, "The
Burrows", 350 yards, Par 4, #13 handicap: Neither long nor especially hazardous, the 13th at Enniscrone can provide a
birdie opportunity with two accurate shots. But, if just one goes astray, there will be a
struggle to make par here.
ACTIVITIES: 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
Irelands great northwest.
at First offers independent, flexible, fly/drive travel
to four regions of Ireland. Plan your own trip, with our expert
For information on Home at First travel to Ireland,
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