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Fota Island Golf Club,
Designer: P McEvoy, C O'Connor Jr, J Howes
Championship Length: 6,927 yards
SSS (Course Rating): 73
There is an argument that Fota Island Golf Club is the site of the second oldest golf club in Ireland as records suggest that the golf was played there as far back as 1886. Regrettably though, the original nine hole course fell into disrepair following the First World War and golf at Fota Island was abandoned. It was not until 1993 that a new championship course was developed at Fota Island and it hosted a number of major tournaments in its early years. Following an extensive redesign in 1999, Fota is now rated as one of the finest parkland course in the country and was host to the Murphy's Irish Open Golf Championships in 2001 and 2002.
Fota Island sits tranquilly in Cork Harbour, just a short drive from Cork City, which is Ireland's second largest city. Ideally located in Ireland's southwest, Fota Island's great golfing neighbours include the likes of Ballybunion, Killarney and Waterville to name just a few. A traditional parkland golf course, Fota Island is a sister course to the highly regarded Mount Juliet Resort in Kilkenny and is kept in immaculate condition year round. The club is located within a 780 acre estate, which also houses the Fota Island Wildlife Park and is included in the "Inventory of Outstanding Landscapes of Ireland", while the splendid woodland and water features combine to create a challenging layout.
Following its redesign, Fota Island has won universal praise from many quarters. It has joined the list of great golf courses that have hosted to Murphy's Irish Open Golf Championship a list that includes Ballybunion, Portmarnock, Druids Glen, the Killeen Course at Killarney and Mount Juliet. According to Golf Monthly "It's a mark of imaginative design when a new course appears old before the paint has dried purists will delight at the old fashioned features you'll stand in wide eyed admiration". Golf Digest wrote of Fota Island: "Fota eschews the Schwarzenegger like brutality in favour of guile and subtlety. Depending on how you see the shot in your mind, you could be playing any of three different clubs it makes you think. It's real golf."