Powerscourt Golf Club,
SSS (Course Rating): 74
Located in an area aptly called the Garden of Ireland, Powerscourt Golf Club is blessed with an abundance of mature trees and natural features, while it's stunning views are dominated by the majestic Sugarloaf Mountain. Built on free draining soil, which gives the golf course a heathland texture with links characteristics, Powerscourt Golf Club is part of the 1,000 acre Powerscourt Estate, which dates back to the 14th century and has been in the possession of the Slazenger family since 1961. The quality of the course is such that by 1998, Powerscourt played host to the Irish Professional Championship, which was won by Padraig Harrington.
Using the picturesque natural landscape and a generous amount of land, the Peter McEvoy designed course offers a varied and testing examination, from genuine three stroke par 5's to the tantalizing 160 yard downhill 16th, where club selection is absolutely critical. Throughout the round, the golfer is confronted with wickedly tricky, tiered greens, which place a premium on accurate approach play. While the course measures over 7,000 yards from the back stakes, the first time visitor is advised to choose a more modest test as any virgin performance at Powerscourt is highly unlikely to live up to initial expectations.
As with most good golf courses, it is difficult to select holes that stand out from the others but some of note on the outward journey include the par 4 fourth, where an accurate tee shot is imperative, the 237 yard par 3 fifth, where you play from a raised tee to a well guarded green and the par 4 seventh, where the green is split into no less than four separate levels. The homeward journey is no less challenging and opens with two tough par 4's. The short aforementioned 16th has shades of the 12th at Augusta about it, while the long 17th is perhaps one of the best par 5's in the country. Hitting from a raised tee, the fairway is flanked by a steep grassy bank on the left and mature Norwegian spruce on the right and having accomplished this, a large lake stands between golfer and green.