Enniscrone Golf Club is located just eight miles north of the Co. Mayo town of Ballina, in some of the most dramatic links land that you will find anywhere in Ireland. Whether the road signs display ‘Enniscrone’ or ‘Inniscrone,’ a debate that has raged for years as to the correct version, all roads will lead you to one of the best links golf courses in Ireland. The first nine holes were laid out in 1930 at that time when you could join the club for a mere £1. Despite having a fairway mower drawn by horses, regular intrusions by livestock necessitating wire fencing to be erected to protect greens, and a declining economy, resulting in there being only 14 club members in 1959, the club and course have survived.
By 1970, renowned Irish course designer Eddie Hackett was working his magic at Enniscrone Golf Club, extending the course to eighteen holes by weaving some of what are deemed to be his best creations through and around the dunes. The new Hackett design opened for play in 1974 to substantial acclaim. The club continued to develop in the eighties and nineties, and by 1999 Donald Steel was hired to expand upon Hackett’s blueprint. He re-routed the course further into the dunes and added six new holes, helping create the ‘Scurmore’ 9-hole course. Today, Enniscrone Golf Club stands as one of the finest links courses in Ireland and yet remains, to many, a hidden gem.
The opening hole at Enniscrone Golf Club gives you a real sense of what you will face. The landing area from your drive is a generous one and if placed accurately, will provide an excellent view of the green which sits at the end of a narrow channel of tall dunes that surround and protect the putting surface. The opener is followed by two extremely tough Par 5’s spread either side of devilish Par 3! The 556yard second, a dogleg right that requires three well-struck shots to have any chance of Par is followed, at the 4th by a double dogleg, a 523yard test that ranks amongst the best you will find anywhere.
Early in the back nine at Enniscrone Golf Club, you play two more of the best holes in Ireland in our opinion. The 12th, known as ‘Cnoc na gCorp’ or translated into English as ‘The Hill of the Dead’ is a reasonably accurate description of this stunning golf hole. At a mere 345yards on the card, you could be fooled into thinking that a relatively easy Par 4 awaits but what you will find is one of the most challenging golf holes anywhere in the world. Accuracy is the key here. The driver will remain in the bag unless the wind is up, and once navigated, the approach shot is critical. Played to a green surrounded by steep dunes, anything short will find its way back down the steep slope that protects the front portion.
The tee shot at the 350yard Par 4 13th hole known as ‘The Burrows’, is played blind at a white stone atop a fairway dune in the distance that should see an accurate ball feed down the slope beyond, thus opening up a good view of the green some 50 yards below your feet. Finally, the Par 3, 17th hole is probably one of the most difficult you will find, measuring a mere 149yards, especially if the wind blows. Akin to the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon, there is no bail-out here, with anything not struck to the putting surface rapidly disappearing from view! Enniscrone Golf Club is one of our clients favourite golf courses in Ireland. If you are interested in playing Enniscrone as part of your golf vacation to Ireland, talk to us here at The Consummate Pro or take a look at our “Wild Atlantic Golf Tour” for some ideas as to how it might fit in.