Connemara Golf Club,
Designer: Eddie Hackett
Championship Length: 7,272 yards
SSS (Course Rating): 75
Connemara, or Ballyconneely Golf Club, as it is also known, is located between the Twelve Bens Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, in one of the most splendid settings imaginable. According to renowned golf writer, James W. Finnegan, the golf links of Connemara is "a perfect reflection of the austere beauty that is the world of Connemara".
Originally opened as an 18 hole venue, Connemara Golf Links has offered 27 holes of sublime links golf since 2001. The course was designed by renowned Irish course architect, Eddie Hackett and completed by Tom Craddock. And while Connemara Golf Club may be located on one of Ireland most westerly tips, make no mistake that it is worth the trip. Like the many other great links of the west and northwest, Connemara remains a largely underplayed (if not hidden) gem but its quality is not for debate. As renowned golf writer and commentator, Peter Alliss said "if there were a course like this on the west coast of England, it would surely host the British Open."
Connemara Golf Links is a demanding course and one where the par of 72 is rarely achieved. This may be explained in part by the invigorating scenery but is more likely down to the demands imposed by the back nine holes in particular. Renowned for its difficult back to back par 5 finish, the links at Ballyconneely offers a variety of tests to excite lovers of the links game. From a tight dogleg opener, through a treacherous par 3, 6th, to a roller coasting closing nine holes, this links is a delight to behold.
The adventure begins with a 384 yard dogleg par 4 and immediately the golfer is engrossed in their surroundings, with everything except golf being almost instantaneously forgotten about. The famous 13th is a testing par 3 over 200 yards in length, while the 15th has its green camped in the hills and can only be attacked by aerial assault. The green at the 16th is guarded by water and then you must confront the lengthy final two holes. A fitting finish to a great experience on a superb links!