One of Ireland's finest golf courses. Read on here to find out more about the golf courses you can play, course highlights and local attractions for you to enjoy when you've finished totting up your scores
A meeting in 1918 marked the formal beginning of golf in Enniscrone. Golf was first played at three locations Bartra, Kilcullens field and the Scurmore Hotel. In 1930 nine holes were laid out on flat land at Bartra and the course was formally opened with a membership of forty-eight on St. Patricks Day 1931.
The membership fee for the year was £1. By 1959 due to war and emigration membership was down to 14. However, eventually, the club revived and in 1969 membership had grown to just over a hundred.
The course was in good condition but livestock on the course presented problems needing wire fencing of greens. Members began to look at the dunes and dream of an 18-hole links course. By 1970 the great course designer, the late Eddie Hackett was engaged and he shaped and blended holes through the dunes keeping essentially to the natural terrain.
In 1972, the acquisition of a new lease agreement allowed wire fencing of the course to exclude livestock. In August 1974 the new 18 holes opened with Eddie Hackett driving the first ball. By 1999, Enniscrone Golf Club was developing again with the skilled links designer, Donald Steel appointed to reroute the golf course directly into the dunes.
Steel added 6 new magical holes through the dunes and added three new holes on the flat land to six of the old Hackett holes to produce the Scurmore 9-hole golf course. The result was Enniscrone has one of the finest pure links courses in Ireland, plus a splendid 9-hole course for the less adventurous.
Enniscrone is among the finest and most challenging of traditional Irish links golf courses and offers 27 holes on 400 acres of magnificent links land featuring the par 73 Dunes Championship Links. The Club boasts some of the most spectacular duneland in western Europe.
It is situated on a promontory that juts into Killala Bay at the mouth of the River Moy Estuary. It overlooks the Atlantic Ocean just 8 miles north of Ballina. The golf course is stunning with panoramic views of Killala Bay, Bartra Island and sandy beaches with Nephin Mountain and the Ox Mountains forming the backdrop.
This provides Enniscrone with one of the most beautiful settings with the outstanding playing characteristics of Irish links golf providing a magical links experience.
(7029 yards, Par 73)
For a raw links experience, Enniscrone Dunes is hard to beat. The golf course weaves its way through some of Ireland’s highest dunes and they are used to maximum and very dramatic effect. It is also famed for the magnificent sunsets that can be seen from the impressive dunes.
This championship venue provides golfers with the ultimate experience of spectacular duneland, an inspired design concept, superb greens all year round and superb views. Word has it that Eddie Hackett yearned for the chance to move onto the dunes terrain earlier, but the club did not possess the funds to acquire and develop originally.
The Dunes course evolved from Eddie Hackett’s original 18-hole design. The traditional links layout was reconfigured to include six new holes in the seaside dunes. Renowned architect Donald Steel designed the six new holes, and The Dunes was further refined to include four men’s tee boxes to suit golfers at all handicap levels.
In true links fashion, the course layout is ‘nine out’ and ‘nine back’ to the clubhouse with water on three sides. Each golf hole follows the natural contours of the land. It challenges the imaginations of golfers of all abilities, demanding the use of every club in the bag with a mix of doglegs left and right.
At Enniscrone, the wind, true links lies and firm elevated greens reward those who can hold a line, hit fairways and execute ‘bump and run’ shots. The fairways plunge and roll between wild dunes. The scenery of The Dunes is second to none along with tall marram grass roughs.
Twelve of the Dunes eighteen holes wind through the tall shaggy dunes on the coast. A sense of isolation and tranquillity surrounds with such space and freedom. The last four finishing holes are exhilarating and border the Atlantic Ocean.
Enniscrone really is a superb course with a serious challenge attached. Being bestowed with spectacular land comes with some responsibility. The membership’s emphasis has always been on golf and the club is proud to have hosted top Irish amateur events.
However, pride in the club's golf heritage is second only to retaining the natural qualities of the Dunes course links land. This is why Enniscrone is a member of the Sports Turf Research Institute to sustain the natural balance between the course and surrounding land.
In this way, visitors will experience true Irish links golf on a grand scale for decades to come. If you play The Dunes, they will forever be part of your memories.
535 yards, par 5, index 10
From the tee, a daunting shot amidst big dunes with huge dunes left and right down the fairway needing a straight drive.
Favour the right half of the fairway on your second approach shot.
You play uphill to the green which is slightly raised and enjoy one of golf’s most spectacular seascapes with superb views over the Atlantic Ocean.
446 yards, par 4, index 2
From an elevated tee there is a burn down the right and pot bunkers left.
A good drive down the left-hand side of the fairway gives a nice view of the green but be careful of the left bunker which is at 250 yards and take it out of play.
Then a difficult second shot to a well-guarded green with pot bunkers left and a run-off on all sides.
447 yards, par 4, index 6
A fabulously fashioned par four along the Scurmore beach. The fairway is narrow requiring a well hit drive. The second shot needs caution to avoid the cross bunkers which protect the green.
347 yards, par 4, index 3
A quirky short dogleg, it’s a 232 yards carry to the fairway, a straight line to the green, but this would run out of fairway up the right-hand side.
The second shot is uphill and needs to be precise in order to find the green which is very tricky and has been cut out of an enormous sand dune on your left.
349 yards, par 4, index 13
Although it is downhill it is risky to try to drive the green.
A good drive over the white stone normally leaves a short shot to this well protected and tricky dell green.
Safe play is to lay up perhaps about 100 yards to the hole.
You must hit the fairway off the tee. Any wayward shot will be punished.
537 yards, par 5, index 7
A long memorable par five that often plays downwind.
From an elevated tee, the fairway left is guarded by a huge dune.
However, try to keep the second shot up the left-hand side for the best view of the green, which slopes from back to front.
421 yards, par 4, index 1
A challenging par 4 that tees off close to the beach into a dogleg left to right.
The right-hand side gives the best view of the green which is elevated and located amongst small dunes on all sides.
It slopes from back to front.
538 yards, par 5, index 11
The tee shot is framed on both sides by magnificent dunes giving you a sense of seclusion and grandeur.
Best to work the ball left to right.
It's demanding but straightforward, keeping the ball on the fairway is essential for the best chance of hitting the wide but very shallow challenging green.
(3,367, Par 36)
This is an Eddie Hackett and Donald Steel designed nine-hole with splendid views and plenty of fun, challenging golf.
Established in 1892 by Sister Agnes Morrogh-Bernard and the Visitor Centre is located in one of the original buildings. Airy and light it showcases a treasure trove of Irish craft produce and gifts, a gourmet café and a working mill which you can explore as part of your tour.
The Foxford Woollen Mills guided tour offers a truly unique experience to visitors by giving them a background to the Mill, why it was set up in Foxford in 1892, the challenges that were faced and how they were overcome.
The story of the Mills is a fascinating tale of one woman’s incredible determination and triumph over adversity against all the odds. The story will make you marvel at the journey this small town took, right up to the present day, where you can see the working mills still producing the best of Irish-made products.
You are given the opportunity to walk through the mill to see the machines in action, learn about how they work and the processes involved to achieve the finished product. You can see first-hand the mastery of tradition, design and craftsmanship that goes into every single Irish made Foxford product.
Then you can take some time in the shop and view products by Irish designers stocked by the Mills. You can have some lunch at the Foxford Café, where the chef has prepared a fantastic Irish menu using local produce and quality, seasonable ingredients with herbs sourced from our very own herb garden.
Beneath the wild boglands of North Mayo lies a system of fields, dwelling areas and megalithic tombs which together make up the most extensive Stone Age monument in the world. The incredible Neolithic site at Céide Fields on the spectacular sea cliffs near Ballycastle County Mayo contains the oldest known stone walled fields in the world, dating back an incredible 6,000 years.
It overlooks the wild Atlantic Ocean which pounds against the base of the cliffs. The landscape itself, made of rock and bog has been forged and weathered by the climate, the sea and the elements, and charts the movement and changing of the earth’s very surface over millions and millions of years.
You can imagine how the land looked when the Céide Fields farmers were living off the land here. The visitor centre tells the story of this ancient settlement, which extends for many miles underneath the blanket bog of the North Mayo coast, and tries to solve the mysteries of the people who lived and farmed there many millennia ago.
You can see the simple technique used to map out the settlement and learn about the landscape itself, so unique to the region. If you would like a more in-depth exploration of the landscape, check out the nearby Belderrig Valley Experience, run by Professor Séamus Caulfield who discovered the settlement.
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