Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ireland's Top Ten Hidden Golf Courses - No. 7

The new 4th at Corballis  - a par three with views out to Ireland's Eye
We're now up to Number 7 in the rankings of Ireland's Best Fairways Less Travelled - those courses rarely seen in the glossy brochures or on golfing tourism websites... and yet they are packed with thrills.

You can win four balls to both of these 7th-ranked courses: 

Parkland: Rossmore
Links: Corballis

For the 8th-ranked, click here
For the 9th-ranked, click here
For the 10th-ranked, click here.


Am I allowed to use the word ‘frolic’ to describe a golf course? It may get me banned, but that’s what Rossmore does. It was recently re-rerouted to create two loops of nine with the addition of two new holes and the redevelopment of three existing holes, but the course still heads up, down and side-to-side across tightly packed hillocks in Co Monaghan. This is country golf at its best, just outside the town of Monaghan.

Rossmore GC (pic courtesy of Rossmore GC)
Approaching its centenary (2016) this is a short course of par 70, 5,300+ metres... but what it lacks in length it makes up for in thrills. The landscape dictates everything and the design has simply gone with the flow. It was the obvious and, evidently, best solution.

Rossmore GC (pic courtesy of Rossmore GC)

Greens, by contrast, are mostly flat. Much of your day will be spent heading up or down as you try to reach them. Driving is huge fun but on a short course you know there will be tight challenges… and there are numerous doglegs where caution is required as the holes whip around big trees, hide drops, sidle up to gorse, introduce stone walls or lay water in your path. Yet standing over your drive is always tasty and that makes golf a whole lot of fun. The drive in whets the appetite perfectly (you cross the 17th) and there are some lovely views of various mountain ranges from the top of the course.

Rossmore Website: www.rossmoregolfclub.ie 
Green Fees: €25 - €30


It’s fair to say that Laytown & Bettystown and Seapoint golf clubs would be superior courses to Corballis… but Corballis pips them because it’s a public course and the green fees are so cheap. And yet it is right on the edge of Dublin.

That’s in the spirit of the game, if you ask me, offering opportunities to golfers looking to experience the thrills and challenges of links golf or even those golfers who want to try their hand at the game.
There aren’t many places where you can play cheap links golf on the east coast, and ‘cheap’ bears no reflection on quality. Situated on the same linksland as its north Dublin neighbour – the mighty Island Golf Club – Corballis is short, a bit tight in places (although the four new holes have helped greatly in that regard) yet still exhilarating.

The new 7th at Corballis
A mere par 66, you might think you could have a field day off the tee, but with blind shots and plenty of trouble around greens – as you’d expect on any links – common sense should prevail. If you take it easy then your rewards will come… and don’t always choose the aerial route either.

The new holes (4 to 7), closest to The Island, are two par threes and two short par fours. They are outstanding and show off the dune shapes to maximum effect. Elsewhere, the course is reasonably open so it proves attractive to golfers who don’t want to be punished too severely.

The 12th at Corballis - showing off the dune contours
Don’t expect exceptional facilities – they’re rather basic – but you’re not about to quibble when you look at all the cash left in your wallet after paying your green fees. Nice views to Howth Head and Ireland’s Eye make Corballis a pretty spot to play, too.

Corballis Photos: Mine and the Club’s 
Corballis Website: www.corballislinks.com
Green Fees: €10 - €20

Free Fourballs

To win a free four balls for Rossmore and Corballis leave a Comment below with your name, email and the answer to the following question: 

When was Rossmore Golf Club established? 
(Comments will remain unpublished to ensure privacy.)

Draw closes on 23rd December at 6pm, at which point a winner will be chosen. 


  1. Nice review kevin.

    Glad to see Corballis up in lights. A great small links.

  2. Hi Kevin -
    Rossmore was established in 1916.
    Happy Christmas.

  3. Two courses that I have not played