Destination Golf Ireland 2024 | Page 44



Arboretum golf , pure and simple . Set in an old estate , Coollattin ’ s trees are as varied and colourful – and ever-present – as on any course you ’ ll find in Ireland . It is a magical setting and holes weave through it all to give you the full exhibition . They threaten constantly off the tee and if you can avoid an errant shot into the woods you are doing extremely well . The greens and their surrounds are tricky , no doubt a defence against the fairly short length of this par 72 course , and there are some deceptive slopes to fairways which will frustrate even the best . It is pretty and enchanting but it can also sucker-punch you in a heartbeat . Coollattin is famous for its 120 yard 5th hole tucked away in a walled garden .


Wicklow promises quite the wild adventure as holes tumble above the clifftops , rising and falling in rhythm with the tides . The terrain is chaotic at times , presenting hollows , humps , ridges and swales that can be cruel even to the best struck shots … but it all adds to the thrill of playing here . As do some short par fours where you might think you can open up your shoulders but any savvy golfer will appreciate that is not the way to play here . And certainly not with the exceptional , devious and fast greens that Wicklow is renowned for . You won ’ t find one hole that doesn ’ t move you up or down and the par five 1st makes that abundantly clear as the landscape tumbles all over the place from a high tee next to the clubhouse .


Tulfarris is a splash of lakeside heaven set on the Blessington Lakes . Holes press up against the water time and again on both the front and back nines , and even the inland holes have to deal with some water features . All that water might make it sound tough – and it is certainly no place for the faint of heart – but this is beautiful golf . The course wraps around the hotel and you only have to take a stroll around the buildings to appreciate what the course has to offer . Recent investment has helped to give the entire resort an important lift with pathways , drainage and bunkering all being improved . And then there are the holes themselves : the par threes are all delicious and the closing four holes are an excellent mix of challenges and thrills .

Gowran Park

A golf course which combines tree-lined parkland holes with racecourse holes . Yes , this is the only course in Ireland that asks you to play into a horse racing track … and out again . And the course is all the more entertaining for it . You start and finish inside the rails , playing over undulating , exposed terrain , buttered with gorse . Then it ’ s into the woods for a parkland feast where you ’ ll do well to avoid the trees ( just wait till the straight par four 15th ) and several water features ( the par four 4th , par five 8th and 12th are particularly vexing ). The ‘ clubhouse ’ sits on the third floor of the racing stands , with views for miles .