Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Full Package at Castlemartyr (and a free fourball)

As Ireland's long climb out of recession continues, golf courses and hotels evolve, change hands and splutter with new life. As someone involved in Irish golf I have been fascinated by this evolution. No one is immune in falling from grace and only a few regain their place at the top.

Which brings me to the five star Castlemartyr Resort in Co. Cork. It
has certainly had its struggles since opening in 2007/08, but after going on the market last year for €14 million, the resort was snapped up by British businessman and hotelier, Martin Shaw. Little wonder, given the quality on offer… and the facilities… and the Ron Kirby designed golf course.... and that famous Cork welcome!

There’s a fabulous history here, involving the Knights Templar, an 800-year-old-castle and a grand 17th century country manor house which guests now know as a luxury hotel. It’s something you might want to look into when you visit.

The golf course moves around the hotel, right out to the castle ruins (see photo), and was designed by Kirby as an inland links. It is low-running with fluid mounding defining the course and each hole. There’s an almost soporific rhythm to it. It is not a long course (‘only’ 6,700 yards from the back tees) and it was designed to be accessible to golfers of all abilities.  Indeed, the resort has a strong golf focus with golf lodges set a short walk away from the hotel and a dedicated clubhouse – or ‘pod’ as it is called. It’s easy to see why and the tubular shape makes it one of Ireland’s unique clubhouses.
The par three 5th... with 800 year old castle ruins behind.

Castlemartyr stay-and-play packages

The resort, just 30 minutes from Cork Airport, is currently offering a variety of packages, which,  appropriately, have golfing names:
  1. Cork’s Golfing Gem: 1 night B&B with Dinner and a round of golf from €130pps
  2. Golfer’s Dream: 2 nights B&B with 2 Dinner and 2 rounds of golf from €235pps
  3. Relax & Play: 2 nights B&B with 2 Dinner and 1 round of golf from €220pps

Other packages are available, including one where you play Castlemartyr followed by Old Head, or Fota Island or Cork golf clubs.

Free Castlemartyr Fourball Giveaway

If you'd like a chance to win a fourball for this elegant, flowing course, answer this simple question in the Comment box below: who designed the inland links at Castlemartyr?

A winner will be picked on Monday night, 2nd May.

As the saying goes: the cream rises to the top. Take a look at the resort's website and you'll see what I mean.


  1. Hi Kevin , Ron Kirkby designed this little gem . Cheers .

  2. Ron Kirby designed the course and a fine track it is too

  3. Ron Kirby.
    Dermot O'Donoghue,
    Co. Clare.

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Linus, Your name's been pulled from the hat... leave me another Comment with your email address and I'll sort you out! K

  5. Ron Kirby designed this beauty.
    Danny Kenny

  6. Ron Kirby

    Mick Kennedy

  7. Ron Kirby

    Peadar Conlon

  8. Ron Kirby designed it. Hope you're well Kevin, I need another excuse to visit Cork

  9. Ron Kirby
    Robin Hamilton

  10. Mr.Ron Kirkby.
    Gary Hayes

  11. Ron Kirby, read it in your blog above :-)