The County Sligo Golf Club is widely regarded as one of the great championship links courses. The club is home to the famous West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship played every Easter since 1923 (apart from 1999, when “the West” was played at Enniscrone, which we are also playing) and has hosted many other prestigious events including the Home Internationals, the Irish Close and the Irish Professional Matchplay Championship. The course was redesigned by the famous golf architect, Harry S. Colt, in 1927 and continuous improvements have been made over the years to make the County Sligo course, in the words of the great Peter Alliss,
“a tremendous test for the highest quality player and great fun for the modest competitor, Rosses Point stands at the very top of the list of Irish courses”.
The course is currently undergoing improvements by Pat Ruddy, who has a long association with the Club, including three new greens, new tees, etc., to bring the course up to modern day standards and length. The works will be well finished and settled in by the time of our visit next September. See latest news relating to the improvements to the course from Irish Golf Desk from January 2016.
With tee times at Rosses Point from 12.30pm, it gives us plenty of time to get there from Dublin on the Friday morning; and leaves us a handy 1 hour 6 minute drive to our hotel in Ballina, following the golf.
Some of you might have played at Rosses Point with the Society in 1998 when we stayed in Mullaghmore. We also played at Murvagh that weekend and got lashed on both days. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to us this time around!
Enniscrone Golf Club is located just north of Ballina, in the mouth of the River Moy in Killala Bay, Co. Sligo. The headland on which the course is built, contains some of the largest sand dunes in Ireland.
The Dunes course, which we are playing on both Saturday and Sunday, is a 7,033 yard, par 73, championship links course, which has hosted many of Ireland's top amateur events, including the 1999 West of Ireland Amateur Championship, which was won by Miko Illonen, who went on to win the Irish Open at Fota Island (shortly before we played the course last year!).
The Dunes course evolved from Eddie Hackett's original 18-hole design, which started with 9 holes of very flat, level terrain on the inward side of the course. In 2001 the traditional links layout was reconfigured by renowned links architect Donald Steel to include six new holes constructed amongst the seaside dunes, making for 18 holes of pure linksland golf. The final 4 holes run along the Atlantic Ocean coastline, making for a wonderful testing finish. The original flat opening holes are now a separate nine hole course - The Scurmore.