Carne golf course opened in 1992 with nine holes and a second nine was added in 1993. This course was named after the course designer, the late renowned golf architect Eddie Hackett. The “Hackett Course” was quickly established high in Ireland and “UK and Ireland Rankings”.
An additional nine holes “The Kilmore” opened in 2013 designed initially by Jim Engh and finished by Irish architect Ally McIntosh. It was on the highest and wildest dunes adjacent to the Hackett course.
Initially, the courses were promoted as an eighteen and nine-hole option. More recently the club has changed the arrangement to a 27 hole option. Golfers can book two of the three nines named the “Hackett, Kilmore and Wild Atlantic Dunes Courses.” The latter they say is probably the biggest dunes course in the world.
There are now three separate eighteen-hole Scorecards. This is an unusual arrangement for a 27 hole course which typically like Portmarnock has simply two nines forming their Championship course and a third nine.
The Wild Atlantic Dunes scorecard combination was used by the club recently when they hosted the 2021 Irish PGA tournament won by David Higgins from Waterville Links. At Carne, you now seem to have three Championship course options. The club will probably have to nominate one combination for the rankings.
Belmullet Golf Club was founded in 1925. Membership at the time cost a guinea annually and green fees were one shilling and sixpence for a round. Caddies were paid at a rate of not more than sixpence for nine holes and ninepence for eighteen holes. The first Annual General Meeting was held on 17th March 1926 at which the name and the first Rules and Regulations for the Club were adopted.
1926 also saw the Club affiliating to the Golfing Union of Ireland. At that time the Links was situated at Cross Binghamstown. The agreement regarding the use of lands for the links was drawn up between the Trustees of the Club, Pat Mc Andrew and Anthony Mc Andrew in 1928. Mr. W.E. McNamara of Lahinch Golf Club was employed in 1929 to help lay out the course and give some lessons.
A subsidy of £2-10-0 was received from the Golfing Union of Ireland in September 1929 to help defray the cost of his employment. A critical point in the Club's history was reached in 1934, due to a decline in memberships.
The Club was unable to pay the cost of rent for the Links and was on the verge of being disbanded. However, the situation was retrieved when the owners accepted a rent of £15 per year for the Links.
In 1992 the Club moved from the nine-hole links at Cross Binghamstown to the spectacular new 18 hole (now 27 hole complex) Carne Golf Links. It was the last Links course to be designed by the late Eddie Hackett and it is now believed by many who have played it to be his greatest design. The new Kilmore nine opened in 2013.
Carne is in North Mayo on the West Coast of Ireland and lies in magnificent unspoiled sand dunes overlooking Blacksod Bay and the wild Atlantic Ocean. It is near to the town of Belmullet and constructing the Hackett course has produced little disturbance to the wild and ancient landscape.
The tees and greens come about naturally and little earth moving was involved in course construction. There are some splendid views over the Atlantic and the islands of Inis Glóire and Inis Géidhe.
The links is almost as far west as you can go on mainland Ireland. The Mullet Peninsula is almost surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and views of Blacksod Bay and the Atlantic islands of Innis are spectacular.
(6702 yards, par 72 )
Hackett believed that Carne would one day be acknowledged as Ireland's best links course. It is wild, natural and ruggedly beautiful. The gigantic sand dunes are even more imposing than those at other west coast courses.
The two 9-hole loops wind around, over and through the dunes to dramatic effect enhancing the charisma of the layout. The dunes are used to elevate tees opening up a vista of the challenges ahead on each hole.
The constantly erratic wind, gusting off the Atlantic becomes all apparent to frustrate the golfers plans to proceed. A round on Carne Hackett is a journey into the unknown, through a lunaresque terrain of thrills and challenges.
510 yards, Par 5, index 15
The green for this relatively short par five is guarded by two bunkers at the front.
The well-sheltered green can cause confusion with wind direction and strength for approach shots.
The towering sand dunes can give confusing echoes from which the hole gets its name.
360 yards, par 4, index 7
This par four dogleg has beautiful views from the tee after the climb up from the first green.
Wayward tee shots either right or left are severely punished on this hole.
The hole is named after one of the four Children of Lir who are said to be buried on the island of Inis Gloire (literally Island of Light) which is visible off shore.
362 yards, par 4, index 11
The second hole to be named after the four Children of Lir is a short par four which doglegs to the left.
The green is elevated and any approach shots left short of the putting surface usually roll down to the bottom of the hill.
This hole has recently been modified to open up the driving area.
523 yards, par 5, index 9
The second of three par fives on the front nine brings you to the sea and the furthest point out on the course.
There is out of bounds all the way along the right-hand side of the hole.
It is called after another of the Children of Lir who legend tells us are buried on Inis Gloire which is just off the coast near the green
159 yards, par 3, index 13
The last of the holes named after the Children of Lir is a delightful par three which is right on the Atlantic Ocean.
You are now at the closest point to Inis Gloire.
The green can be difficult with large slopes and borrows and has been modified in recent years.
401 yards, par 4, index 3
This par four has a very narrow entrance to its well-elevated green.
Like on all of the back nine there is a beautiful view looking back from the green.
The hole is named after the legendary island of Youth (Tir na n Og ) which according to its legend rises from the sea every 21 years.
171 yards, par 3, Index 17
A relatively short hole with a raised green below you
in a hollow that can be deceptive from a distance.
A shot offline could land you in the wild orchids.
Going long over this narrow green is risky as gnarly grass awaits.
Also to the right of the path from the tee is a huge exposed sand dune.
431 yards, par 4, index 1
A long difficult par four, perhaps Eddie Hackett's greatest challenge.
The name of the hole literally means Maram or Bent grass of which much thrives.
From the tee an amphitheatre green surrounded by menacing dunes awaits. The risky play even with a tail wind is challenging, the cratered dune up the left side deterring taking a direct line towards the green.
Playing straight down the fairway however balls can kick to the right off the undulated short grass and into the gnarly lies that await.
The green features a significant tier that creates an additional line of defence for pin placements in the back third of the putting surface.
202 yards, par 3, index 11
The longest par three on the course.
Watch out for the deep bunker on the front right of the green.
An ancient pilgrimage path used to visit Glebe cuts across in front of the tee giving the hole its name.
411 yards, par 4, index 2
From the tee, you have a full view of the hole.
There is an undulating fairway leading down to a two-tiered green.
The Corncrake is an endangered species of bird that nests in the meadows around the hole.
In summer you can hear its distinctive call.
390 yards, par 4, index 8
From the tee, it plays uphill to a fairway that has some extreme elevation changes.
The bank on the right of the Ladies tee is covered with primroses in Summer.
The fairway leads down to a dome-shaped green with a narrow entrance which makes this a tricky par four and one of the hardest holes on the course.
(3229 yards, par 35)
Typically dunes are created in a formal line of ridges, parallel to the sea. That is not the case here where it’s one dramatic hole after another. The dunes at Kilmore are entirely chaotic, entirely random. These dunes could be the biggest in the world.
The Kilmore nine venture into the dunes where the existing back nine is located. The course generally has the biggest dunes on the 280-acre property. At times the scale can leave you speechless and the routing has created some of the most dramatic holes on the property.
The style is very much in keeping with the original eighteen, but with a few quirks of its own. Some greens have heavy ridges to follow the flow of the land; and the bunkering is more punitive, especially on the sixth, where a small serpentine bunker to the right of the green will cause havoc.
From almost every tee box, golfers will be rewarded with stunning views. Islands are dotted across the ocean, the Nephin Beg mountain range rises to the south-east and Slievemore stands proud on Achill Island to the south.
561 yards, par 5
The tee shot plays between the dunes that separate the first and tenth hole of the Hackett course.
There is a blind landing zone that presents a challenge to deal with.
On the left, the green is protected by a small chasm making the right side favourite for the approach.
The green sits at the base of a large dune in a naturally beautiful and protected setting.
342 yards Par 4
There are fine views from the tee box with waves from the Atlantic crashing in the distance and a majestic dune framing the left side of this short downhill hole.
A big drive could tumble all the way down to the green.
However, a safe shot off the tee is best and can set up a good approach shot to a green at the base of the surrounding dunes.
229 yards, par 3
The green is perched on top of the dunes with a steep fall to the front.
A small chipping bowl sits at the front right portion of the green and the undulations in the putting surface create some tricky putts with certain pin placements.
The view from the green back out to the ocean is brilliant.
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