Saturday, April 7, 2012
Ballymoney for some Easter Golf
[Approach shot over the small pond on Ballymoney's par four 10th]
With all the Dubs piling down to Courtown and Gorey for the Easter weekend (and enjoying their holiday homes for which everyone's expected to trump up the Household Charge never mind the €200 second home charge... but that's a rant for another day), there will be lots of people looking to sneak in a quick round of golf... and there are many ways to 'distract' the family while you do so.
I'd strongly recommend that you send the rest of the family off to the Gorey Craft Fair (10am - 5pm on Saturday) in the Gorey Shopping Centre (aka Dunnes Stores and other retailers). 20+ stalls selling a selection of Irish crafts.
Green Fees (from their websites)
Ballymoney will cost you €22
No one would argue that the cream of the crop is Courtown, which would be title-holder for the 'best parkland in Wexford' if it weren't for Bunclody's arrival a few years back. Established in 1936, there are some sweet drops to fairways, some tight doglegs and four thrilling par threes (including the watery 18th), and the course is, I heard yesterday, in great nick.
[Photo: the gorgeous drive on Courtown's par four 15th]
But getting out over a weekend can be a challenge, and the club is running a couple of events over the weekend... withe the Heineken Rugby thrown in. See below.
A hotel too, so you can indulge your other half (even your parents if you feel inclined) in the Oceo Spa, while you swan off around the course. It is not my favourite track by any means ('sea' and 'field' summing the course up pretty well), but you won't have any trouble getting out.
[Photo: the par four 7th at Ballymoney, with Tara Hill beyond]
Neither will you have difficulty getting out on this friendly, family-run course. It's a super little track that won't ever threaten the big boys in terms of quality, but it delivers plenty of fun. I dropped down a couple of nights ago to take some photographs and I'd forgotten how shapely a course it was... and it's matured a lot since my last visit (2008). It's a fun driving course and Tara Hill is on constant show. It is, put simply, a holiday course and a place where golfers grow into the game. Then again, I watched four kids teeing off and there was a serious bit of talent on show.
[Photo: teeing off at Ballymoney's 1st]
You also come back to the clubhouse after 9 holes on all three courses if you only have time for 9, but Ballymoney has a special green fee for that (€13).
So, get on yer bike and have some fun - this lad was on his way to Ballymoney.