Faithlegg Golf Club,
Designer: Patrick Merrigan
Championship Length: 6,674 yards
SSS (Course Rating): 72
Boasting a superb setting on the banks of the River Suir, Faithlegg Golf Course, designed by renowned architect, Patrick Merrigan has been cleverly moulded into a wonderful landscape of mature trees, flowing parkland and some five lakes. Situated on a 200 acre in the heart of Ireland's sunny South East, Faithlegg is the perfect inclusion as part of any golfing itinerary in the region.
The superb parkland layout, with tricky doglegs, blind shots and strategically positioned sand traps, represents a stiff challenge for even the most accomplished golfers. At a championship yardage of 6,674, distance is rarely the main problem in negotiating a good score at Faithlegg. The perils of the course lie more so in its clever layout and slick contoured greens. Be assured that any round at Faithlegg will test shot making skills to the limit. Rolling straight and true, the greens at Faithlegg are manicured, often dangerously fast and represent the perfect defence to a potentially low return. Varying pin placement puts the emphasis on accurate approach play, while inaccuracy is often rewarded by long putts to another level, perfectly exemplified by the par four 18th, a fitting end to a fantastic golfing experience.
The pick of the outward journey is probably the par 4, 5th hole, where your drive is critical. More gently meandering than dogleg right, the line is right of an old estate wall to a green invisible from the tee. Bunkers guard any ill guided approach shots coming up short so the emphasis is on a straight approach of sufficient length. The closing two holes are indeed a fitting finish and they test every aspect of your game. Having negotiated the required fade from 17th tee, an accurate draw around some huge trees is required from the 18th. A mid to long iron approach is required to a large, wickedly undulating "three putt" green, protected by a bunker to the right.
Set amongst mature woodland, the setting, scenery and condition of Faithlegg Golf Course belies it relative youth in golfing terms. Running alongside the picturesque Suir Estuary for much of the layout, wildlife abounds throughout the estate and while every golfer can be assured of a visually stimulating round, whether their score remains a source of pride after 18 superb holes, often depends on how well the inherently tricky greens were negotiated.