Carton House (Montgomerie) - Kildare - Ireland

Carton House,
Maynooth,
Co. Kildare,
Ireland


  • +353 (0) 1 505 2000

  • David Webster

  • Colin Montgomerie and Stan Eby

  • Francis Howley


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Carton House

Located a mere 15 miles to the west of Dublin city centre, Carton House is set to become a popular golfing destination. The 1,100-acre walled Carton Estate dates back to Norman times and a new luxury four-star hotel is currently being built in sympathy with Carton House, the existing ancient mansion. Carton House is not only located in a beautiful setting, but it’s easily accessible.

There are two courses, the more senior O’Meara, which opened for play in 2002 and the Montgomerie, which opened the following year. Both are contrasting in style: the O’Meara is park-like and the Montgomerie links-like. This is the second course to be designed by “Monty” and he was helped and guided by Stan Eby of European Golf Design. It’s an interesting sculptured layout which stretches out to a massive 7,300 yards from the championship tees.

Without huge defining sand dunes, links-type courses can be flat and featureless. The Montgomerie course gets its definition from manufactured undulations; swaying fescue grass, clear definition between the cuts of grass and the many deep pot bunkers. It clearly has a modern look and feel but it’s an honest an unpretentious driver’s course which hangs together rather well. There is no signature hole to speak of, just one good hole after another, and the par threes are especially noteworthy.

Clearly delighted with his creation, Colin Montgomerie said: “This is a unique project and I am privileged to be associated with it. You can’t call it a links course, but it plays like a links and has all the characteristics of a links. In designing this course, I attempted to go back to a more traditional course. I looked at the great courses around the world – Royal Melbourne, Troon, Turnberry – and worked out what is so good about them. One thing that springs to mind – bunkering. They are hazards and they work with the prevailing wind. Few holes are straight up and down the wind but tend to be across, which brings the bunkering into play. This is the kind of course where the best players would always come out on top”.

A record prize fund of €2,200,000 was up for grabs at the 2006 Irish Open at Carton House, played on the Montgomerie course, and Thomas Bjørn claimed the title. The event returned to Carton House in 2013 with a reduced €2m prize fund and England's Paul Casey sailed to claim the Irish Open title after being stuck in the doldrums for two years.

In May 2005, for the first time, the Irish Open was held on Monty’s new creation. Wales’s Stephen Dodd emerged victorious after beating England’s David Howell in a playoff. This was to be Howell's second shootout disappointment after losing in the previous week to Thomas Björn in a tense three-way playoff at the Forest of Arden in the Daily Telegraph Dunlop Masters. Despite six birdies in the final round, Monty couldn’t recover from a third-round 75 and he ended on his own course tied for 28th place.

The Irish Open was staged over the Montgomerie course in 2006 and the event returned to Maynooth in 2013.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Carton House (Montgomerie)

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: The Montgomerie course at Carton House hosted the 2005 Irish Open. Although not a links course, it looks and plays like one. Rating: 4.8 out of 6 Reviews: 11

Here's the good news -- The Carton House is a warm and wonderful top notch resort property, fortunate in having two good and different golf courses to choose from, with The Montgomery being better of the two (with The O'Meara being more "easy going" ... parkland, but almost Monterey, CA-like, how native trees, bunkering and rough outline many of the fairways). The less than good news? The difficulty playing the course lies in redundant deep bunkering, both in the fairways and around the greens. Even Monty said, "I looked at the great courses around the world -- Royal Melbourne, Troon, Turnberry -- and worked out what is so good about them. One thing that springs to mind -- bunkering." Fine ... but does nearly every bunker need to be so deep, that when you're stuck in one, playing partners can't even see your head? Don't mind a tough round at all -- but when the course relies on the same feature, over and over, to introduce difficulty -- it actually takes away from the beauty and challenge of the rest of the course. Finishing hole more parkland-like and a bit out of character ... leaving one to wonder, "what course did I just play?" The front nines from both courses would make the better composite 18, in my humble opinion. Don D.

4 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
November 26, 2017


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
played the course twice in sun and a stiff breeze. Got beaten up the first time round, got the hang of things a bit the second time and played much, much better.Aside from the fact that this course is a links-"style" course set on a flat track of ex-cattle farm, so it doesn't really fit in, what annoyed me the most is the quality of the bunker sand. It felt like there was a light dusting below which was concrete. We literally could not get the ball out of the bunkers, whereas those at RCD, Portrush, Portmarnock et al held no such problems. That was annoying and plain stupid.The greens however are true, there are some beautiful holes (especially one and eighteen), and playing the course of a midsummer evening with the sun casting shadows over the undulating fairways was breathtaking.If you have to pick one Carton course to play (btw, the Carton House Hotel is an absolutely beautiful place to stay and Maynooth, the local town, foody and buzzing), for sure you should opt for the far superior and more appropriate for the setting O'Meara,
3 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
June 23, 2015


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Just come back from Ireland after playing three top courses - The K club, The Hermitage and The Montgomerie at Carton House. All courses were relatively tough in their own way, but The Montgomerie was the most bland, featureless and uninspiring. On the plus side I like the fact that there are a lot of bunkers and they are really deep. This is proper punishment for not finding the fairway. The greens were quite quick and had various contours but they were manageable for a 13 handicapper like me. I would say play this course at least once to test your skills at keeping out of the bunkers, but because there is no real stunning scenery to speak of I won't be returning (despite carding a 86 for my best round of the week).
4 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
May 17, 2014


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
When any body says to me "it's like an inland links" about a golf course I have to confess I roll my eyes and expect the worst. Here is a case in point. Caton House (Montgomerie) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerTechnically outstanding, this course left me cold. The man commissioned to move all of the earth for Monty has probably retired and is sat on his yacht in the Bahamas by now. The scale and nature of each hole, the bunkers, the green complexes and tees is jaw droppingly well done but you can't detract from the over all truth that the front nine is basically a huge field and the back nine is esentially another one. It is all too typical of a tour course, celtic manor, the belfry et al. There is no sense of discovery or journey and only once you are in to the back nine do you enjoy the wider surroundings. It is clinical. It's a great varied test and it's in faultless condition. There are some lovely holes here but by and large they need framing, some definition, a backdrop. There is good reason however that this is the home of the Irish golf union. The facilities are unmatched in Ireland off of the course. Plant some trees and this course could be epic. The bones are there. JCB Lay
4 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
October 14, 2012


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Response
Tom Waldron
June 11, 2013
I read your review to consider places to play while in Ireland. I would like to know the experience you had , good or bad and why. The earth mover who retired to the Bahamas is a little ....much and totally ....stupid. Stick to the review and save your space wasting diatribe for your travel book.
JCB Lay
June 12, 2013
Hi Tom, I wished to emphasise that they have moved a lot of earth this Golf course (compared to many) to sculpt this track and spared no expense in doing so. I'm sorry you did not like the style of my writing. thank you for your feedback and the opportunity to explain it to you. Enjoy your golf in Ireland it is a wonderful place and carton House is an establishment of the highest quality. It is just not as natural as some others but it is a stiff and varied test in fabulous condition with unrivalled off course facilities It is just not really to my taste, yet. Try Headfort New. For the record I've played all over the world , I've been a pro (very bad one) and play I off of one. I play a lot still. You cant play them all but I'm trying.
JCB Lay
June 12, 2013
Also, have you played it? I look forward to your review if you have. Best wishes.
I played "The Monty" at Carton in late December 2011. It is in superb condition. I love the fact that you tee off on the 1st from County Meath and play the rest of your round in County Kildare. It has just secured the Irish Open again for 2012 and is a worthy venue. Long, dry all year round, beautiful and a real challenge. Always take an extra club for your second shot. Not bad value too if you're a good negotiator. Much better than the sister "O'Meara" course.
5 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
January 04, 2012


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
This is a clever golf course. There really is nothing quite like it. Monty set out to design an inland links, and for the most part he achieved this. As others have said, the pot bunkers are its defence. Don't believe for a moment that they are any less severe on the fairway than around the greens. If you drive into one, it really is a case of hitting a sand wedge back into play and taking your medicine. There really are very few courses that I have played where you have to think so much about every shot, particularly if the wind is whipping across the undulating acres. The conditioning is also superb. We played last week and the course looked set up for May, not February. It may not be to everyone's taste, but it is a proper test of your golfing skills. You may not fall in love with it, but you will certainly be in awe of it. Off the course, the Carton facilities are second to none, including the National Golf Academy with superb practice facilities.
6 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
February 16, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I have played over 100 courses in Ireland and the Monty course manyl times. It is my favourite course in the country. I have played the K. Club, the PGA, European Club and other beautiful courses but I just love Carton not only for the quality of the course but for its setting as well. It has a really links feel about it with some beautiful views of the woods surrounding parts of the back 9 and it offers a fantastic view on the castle from many holes and especially the 17th and the 18th which are great finishing holes with water. You can score very well on those 2 holes or lose the ball as well right and scratch them. The course is always in immaculate condition (greens are top class, fairways, bunkers...). The design is really good and challenging and meeting the bunkers definitely brings another challenge to a round. The club house itself is worth a round of golf at Carton! If you have never played this course, give it a go, you will love it!
6 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
January 18, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Played whilst Dublin hosted the Ryder Cup in 2006, both this and the sister O'Meara course were a joy to play. You have to smile off the tees to see a bank of bunkers greeting you to the left of the fairway and an odd one on the right- then you remember Monty's famed controlled fade and wonder why he wants to punish those of us who cannot play that shot!! But a beautiful and enjoyable stretch of holes with a real sense of achievement if you pinch a birdie or two from the big Scot. Tremendous fun! Martyn
6 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
October 01, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I have played this course ever since it opened and will continue to do so for a long time.As as inland links, it has no equal in ireland. The greens are excellent with lovely rolling fairways.I kept the best or worse,till last, depends if you are in them. The bunkers. There are 145 bunkers. Some of them 10 ft deep. You have to stay out of them or your scorecard will disimprove drastically. A wonderful course, with a good 2nd course in the O'Meara on the estate.
5 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
August 23, 2006


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
If you like the going tough, then the Monty course is for you. It's almost as hard as Carnoustie or Troon. They market the course as an inland links and it does feel a bit like that, but you know in your heart that you’re playing a manufactured inland track. That said, if you like brilliant conditioned courses, fast greens, great service and a seriously difficult test of golf then this course will tick all those boxes. This course should be in the Top 100 on pure merit.
5 / 6
Carton House (Montgomerie)
April 26, 2006


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review