Enniscrone Golf Club, dream links in Ireland

"Far from the more beaten paths, possibly the best golf course in Ireland"

by Andrea Gussoni
Enniscrone Golf Club, dream links in Ireland
© Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport

"Far from the more beaten paths, possibly the best golf course in Ireland." If Shane Lowry, winner of the 2019 Open Championship, speaks of Enniscrone Golf Club in such terms, why not immediately book a vacation to this original and surprising destination? Forget about the "mild" climate of Dublin and the east coast.

Here, you'll find yourself in one of the windiest corners of the country. But if that doesn't deter you, well... you're in the right place. Voted "Best in Connacht" by the Golfers Guide, repeatedly listed by Golf Digest among the top 15 courses in Ireland, and now an integral part of Golf World's "Top 100 UK courses" list, Enniscrone is surrounded by surreal landscapes that combine the majesty of the Atlantic Ocean with the bucolic life of inland Ireland.

Ireland, golf

Why come to Enniscrone? Because besides being recommended by one of the best players on the Tour, upon your return, you'll be able to recount a unique experience. You'll be able to say you've played on a course where nobody else has been and feel like a golf guru.

The Dunes course has hosted the Irish Close Championship in 1930 and 2014, and the European Championships in 2001. Does it have what it takes? I'd say so. It's not just a paradise for golf lovers but a sanctuary of natural beauty, where green hills and wind-swept waves create an unforgettable setting.

Naturally undulating and rolling, Enniscrone's Dunes course is a tribute to the wild beauty of County Sligo in Connacht, an area historically steeped in myths and legends, traditions, and folklore. Enniscrone Golf Club The club was founded in 1918 when a group of golf enthusiasts decided to invest in what is effectively a promontory between the estuary of the River Moy and Killala Bay.

Originally conceived as a 9-hole course, Enniscrone Golf Club was soon expanded to 18 and then 27 holes. The new projects were overseen by Irish architect Eddie Hackett and Donald Steel, a former professional and distinguished designer.

Today, the main course, the Dunes (par 73, 6,248 meters from the whites and 6,000 meters from the yellows), stretches across giant sand hills and rugged terrain close to the sea. The location is enchanting, and the course design itself complements the surrounding environment.

The greens, often elevated, wind through deep valleys and high dunes. Elevated tee shots offer scenic views of the winding fairways that distinguish Enniscrone. Surroundings? Killala Bay, the Moy Estuary, Bartragh Island, and the mountain ranges of Nephin and Ox.

A tip? Play it at sunset when the lights dim, the shadows lengthen, and the colors create wonderful memories in your eyes and mind. The third 9 holes that make up the "Scurmore" course offer a panoramic setting that rivals its "sibling." An excellent mix of long and short holes, constantly idyllic scenery, and meticulous attention to detail ensure an enjoyable and stimulating game of golf in a splendid setting.

The clubhouse, furnished in typical Irish style with a strong emphasis on wood as a furnishing element, is no less beautiful and iconic. The atmosphere in the clubhouse is unique. The hospitable and kind Irish people are the extra touch that makes choosing the Emerald Isle as a destination worthwhile.

The facilities also include a grass practice area (covered stations are available for bad weather, and here, wind and rain are constants) and a putting green and chipping green. Connacht and County Sligo Connacht (one of the four provinces of Ireland, the others being Ulster, Munster, and Leinster) and County Sligo stand as landscape works of art steeped in history and culture.

Celebrated for its "Wild Heart," this region offers a variety of experiences capable of captivating the attention of every visitor. From the majestic peaks of Benbulbin to the grandeur of Kylemore Castle, Connacht reveals itself as a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered by travelers in search of authenticity.

An emotion that creeps into the hearts of anyone who ventures here, leaving an indelible imprint of wonder and admiration. The Wild Atlantic Way is just a few kilometers from the golf club. Stretching 2,500 km from Ulster, specifically the Inishowen Peninsula, to Munster, in the town of Kinsale, overlooking the Celtic Sea.

Traveling some stretches is the best way to understand Ireland. Clouds will pass over your head swiftly, swept by the winds. The green of the meadows and hills will accompany you like a faithful companion throughout the journey.

Sunbeams breaking through the sky between showers will be your travel companions. In recent years, more and more people have chosen to travel some stretches by bicycle, making it more adventurous. A glance towards the sky, and the heart beats faster in front of Benbulbin, the iconic mountain behind Sligo.

With its semicircular walls and mist dancing around its peaks, this mountain is a majestic testament to the natural beauty of the county. Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy an exciting trail and be rewarded with breathtaking views.

Kylemore Castle is an elegant Victorian mansion set in the green hills of Connemara. Surrounded by enchanting gardens, the castle tells stories of a bygone era, with surprising architectural details and a panoramic view of the lake on which the structure overlooks.

Built in neo-Gothic style in the 19th century, the building became an abbey when it passed into the hands of the Benedictine nuns of Ypres. Today, besides being used by tourists, it still serves its purpose. Connacht is renowned for hosting one of Ireland's most famous national parks, the Connemara National Park, a territory characterized by stretches of bogs, picturesque mountains, meadows, and typical villages dotting the rugged coast of the area.

Established in 1980 on what was originally land belonging to Kylemore Abbey, the park covers an area of 2,957 acres and is rich in hiking trails. Recommended visits include Letterfrack, a tiny settlement where Marconi conducted his first radio experiments, and Clifden, the capital of Connemara, which thrives on fishing and tourism.

Enniscrone Golf Club Opening: All year round. Recommended period: June-July Facilities: 27 holes; 18 holes (The Dunes) par 73, 6,248 meters from the whites, 9 holes (Scurmore) par 36, 2,753 meters from the whites; approach area, putting green, clubhouse, restaurant, locker rooms, grass practice area, covered stations, possibility to hire a caddy.