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Rathsallagh Golf Club,
Designer: Peter McEvoy, Christy O'Connor Jr
Championship Length: 6,885 yards
SSS (Course Rating): 74
Set amid mature parkland and woodland, Rathsallagh Golf Club has rapidly established itself as one of the leading parkland golf courses in Ireland. The land upon which Rathsallagh is built was in fact a 570 acre farm up until 1988 when Rathsallagh House began to take guests. The design team of Christy O'Connor Jr. and Peter McEvoy began work on the course in early 1993 and it is fair to say that tremendous results have been achieved.
The 252 acre lush parkland layout follows the lie of the natural rolling terrain while many fine trees were preserved and are integral to the course today. The result is a classic parkland stretch, which rises and falls among the shadows of giant oak, beech and lime trees. Water, which first comes into play at the short fourth hole, plays an important role at Rathsallagh, while the multilevel putting surfaces are regarded as some of the finest greens in the country.
There are many fine holes at Rathsallagh and it is a subjective opinion as to which deserve special mention but the 2nd, 8th, 10th and 18th holes are very impressive. The par four 2nd, measuring over 450 yards, is a great hole for the long hitters. A good drive is required in order to be able to see the green for your second and with the green well guarded by bunkers left and right, par here is a good score. The par four 8th hole however, can catch out the longer hitters. With a lake to the right and bunkers ahead and to the left, the emphasis on this dogleg is on tee shot placement. Hit it well and you are left with a precise second to a narrow green, protected by a lake and large bunker to the front and by a stream at the back.
The 10th is an excellent par four and measures 465 yards from the championship stakes. You need to be as close as possible to the water off the tee (which by the way is certainly in range for the longer hitters). The second shot, with water on the right and a tree lined ditch on the left, will require a long iron or wood struck to a multileveled, contoured green. The Rathsallagh challenge reaches an appropriate climax at the devilishly difficult 18th, a rising par four of 450 yards. Out of bounds beckons on the left but the real test here is the long, slender, three tiered green, where birdies are as rare as a slow putt at Augusta.