Glasson Golf Club,
Designer: Christy O'Connor Jr
Championship Length: 7,120 yards
SSS (Course Rating): 74
Often labeled the "Killarney of the Midlands", Glasson Golf & Country Club was designed by Ryder Cup player, Christy O' Connor Jr. It would be difficult to imagine a more arresting setting than Glasson, situated on a peninsula bordering Lough Ree, with the Lough and the River Shannon visible from most parts of the course. According to O' Connor, Glasson is "one of the most scenic pieces of land I've ever seen in my life, with the front nine overlooking Lough Ree and the second nine in Killinure Bay, there is nothing I've seen that comes close to that". American visitors often insist that Ireland's major attraction is its links courses and that parkland stretches must be particularly special to command their attention well Glasson is such a course.
The two opening holes at Glasson are gentle enough but don't let it lull you into a false sense of security. The par 3, 3rd hole measuring 200 yards in length is to a plateau green that is well guarded by bunkers. The golfer should be able to take in the panoramic scenery over the next two holes but the long par 5, 6th lies in wait. Out of bounds lurks from tee to green on the left, while water will ensnare any stray approach shot on the right. A par is a good score here. The final three holes on the outward journey can steal shots from the overconfident, particularly the 432 yard 8th hole, where water is situated to the left of the green.
Having played the 10th, 11th and 12th, the golfer enters the natural amphitheatre of the closing stretch. The 14th is a scenic par 5, demanding a tee shot from an elevated position in the face of spectacular views over Killinure Bay. The fairway travels downhill and doglegs to the right along the bay. Water protects a tight green on both sides so making par will provide a spring to the step approaching the 15th, which at 185 yards in length, is one of the most beautiful short holes you will ever encounter. As you leave the 18th green behind, the advice is to stand and look out over Lough Ree and reflect on the Glasson experience. Whether you have broken par or shot over a hundred, it has been a day well spent.