Curra West is an interesting little place, not far from Loughrea. For starters, when I arrived I had no option but to park on a steep slope – the result of which was my waking up the following morning with my face squashed against the front windscreen. Not that comfortable at 6am.
Since it was still daylight when I arrived, I walked around the facilities – you’ll want to wash your hands after walking around the locker room – and realised this is a threadbare type of golf course. There’s nothing fancy and it falls into that ‘farmland’ category that needs to be added officially to ‘links’ and ‘parkland’, and all the rest. There are a growing number of these around the place and if they just stick to the truth about the kind of golf they offer then they’ll do well. Courses like Mount Temple – which firmly falls into this category – really cheese me off because they pretend to be something they’re not. Their claim to be a ‘championship’ course is laughable. Holding the final of the local scouts’ matchplay competition simply doesn’t qualify. I’m being flippant, but it’s a point I’ve raised before and one I still haven’t received a satisfactory answer to: what qualifies a course to claim ‘championship’ status?
Every golfer in Ireland is saying that there are too many courses, but in a way it would be a shame to lose a place like this, because it’s about satisfying the demands of golfers who don’t want the finer quality offered by bigger courses. Nearby is Portumna (to be played), Athenry and Loughrea, and the two former courses are ‘quality’ courses, while Loughrea neatly fits in between. [Photo: the 4th green]
But Curra West has its quirks and amusements, and numerous par threes - it’s a par 67 – so people will have fun. It will be dangerous at busy times though, because it’s tight and also because it will attract golfers who are not exactly in control of their direction.
And all this for just 15 quid.
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