Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Irish Golf for Under €20

Fermoy's par 3 11th
A while back there was an article on Joe.ie about the 18 best golf courses in Ireland that you could play for €30 or less. And that means a maximum green fee of €30 at peak times.

No sooner was it published that someone quipped, 'what about green fees that are €20 or under?'... thank you Jamie.

But then it's no surprise as Jamie is the main man at Newbridge Golf Club, a course 20 miles from Dublin, where the green fee doesn't exceed €20. So, following such a challenge, here are my top ten 18-hole Irish courses that meet this criterion, and really are worth a visit, i.e. not just for the value green fees.

The Top Ten Irish Golf Course for Twenty Euro (alphabetically)

Click on the club name to visit the official club website; click on 'Photos here' for my Flickr images.

Athy, Co Kildare
An open, rolling landscape, mature trees scattered about and sweet green positions. This is very relaxing, easy-paced golf with plenty of room to play. The tougher holes come near the end and the graveyard next to a couple of holes stands as fair warning.
Athy's par 3 11th over a gentle hollow
Photos here 

Birr, Co Offaly
Sensational golf over tumbling, natural eskers, with dense heavy woodland encroaching often and to dramatic effect. Three of the par threes are superb and plenty of the par fours are equally impressive. This course will be tough on the wayward as punishment is severe, but it is enthralling from start to finish.
A daunting drive into the chute that is Birr's par 4 10th
Photos here 

Co Cavan, Co Cavan
A mature landscape with ancient trees dominating, and some terrific dips and rises to greens. An under-rated course around a rustic clubhouse. The closing holes pass through tight avenues of trees, straight up and down... and it is intimidating.
A cracking opening hole at Co. Cavan, with two deep dips
Photos here 

Fermoy, Co Cork 
A real rollercoaster, with Scots Pine chaperoning you all day long, and heather and gorse scattered about. And then there are the sparkling views over the countryside. A deep dip defines the back nine, creating inspiring tee shots and green settings. A riot of fun.
Views back up the fairway over Fermoy's par 4 13th
Photos here 

The Heath, Co Laois 
Sheep and gorse infested, this is a natural, flat but bumpy course with fast running fairways and faster greens. It looks spacious, but the gorse catches you quickly.
The rocky floor on the par 3 11th at The Heath
Photos here 

Mitchelstown, Co Cork 
A course of two parts: the newer holes spill across an open hillside while the older holes work between big trees and over a river. A few cracking holes, of which the 14th and 15th are thrilling and the par four 4th is superb, with a long second shot into a deep dell of trees, across the River Funshion.
The par three 14th - another hole bring the River Funshion in to play
Photos here 

Mountrath, Co Laois 
A rhythmic, rolling course across wooded countryside. There are some hypnotic holes over troughs and crests, promising several blindfish shots, but all delivering a rewarding finish. A river appears late on.  
The par three 2nd at Mountrath gives just a hint of the rolls of the land
Photos here 

Newbridge, Co Kildare 
A flat course with enchanting, perfect greens. Water abounds on a landscape that has been drenched in 40,000 trees. These 'woods' are maturing fast giving individuality to holes and promising a relaxing day out. Good clubhouse.
The tight approach to the short par 4 2nd, over one of
Newbridge's many ponds
Photos here 

Roscrea, Co Tipperary 
Some old holes, some new. Again, it’s the maturity that shapes and defines the course with some tightly channeled holes. The best one - a par five over rugged ground and between huge trees - is named ‘Burma Road’. The new holes, behind the clubhouse, are settling in well. One of the sweetest bars in the country.

Approach to Roscrea's par 4 16th, a sharp dogleg right
Photos here 

Slade Valley, Co Dublin 
Hillside golf with views tumbling over Dublin city and out to Howth. Tremendous drives on a short, tree-lined course. The new holes have given the rest of the course more space (there were some dangerous shots). Plenty of short holes; plenty of doglegs. 
Slade Valley's par 5 7th, driving straight at Dublin City
Photos here

For the Joe.ie €30 list, click here.

There are another 25 or so courses that offer green fees for under €20 during the peak season, so there are plenty of opportunities to play Irish golf without stretching the wallet. If you can, check out any of the above courses this year and see what you think.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to hear Fermoy getting some well deserved praise. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great variety of holes. Certainly one of the best value parkland courses I have played.