Friday, July 22, 2011
Wexford Golf Pass
[Photo: views from Enniscorthy's 13th]
There are numerous Irish golf 'passports' available at the moment, and my home county of Wexford has now introduced another one. Enniscorthy, Rosslare and St. Helen's Bay have got together to offer three rounds of golf (1 per course) for €75 through the 'Co. Wexford Golf Pass'. If you want to play at the weekend, you'll have to pay an extra €5 supplement, but it's still great value for three very different courses.
[Photo: Enniscorthy's tempting par four 16th]
Enniscorthy is a gentle, country course. There's nothing fancy to the design, but the course has been going since 1906, so you're talking old school golf and you get that feeling early on. Plenty of mature trees and views to the Blackstairs Mountains provide attractive surroundings, and you can pretty much guarantee a fun round of golf... made all the more special by the friendly atmosphere in the clubhouse. I've played it a few times and always enjoyed it. More photos here
[Photo: St. Helen's Bay. The excellent and difficult par three 17th, right above the sea]
St. Helen's Bay (1993) is one of those entertaining courses that mixes in different elements: here there are palm trees on show from the 1st tee, streams and ponds, some old stone walls and a dramatic closing stretch on shallow cliffs above the sea. A winding, stone wall-lined lane leads to the club and you can also base yourself here with the resort's self-catering cottages. More photos of the course.
[Photo: Rosslare's par five 7th weaves through gentle dunes]
Rosslare (1905) is the premier club of the bunch. It is a sweet, low-lying links course in the bottom right hand corner of Ireland. It is what classic links golf is all about, with fairways that are often difficult to gauge from the tee box and greens that welcome bump and run. Apart from one hole (the 14th par three) all holes go out or back, so you will quickly get used to the wind (if that's possible) and appreciate the beauty and challenge that Rosslare offers. More photos here.
The Riverside Park Hotel in the centre of Enniscorthy is an integral player in this offer, so you can stay here and strike out for Rosslare and St. Helen's Bay which are about a 40 minute drive away.
There's accommodation on site at St. Helen's Bay - see above - which may offer better opportunities to visit the beaches roundabout as well as heading west for Hook Head and the possibility of spotting whales and dolphins.
A more upmarket option is Kelly's Hotel in Rosslare, which boasts a beautiful location and one of the best crazy golf tracks around. It's a fantastic family hotel, which might be a great way to balance golf with family responsibilities!
Golf Club Websites: