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Shillelagh, County Wicklow
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Shillelagh, County Wicklow
  • AddressCoolattin Park, Shillelagh, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

Coollattin Golf Club is located in a 175-acre County Wicklow estate with a rich history. As far back as 1637, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford wrote to King Charles I that he had found in Coollattin “ that which he did not believe had been in Ireland, a place which affords sports… in as great measure… as most that are in England.” So the recorded continual use of Coollattin as a sporting venue for well over 350 years is not in any doubt.

The Fitzwilliam family acquired the property through marriage in 1783 and the current Coollattin Park was established 1796 by the 4th Earl Fitzwilliam. The estate house, originally called Malton House, was razed in the Rebellion of 1798 and re-built several years later by the English architect, John Carr from York. It has been added to several times since then and now extends to over 40,000 square feet.

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Coollattin Park became the recreational playground for the parent house in the Yorkshire village of Wentworth, just north of Sheffield. The original sporting pursuits of deer hunting and hawking on horse back gave way over time to the establishment of a 9-hole golf course, a cricket ground, tennis courts, hockey and football pitches. Tenants and estate workers from the respective family houses would compete against each other at regular intervals.

Fast-forward to the 20th century and it was during the 1950s that the Estate neglected the cricket ground and golf course so the golf club members took over the maintenance of the course, registering with the GUI in 1962. When Coollattin Estate was advertised for sale in the late 1990s, the club was relieved to find out that it was secure in law as a sporting facility.

Coollattin is now a mature parkland course measuring 6,686 yards with a par of 72. It has four par threes, the pick of which is the 202-yard 3rd, described as “a bit of a brute” where a long iron or short wood must find the left side of a two tiered, narrow green that slopes from left to right. There are four par fives on the card (three on the outward nine), the best of which is the 490-yard 13th. A fade is the preferred shot from the tee, then a draw for the second shot to leave a clear approach to a green with a narrow entrance. Danger lurks with out of bounds to the right.


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