Dromoland Golf Club - Par 72 - 6,845 Yards
Dromoland is a 16th century castle and estate that has been restored to a premier luxury hotel and golf course. The owners have spent €5m renovating the golf course and it opened for play in April 2004.
The golf course is a wonderful parkland challenge that meanders through the estate amongst fine trees and around many natural lakes. The golf course then finishes in fine style in front of the castle. The highlight of golf at Dromoland is the immaculate greens that are true and lightning fast - they are claimed to be the fastest in Ireland.
The par-3 seventh hole is the first to feature water and it is a really great par-3. The tee is elevated providsing spectacular views of the course in front of the clubhouse to the castle beyond. The whole of the left side is protected by the large feral lake while strategically placed traps to the right penalise those who bail out.
The following 8th is probably the best hole on the course, a long par-4 that features a challenging drive to a faiway flanked by deep woods on the right and tree-lined rough on the left. A long or mid-iron approach is then required to a large two-tiered green that is slightly elevated and well portected.
The par-4 ninth reminds you of the famous 10th at The Belfry - a short par-4 that is protected by a lake. The 10th itself is a fabulous tee-hole, set back towards the castle and featuring another lake the whole length of the right hand side. A good drive can set up a birdie chance, a bad drive can spell a high number.
The inward nine continues through the estate with many well designed and challenging holes. The feature hole is undoubtedly the par-4 16th, a long hole that requires a huge ravine to be carried on the approach. The drive must be excellent in order to have a chance of carrying it, and discretion is often the better part of valour in order to avoid ruining your card!
Virtually next door to Shannon Airport, Dromoland offers a great introduction to Irish golf and may also be an ideal venue for a final round when departing in the late morning or early afternoon.
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