Tuesday 4 June 2013

New Nine Holes at Carne Golf Club

Location of Carne Golf Course (Yes, people do live out there!)
This post is more of an advertisement for my local course than anything to do with Golf Predictor! On a trip home last weekend, I took the opportunity to walk (and climb!) the new nine holes at Carne. For those of you unfamiliar with it, Carne is already one of the best links courses in Ireland. Unfortunately for most people, it's also one of the most isolated courses in Ireland, located a few miles past Belmullet in the extreme north west of Mayo, a county in the west of the country (see Google Maps screenshot above). The good news though, is that the trip will definitely be even more worth it once the new nine holes are completed.

While some of the front nine in Carne may be a little bland, it really comes into own on the back nine. With Atlantic views, massive dunes, large valleys and signature undulating fairways, it's a wonderful test of golf. Little did I know in all those years of looking for my golf balls up on those dunes and down in those valleys on that same back nine that there were even better holes waiting to be sculpted out of the adjacent land!

Despite the weather and the lack of a guide, I was really impressed with what I saw. Although it was June, it was a sweltering 13C/55F with strong cooling wind, fog and light rain when I set out. As usual, the rain got worse at my furthest point from the clubhouse! Several new holes wind through large dunes with relatively narrow fairways and feature signature elevation changes from tee to green, for example:
New hole carved out from between the large dunes
 Another new hole has a wide fairway bifurcated by a large dune:
Large mound splitting a new fairway. The tees are to the right.
The same mound from back towards the tee of that hole shows you could easily have a blind shot or a tricky lie for your approach to the green:
The view towards the mound from in front of the tee boxes
You better go left or right of the mound as the green is small and protected at the front by bunkers and on every other side by nature:
Nice little pot bunker just to the front and right of the green

This was another challenging looking hole, predominately downhill with an elevated small green, also protected by sand to the front and by nature on every other side:

Taken from a plateau looking towards the elevated small green!
The closing hole on this new nine looks like a great finishing hole. The following shows the view down the last new fairway from the ladies' tees:
 The clubhouse is almost within reach!
The men's tees are further back and higher up. I was too wet and tired at this stage to climb back up!  Anyone worried about the possible lack of undulations in the new fairways can relax. The following picture was taken in the middle of the final fairway at eye height (and I'm 6'2"!):
A view from the final fairway not far in front of the green!
These nine new holes will be fantastic when complete and I would encourage all golfers to come and try them out when they are open for business. This is due to happen on a limited basis for visitors from August to October this year. However, having seen the current state of the expansion, I'd be surprised if this new nine holes were open for play in eight weeks time. In the meantime, the existing eighteen holes will make you more than happy that you made the trip! I may be tempted out of golfing retirement myself by these super looking extra holes!

See part two of my report on the new nine holes.

No comments: