The Cloonacastle Estate dates back to the early 13th century and a number of local dynasties – including the Bourke, Egan and Walsh families – looked after its affairs down the years before the final occupiers, the Hobans, sold the property to Ballinrobe Golf Club in 1992, a couple of years before the club celebrated its centenary.
One of the last layouts that Eddie Hackett designed, the fairways of this sumptuous parkland course are routed around a large, 300-acre estate, with small water hazards coming into play at several of the holes. Par is set at 73, largely because there are five par fives on the scorecard, three on the front nine and two on the back nine.
The signature hole at Ballinrobe is regarded as the 401-yard par four 10th, where the tee is set close to some ancient fortifications. Out of bounds runs the full length of the hole, along the left side of the fairway, so a long and accurate tee shot is required for golfers who want to take on the water-fronted green in two shots.
Ballinrobe has recently been voted the best Parkland Course in Connaught and just entered as a top 100 course in Irish Golfer magazine.
It's definitely a hidden gem and as a member I can say I am very proud to be associated with it.
The course is set on the finest grassland in the country and is renowned for its drainage and consequent drying out quickly in our damp climate.
The course has a range of dogleg holes and it's signature hole the 10th is practically an island green. The par three are legendary and attracted high praise from Pádraig Harrington when he played the course.
It amazes me the a previous reviewer stated that that the course is flat with up and down holes, it is not and I can honestly say that of the 18 holes only 8 holes could be described as straight and of these 4 are the par 3s.
It is parkland but not flat, a number of greens are raised and the fairways
Include slopes on many of the holes but not to an extent that makes them unfair.
The clubhouse is a charming listed old country house which is a wonderful facility.
Played the course in September. Read the above reviewer and think the poster must be confusing this course with another. Wide fairways _ yes. This course lies on 300 acres of ancient parkland and I felt as if we were the only 4 ball on the course even though over 100 people were out that day. Greens were the best I have played in a long time and the general condition from tee to green was second to none. This is truly the Druids Glen of the West..... water in play on 11 holes and clever course layout with ancient stone walls and huge mature trees requiring strong positional play. Grub was great and a great atmosphere in the clubhouse afterwards. The best of the 5 courses our group played on our trip west
The best bit first - the greens are excellent. They hold a shot and roll very true at a good pace. The bad bit - the course is boring. Only two holes stand out in the memory - 10 and 11. Think of a resort course that just goes up and down over flat ground, around a couple of trees. It is just long with no demands on accuracy. The fairways are wide, sometimes 50 metres, and there is nothing around the greens. Just bang it down the fairway, bang it towards the green. If you miss the green the chip is fairly simple on mostly flat greens. It is reasonably priced but not a test of golf.
Not sure is the above reviewer commenting about Ballinrobe. Played there in September and the course was immaculate. Up and down golf holes?? The course is spread over 300 acres and other than the 10th and 11th no fairways run alongside each other. Water comes into play on at least half the holes if my memory serves me correctly. If the poster calls those greens flat I wouldn't like to play greens he finds undulating