Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Mark O'Meara are among the golfing greats who have enjoyed playing on Mayo courses.
Carne, perched on top of unspoilt sand dunes overlooking Blacksod Bay and the wild Atlantic Ocean is the jewel in the crown of Mayo’s golf courses and a highlight for any golf fanatic visiting the North West of Ireland. Located near the town of Belmullet, it was the last links course designed by the acclaimed golf architect Eddie Hackett and is said to be his most challenging. The views out over the ocean to the islands of Inis Glóire and Inis Geidhe are magnificent. A recently added third nine holes weaves through tall, majestic dunes, leaving you in no doubt that Hackett kept an ace up his sleeve when designing the rest of the course.
This is one of Ireland’s finest parkland courses, set on 260 acres of undulating parklands on the shores of Clew Bay with heart-stirring views of Croagh Patrick. This 100-year-old championship venue with outstanding views and unusual holes has staged the Smurfit Irish PGA Championship in 2002 and is a three-time host of the Irish Amateur Close Championship. Notably, it is here that a 15 year old Rory McIlroy had his first senior championship victory in 2005, becoming the youngest ever winner of the Irish Amateur Close Championship.
The 13th Century Cloonacastle Estate plays host to another of the late great Eddie Hackett’s courses at Ballinrobe Golf Club. Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington reckons it is one of the finest courses in Ireland. The historical castle and lime kiln are cherished focal points in this beautiful parkland. The grand Estate House is now the clubhouse.
Claremorris Golf Club a fine parkland course with sand-based greens designed by the late Tom Craddock, the Irish International and Walker Cup player who co-designed the famous course at Druids Glen, County Wicklow.
Mulranny Golf Club is an unusual 9-hole links on commonage overlooking scenic Clew Bay with its own beach beside the course. It boasts fine views of Croagh Patrick, the Partry Hills, Sheeffry Hills and the Mweelrea mountains to the south, and the Nephin Beg range to the north. The course, like the scenery, is picturesque, but true to links form, it can challenge even a discerning golfer, especially when the wind gets up.
A full list of Mayo’s dozen courses and their ratings can be found on the World Golf website
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