Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Carton House - Media Day Sunshine

The short par four 13th on the O'Meara.
I have now played the Media Day at Carton House, three years in a row. The weather has been erratic and gone as follows:

Year 2016: a scorcher (O'Meara)
Year 2017: strong winds, lots of rain... and played from the back tees (Montgomerie)
Year 2018: a scorcher (O'Meara)

It's hard to believe that two courses so close together can be so different but it does mean visitors have considerable choice and variety. That said, the Montgomerie is a tough course and you don't need
wind and rain to emphasise its challenges. 127 deep bunkers is really all the advance warning you need, and while I prefer it to the O'Meara, I know I'm in the minority.

View of the Montgomerie 18th green from O'Meara's 18th green.
The entire Carton House estate - some 1,000 acres of it, and so big that it embraces two counties (Kildare and Meath) - was purchased from NAMA late last year and the new owner is planning a €30 million expansion. The golf courses will remain largely untouched (their condition is excellent) but the clubhouse is due a makeover. The hotel is the main focus of the investment plans with new rooms to be added and a bar to be installed. And that's just for starters.

The hotel is already a beautiful looking building, built in 1739 by the 19th Earl of Kildare. It has been upgraded since then but you do get a fabulous introduction to its charms as you drive through the Montgomerie course. See pic below.
The boathouse and hotel beyond Montgomerie's 18th green.

Here are two of the most famous holes on the O'Meara course. Holes 14, 15 and 16 form the course's Amen Corner. They are all wrapped up in the River Rye and that water is a serious threat on all three holes. While I would be reluctant to say that these three are worth the green fee alone (holes 5,6,7,8 and 12 and 13 are exceptionally strong, too), they are definitely the holes that everybody instantly recalls.
The par three 16th on the O'Meara, at Carton House.
Views back down the par five 15th on the O'Meara. The river in front of
the green is magnetic. 
For more information, click here for the Carton House website.

No comments:

Post a Comment