News:

This discussion group is best enjoyed using Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour
« on: August 19, 2009, 06:32:23 PM »
Returned home from a wonderful family trip to Ireland.  The golf was lots and lots of fun with Ballybunion being the clear bully of the courses that we played.  A review of the search engine seemed to reveal few, if any, pics of Connemara Golf Club...so I thought I'd give you guys a look.  Overall, I'd give it a Doak 5...Other opinions from those who have seen it?

Ok so here goes...

The Clubhouse:






The Flags outside the clubhouse....please note:  WE PLAYED THIS COURSE IN SUSTAINED 40 MPH WINDS WITH GUSTS TO 65 MPH ....It was certainly fun and memorable...but not ideal.





The par 4 1st hole...bending to the left





The approach to #1:





Tee shot par 4 2nd..also bending left:





Close up of the nature of most of the rough....I really liked this presentation (unfortunately there were also areas of knee high hay where finding your ball was impossible:



Par 3 #3 158 yds:





#4 Tee shot:





#4 green:





#5 approach:






#5 green:





#6 187 yd par 3:





Ok, what do you think so far?

Bart
« Last Edit: February 06, 2011, 11:13:41 AM by Bart Bradley »

Tim Pitner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first six holes posted)
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 06:42:50 PM »
Bart,

Thanks for the photos.  I played Connemara several years ago when I was taking a law class in Dublin for the summer.  I was with my wife, golf wasn't the focus and I played only courses near where we touring.  I played it before they built a 3rd nine.  A Doak 5 sounds about right, but it's a very enjoyable Doak 5.  It has a nice setting, some rugged terrain on the back 9 and is wonderfully minimalist in the typical Hackett fashion.  Of the two Hackett courses I played, I greatly preferred Donegal.  I played Connemara as a single on a weekend and got paired with members playing a Stableford game--the members were very engaging.  I recall having a stiff wind as well (although not 40 mph!).  Clifden is a great place to spend a few nights. 

Doug Siebert

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first six holes posted)
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2009, 12:32:41 AM »
Thanks for bringing back the memories of my visit there in 1996.  As I recall it was a breezy but sunny day, quite pleasant for that far north.  Your closeup of the flowery rough really brings back the memories, I seem to recall playing a lot of shots out of it - and on a few occasions got some crazy bounces off small outcroppings of rock.

I always thought Connemara is what the moon would look like if they could grow grass and build a golf course there :)
My hovercraft is full of eels.

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first six holes posted)
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2009, 01:28:58 AM »
I"m looking forward to the back 9 as Richard Phinney writes that it really picks up at 12 hole.  But, the description in Phinney's book "Links of Heaven" of Fr. Waldron shepherding the project and the participation of the community with golf archie Eddie Hacket's help and Irish wit and guile to play on the Fr's psyche remains one of my favorite stories about a golf course development.
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Emil Weber

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first six holes posted)
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2009, 03:54:23 AM »
That actually looks a lot better than I expected and from the photos also a lot better than a 5... What is the difference in length of the 1 and 2nd holes? What do you think of the green complexes at Connemara?

Tim Pitner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first six holes posted)
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2009, 11:50:36 AM »
That actually looks a lot better than I expected and from the photos also a lot better than a 5... What is the difference in length of the 1 and 2nd holes? What do you think of the green complexes at Connemara?

Emil,

I could see an argument that Connemara would be a Doak 6, but no more than that.  I don't recall the greens to be that interesting.  Generally, there isn't a lot of "architecture" at Connemara, but that in itself is worth checking out.  If in the area, you'd never regret playing Connemara.

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (front nine posted)
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2009, 06:48:53 PM »
7th tee:

 


7th approach:




8th tee:





8th approach:



9 tee:



9 approach:




Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first six holes posted)
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2009, 06:52:39 PM »
That actually looks a lot better than I expected and from the photos also a lot better than a 5... What is the difference in length of the 1 and 2nd holes? What do you think of the green complexes at Connemara?

Emil:

The greens on the front are relatively flat and generally approachable with running shots...as is appropriate for the windy site.

Most of the greens on the back nine are on elevated sites..making them far less receptive to running type shots...however, there seems to be some more slope on them!...

1st hole is 369 par 4 ...2nd hole is 401 yd par 4.

Thanks,

Bart

Jack_Marr

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (front nine posted)
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009, 10:50:33 AM »
The back nine is much better than the front, I think. I haven't played the newest nine, but I heard it's a bit short and tight. Not really like the rest of the course. Look forward to seeing pictures of the back nine.
John Marr(inan)

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (front nine posted)
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2009, 11:01:47 AM »
Bart

Thanks for posting. Haven't played this course but certainly looks worth a go. The only Hacket course I've played is Donegal and I thought he failed to make the most of a really good site.

Niall

Tim Pitner

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (front nine posted)
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2009, 11:37:55 AM »
Bart

Thanks for posting. Haven't played this course but certainly looks worth a go. The only Hacket course I've played is Donegal and I thought he failed to make the most of a really good site.

Niall,

That's an interesting comment about Donegal.  I agree that it is a very good site and, in the right hands and with a larger budget, it could have yielded a better course.  However, in the wrong hands, it could have been worse.  What's there right now is pretty darned good, IMO (although I haven't seen the course since Ruddy made some changes). 

Niall C

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (front nine posted)
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2009, 11:45:01 AM »
Tim

Maybe I'm being a wee bit harsh on Hackett as I played Sligo on the same trip and thought that it was a wonderful course and anything after that is going to compare poorly. Can't quite recall what year that was but it must have been 7 or 8 years ago. I do recall that at Donegal there was a a par 3 which Ruddy either redesigned the green or designed the entire hole. It looked as though he posted a plan to the club without any contours because that is what they built, flat green, flat bunkers - truelly awful.

Niall

Jack_Marr

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (front nine posted)
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2009, 11:54:20 AM »
Hackett designed very many truely unremarkable courses in Ireland. They were built with no budget and were designed for the local community in mind, generally. He also designed some great courses with zero budget.

Actually, I believe that they asked him to design Tralee, but he advised they get a big name, big budget firm to do it instead.
John Marr(inan)

Norbert P

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (front nine posted)
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2009, 01:56:11 PM »
 Thanks Bart for presenting Connemara with terrific photos.  The day I played it I left the camera in the car as the winds were whipping and the rain was on a wild ride.  It was a brutally memorable day - I only parred one hole, the 17th and had my head down most of the time.  Odd thing was, I wasn't the only idiot out there!  The course is not sophisticated but it has nature's teeth, especially on the back nine, to keep things challenging and a trek of discovery.  After the round I had the finest and most appreciated Guinness of my life.   And woke up the next day without pneumonia!
 
  As Dick alludes to, Eddie's charm comes through in his designs.  The man is the golf saint of Ireland. 

"Golf is only meant to be a small part of one’s life, centering around health, relaxation and having fun with friends/family." R"C"M

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 12 holes posted)
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2009, 06:21:25 PM »
#10 par 4 tee shot:



#10 approach (elevated green):





par 3 #11:




#11 green close-up...this one has some nice internal contour:





#12 par 4 uphill:




ABSOLUTE PROOF OF THE STRENGTH OF THE WIND...a view of one of the new nine flagsticks..looking left from 12 fairway:





#12 approach:




More to follow...the wind at this point is at least 55mph...and gusting stronger...amazing...we can barely stand up.

Bart

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 12 holes posted)
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2009, 09:35:41 PM »
Ok...I liked the 13th hole...a long par 3 200yds the wind quartering against and to the right....I hit low punch driver and it bounded to the back of this severely sloping green...





My drive ended here..my son is in the front bunker...I am putting dead downhill, dead downwind 55 mph...my putt ended up in the bunker where my son is standing!!!! after almost stopping 6 feet short   >:(  :




Bart

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 13 holes posted)
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2009, 07:44:57 PM »
Alright...hole #14...downhill tee shot from a tee elevated at least 40-50 feet in the air...

Now, I have to admit that I am, in general, not a fan of elevated tee boxes that play into the wind...it was particularly crazy on this day!  The wind, at this spot, on this day, was greater than 55 mph :o making the hole barely playable... I hit my best low driver and barely reached to a spot in the left rough just even with the start of the fairway)...I should have started from the ladies' tee!



view back up toward the tee from the fairway to show the elevation of the tee:



Any comments on the back nine so far?  Thoughts on this hole?  Might be kinda cool in a wee breeze, but a beast in the conditions we played.

Bart

Ian_L

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 14 holes posted)
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2009, 02:00:58 PM »
Thanks for the thread, Bart. I played there two years ago and had a great time.  The views of the countryside and the castle are beautiful.

I played in relatively light winds, and holes 13 and 14 were two of my favorites.  #13 has a simple quality which I really like, although the carry could be difficult for some as I recall.

I usually don't like blind pitches to a green very much, but I thought the 3rd shot on #14 was very interesting.  Nearly birdied it in calm winds, which should assure you that it's not a very difficult hole ;)

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 14 holes posted)
« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2009, 06:50:47 PM »
par 4 hole #15 ...approach to another elevated green...for me, too many of the back nine holes have elevated greens...but this is a cool one with the mound obscuring the left half of the green...there is a lot more green left than appears:



Enjoy,

Bart

Ed Oden

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 15 holes posted)
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2009, 12:45:23 AM »
Bart, thanks for the thread.  From your photos the course is appealingly unassuming.  I like the look.  The rock outcroppings provide an interesting contrast to the linksland.  Are the rocks in play much?  How do you think your opinion of the course was impacted by the wind?  I find that courses I've played in extreme conditions are often the ones I want to return to the most since it is just so hard to focus on the course rather than the weather.  I always feel like I miss the nuances in harsh weather.

Ed

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 15 holes posted)
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2009, 06:51:45 AM »
Ed:

This was my second visit to the course...we had perfect weather the first time (sunny with mild breezes)...so I think my opinions are based on both sets of conditions.  The rocks don't come into play much...they were generally in places you didn't want to go anyway.  I probably miss the nuances even in perfect weather  :P...I will post some more pics tonight.

Bart

Bart Bradley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour (first 15 holes posted)
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2009, 10:20:05 AM »
16th -- par 4 looking back down the hole from behind the green...near 17 tee...

notice the burn that you cross in the fairway ... the weather is about to turn even worse...the picture is lightened a good bit to be able to see any details




Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2013, 05:06:37 AM »
Bumped this thread for a few reasons:

Firstly, because I like the course a lot (and the area feels like my second home)

Secondly, because I haven't actually visited the course for a few years now and wanted to find some pictures of the primarily in-house work they've been carrying out on the front nine.

Thirdly, because I was flicking through The Confidential Guide last night and was reminded that Tom said this was the only solid rumour he was yet to visit... and noticed that he actually did visit last month so wondered what he thought?

Finally, I notice Bart got as far as hole 16 and then seemed to stop...

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +0/-1
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2013, 06:10:09 AM »
Ally:

Here's the first draft of my review.  I generally like to wait a bit longer than this to write up a course, as I think it's important to see what sticks in the memory after a bit of time.

   Here again, the mission of building a championship-caliber course to attract tourist play seems somewhat misguided, at the far west end of the beautiful Connemara National Park.  To its credit, the golf course is quite wide and playable among the small dunes and rocks, and the routing changes direction frequently to confront the wind from all quarters.  However, the one stretch of coastline was given over to the narrow and difficult third nine, which no one wants to play.  Had they used all the best land for a single, more enjoyable eighteen, it might have been equal to its glorious setting.  Even so, Connemara is such a beautiful part of Ireland that it should be a required stop for anyone visiting Ireland with their spouse and their clubs.

Interesting to see the numbers speculated upon at the start of the thread.  The course is either a 5 or a 6 on the Doak scale, but I'm still wavering as to the final grade.

Ken Kearney

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Connemara Golf Club --Ireland --Photo Tour
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2013, 08:55:33 AM »
Firstly, because I like the course a lot (and the area feels like my second home)

Secondly, because I haven't actually visited the course for a few years now and wanted to find some pictures of the primarily in-house work they've been carrying out on the front nine.



Ally,

Connemara is a nice golf course, where I have played loads of golf. As Tom says, the opportunity to develop a top class course was lost in not using the "best" of the land for their "best" course.

I am interested to hear why you regard Connemara as your "second home".

The work done there has been done under the guidance of Hugh O'Neill, the Head Greenkeeper.  Hugh is also a qualified PGA professional but his real skill is in keeping the golf course at Connemara GC.  Hugh is a very close friend and I hope to be with him soon when I will take photos of the work done.  Most of the work has been to green surrounds with an entire new green complex at the 5th hole.  The work has been tastefully done, as I would have expected from Hugh, who is passionate about his golf course.

When I get a chance I will post photos.


Best,
Ken.
KK.

Tags:
Tags:

An Error Has Occurred!

Call to undefined function theme_linktree()
Back