|The Bunclody clubhouse, behind the 18th green |
(taken from their website)
Carlow International Golf Classic
- Carlow Golf Club (1899)
- Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club (2008)
- Mount Wolseley Golf Resort (1996)
Carlow Golf Club is a timeless classic. In terms of age and quality, it is one of our best courses... and it is one of the least revised golf clubs in the country. Oh sure, there have been tweaks (1937, most notably), but the heart of this course has remained untouched and it holds its wonderful charm from start to finish. None of these modern design features or muscular additions, because Carlow doesn't need it. There are ample slopes and changes in elevation, plenty of twists to fairways, plenty of space, plenty of trees and always slick, slick greens... why would you want to change anything.
|Carlow's signature 8th hole, a straight downhill par four|
|Carlow's extremely tough par four 16th. Anything but a perfect drive will leave you blind.|
Bunclody Golf and Fishing Resort has so much going for it that it fully deserved last year's accolade of Best Hidden Gem in Ireland (A Golfer's Guide to Ireland Awards). The drive in through the woods, the thatched clubhouse, the practice facilities... it's just the start of something that is maturing rapidly and maturing beautifully.
|The par three 5th at Bunclody gives you little room for error.|
|Bunclody's 16th hugs the River Slaney as it curves left|
Mount Wolseley Golf Resort is the big, new boy that became such a part of Celtic Tiger golf in the 1990s and 2000s. At Par 72 and 6,700+ yards, it is the same length as Bunclody, but it has the muscularity that comes from mounding, numerous doglegs and serious water hazards. It was designed by Christy O'Connor Junior, and there are few holes where you can pause for breath and admire the views. It is a testing layout and if you can escape without finding a bunker you will be doing extremely well.
|Index 1 at Mount Wolseley is this tough par four. It doglegs late, right |
and up to a tiered green (just visible)
|The par five 7th at Mount Wolseley drives at distant mountains |
before swinging left.
This is a team of four competition, in a stableford format- with two scores to count on every hole. That certainly makes it friendly. The price of €149 includes your three rounds of golf, three meal vouchers and one gala dinner... pretty impressive, you have to agree. On top of that there's up to €7,000 in golf prizes. The fee goes up to €159 per person after June 30th. Closing date for receipt of entries August 31st 2013.
|The Mount Wolseley Hotel as it looks from the 18th tee|
(the hole doglegs right, around a lake).
Special packages are being offered by five hotels in the area, including Mount Wolseley, which may seem the obvious bet - especially as they have self catering options, too. It is also where the Gala Dinner/Prize giving/Entertainment will be held on the last night.
You'll find all the details on Carlow Tourism's website, or download the pdf and send it on to your friends. And start booking. A great event by the looks of things, and even better value.