Saturday, March 6, 2010


[Photo: the par three 5th, down into the trees at Portumna]

I was asked last week to write a short piece for the UK’s Golf Monthly magazine. What they wanted, they said, was a review of a course that I rated highly but that few people in the UK would have heard of.

Decisions, decisions. There are so many courses to choose from: I have written pieces on Rathcore and Shannon; I have raved about Portarlington and Scrabo; and I have decided that Rosslare is one of the best links never to be mentioned. And I haven’t even started on Northern Ireland yet.
In the end, the course I picked was Portumna in Co. Galway. It wasn’t difficult to write about. In fact, the greatest difficulty was keeping the piece to the required length. The course is located in an old estate, with sweeping movements to a landscape that sits so elegantly in a forest. There are deer that constantly appear and big trees make emphatic statements at every turn. And then there’s the 17th, a par five that everyone seems to remember with fondness.

[Photo: approach to the 17th]

What I don’t understand is why this course is not talked about in the same breath as many of the other big parklands. It’s not in the top echelon perhaps (Mount Juliet, K Club…), although I’ll happily sit down and argue the finer points, but it knocks the stuffing out of many of the big new resorts, like Mount Wolseley or Knightsbrook. Oh, and let’s not forget that you can play Portumna for €30 to €35.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more Kevin. Lets not forget you could be a fully fledged member for 450 euro. I hope to play Portumna as often as possible.