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Rosslare Golf Club,
Designer: Hawtree, Taylor
Championship Length: 6,715 yards
SSS (Course Rating): 72
Rosslare Golf Club is the only real championship links in southeastern Ireland and what a course it is. It could be argued that St. Helens Bay also falls into this category but in truth, St. Helens Bay is more a mixture between links and parkland. In 1928, the renowned architects, Hawtree and Taylor redesigned the links while a new 12 hole course, designed by Christy O'Connor Jr. was officially opened in 2000. Situated in an area known as the "Sunny South East", the links at Rosslare is of traditional style championship layout. The greens, fairways and tees are all watered regularly, thus providing excellent and consistent conditions for golf even in a drought.
Playing alongside one of the most breathtaking beaches in Ireland, Rosslare provides an excellent test of links golf. Since 1982, Rosslare Golf Club has undertaken significant investment in the course itself. New greens and tees have been constructed on the 1st, 3rd, 8th and 16th, while the greens at the 4th and 7th have also been significantly upgraded. This ongoing commitment to bettering the course has succeeded in establishing Rosslare as one of the country's leading golf courses.
Rosslare's links offers two superb nines, with the homeward half probably getting the overall nod in terms of quality. Two of the finest holes on the outward journey include the par four 5th and the par five 7th. At 443 yards in length, the 5th is an excellent hole, where the second shot must carry over a deep swale and requires pinpoint accuracy. The par five 7th measures some 554 yards, with your third shot being played to an elevated green guarded by three bunkers. This approach requires great accuracy, while a touch of backspin would help in order to hold the green.
The finest hole on the course is undoubtedly the 11th, which at 469 yards is an extremely challenging par four. The hole is played into the prevailing wind, while the second shot must be played blind over a hill marked by a red and white post, thereby giving the hole its name "The Barbers Pole". The finishing stretch includes a run of three demanding par fours from the 15th to the 17th, with the 18th hole being a quite benign par five, which leads many golfers to expect birdie. Standing on the 15th tee, golfers have often looked down this stretch of the opinion that closing fours would suffice. Sadly, this aspiration often falls on barren soil, as a finish of four consecutive fives is more often than not the outcome.