Enniscrone (Dunes) - Sligo - Ireland

Enniscrone Golf Club,
Enniscrone,
Co. Sligo,
Ireland


  • +353 96 36297

  • Golf Club Website

  • On coast road from Sligo to Ballina, 8 miles from Ballina

  • Welcome - contact in advance


Enniscrone Golf Club started out in life in 1918 as a modest nine-hole course. But it was the prolific Irish architect, Eddie Hackett, who put Enniscrone on the map, when, in 1974, he extended the layout to 18 holes. Donald Steel then extended the configuration to 27 holes by using new land and adjoining dunes. He also changed the original flat opening holes, which were out of keeping with the rest.

The main course now plots its way through the gigantic sandhills and across the folded rippled links land. Now, with 27 holes, there are a number of playing options but it seems fitting that the main course is now called Dunes (the third nine is called Scurmore).

The location is ravishing; Enniscrone is set on a promontory, which juts out into Killala Bay at the mouth of the Moy Estuary. Scurmore, one of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches, borders the links, while the moody Ox Mountains provide a rugged backdrop to the east and the Nephin Beg Range dominates the westerly skyline.

The course itself complements its surroundings. The fairways pitch and roll between towering shaggy dunes. Greens are raised on plateaux and protected by deep valleys and ravines, whilst others nestle at the feet of high dunes. There are elevated tee shots and panoramic ocean views. Enniscrone really is a breathtaking golf course with a serious challenge attached.

Stretching out to more than 7,000 yards from the tips, it calls for some solid driving. There is nothing unnatural about Enniscrone; it’s in tune with its surroundings, where there is this ever-present sense of space and freedom.

You must expect a bit of wind here, and that will naturally bring another dimension to the challenge. If you are feeling weary and windswept after your round, why not visit Kilcullen's Seaweed Baths in Enniscrone village? Guaranteed to provide relief from the rigours of the round. Or try and unravel the giant and rampageous Enniscrone black pig myth. But whatever you do, take the time to play this course before it gets too well known and becomes the Ballybunion of the Western Seaboard.

Enniscrone Golf Club was voted 2008 Golf Course of the Year at the Irish Golf Tour Operators Association Awards Ceremony. Enniscrone wins 2008 IGTOA Golf Course of the Year

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Description: The location is ravishing; Enniscrone Golf Club is set on a promontory, which juts out into Killala Bay at the mouth of the Moy Estuary. Rating: 8.8 out of 10 Reviews: 57
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James Bloomer

Shh. Don't tell anyone. Let it be just our secret. Hidden in the remote and rural west of Ireland lies a links which could host an Irish Open tomorrow, and, perhaps more importantly, is both very beautiful and eminently playable.

Hole-by-hole descriptions sit below, and I won't repeat them, but some highlights included for me the 1st, with a stunning green nestled in the dunes, and a very sneaky false front; the 6th, which is not long, but comes with a greensite that resembles a volcano-top; the 11th (avoid the yawning chasm to the right of this par three at all costs, think "Calamity" at Portrush but still more deceptive); the hugely quirky risk-reward par four 13th way downhill over a massive dune (reachable for almost all, but you had better not miss if you take it on); and the top-class 15th, where the second shot, by virtue of a green offset to the left, and another yawning collection area to the right, is as exacting as any you could see, but still offers ground or air options.

Lovely people, pleased to see visitors, with nothing too much trouble. Oh, and take a caddie (worth two or three shots a round), preferably Greg. Tons of entertaining blarney, and knows every blade of grass of his golf course, of which he is rightly proud.

As excellent a little known links as anyone could ever wish to see.

June 19, 2022
8 / 10
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Jorge Arizpe

My son and I had a very good day playing the Enniscrone links. He played with a classic golf set of Ping Eye2s, and I played with a set of 90 year old hickory clubs. We lost a few balls in the rough; yet,we definitely were not the only ones landing there. Throughout the course, we kept seeing groups looking for their errant balls in the grass. We did hit a few beautiful drives down the center of the fairways, had some nice recoveries, and only hit into one bunker.

The course was very well kept. The fairways allowed for good bounce and roll on our drives, and they allowed for the balls to sit just off the ground. The greens had a well controlled roll to them, and the countering on few of them allowed for slightly challenging putts. The holes with raised greens required a strong pitching/chipping game--as some of the pins were in the front of the green.

Yes, not all of the holes were in the dunes, but for the average golfer it doesn't matter. those few "flat" holes in the middle just gives them a few minutes of recovery from the ride of the front holes, and allows them to gear up for the last holes surrounded by the thick deep grassy rough waiting for them at Holes 11-13, and Holes 15-17.

As a last note: if you are prone to slicing or hooking, this course will challenge your cache of balls in your bag--the rough is rough. Unless you are playing for serious money with your mates just drop another ball and enjoy the game. If you want to take your coveted ProV1s, get ready to feed the course 5 GBP/Euro/USDs at almost every hole.

June 07, 2022
8 / 10
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Steve MacQuarrie

I was optimistic arriving at Enniscrone to see a caravan park nearby, along with a railroads line, the neighbor of many of the great links courses. Enniscrone is set among high dunes but it gets plenty of irrigation that makes it less of a links course.

I particularly enjoyed holes 12-14. Some might find them quirky. Perhaps I am a fan of quirk.

Half the tee shots present a risk/reward challenge but there were too many (half by my count) that offered no such options approaching the green—only an aerial shot would do.

There are some wonderfully contoured greens, particularly 14, but I found a number—9, 10, 12, 13 to be rather dull.

May 29, 2022
7 / 10
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Mark White

Enniscrone Dunes offers nearly everything one could want in a seaside golf course. While some might lament that it does not have all of its holes playing in the dunes, I thought the break from five to eleven on flat land offered some interesting shaped greens as well as the opportunity to gather oneself after the starting four and the remainder of the course.

Perhaps I welcomed the respite that holes five through eleven provide because the course was very unkind to me during those first four holes. Every drive or second shot shot seemed to be wrong by two yards while approaches to the greens seemed to miss by three feet. I also guessed wrong on the second hole as to the direction of the hole. (Note: the pro shop was not open when we teed off as the first group out for the day so there was no opportunity to purchase a yardage guide). Those two yards left me stuck in the side of a hill in a heavy grassed lie or my approaches to the greens found valleys near the green with the pin closest to me leaving me recovery shots requiring a 1:100 chance.

For many of the holes in the dunes, this is a course that one needs to know because there are safe lines off the tee as well as safe areas on the greens.

Many of the greens are very good here with a lot of interior contouring as well as variability in the green surrounds.

The bunkering is restrained although punitive if one finds a bunker as advancement and recovery have a lower probability at Enniscrone Dunes versus what I have found at other courses. The bunkers are often wild and deep but fit naturally into their surroundings for the holes in the dunes.

The course measures 7029 yards from the blue tees, par 74. From the white tees the course is par 73 and 6833 yards. The yellow tees are 6563 yards, par 71. We played the white tees.

1. Par 4 - 402. This is a very nice starting hole as it turns right with two inner corner bunkers. The tee shot is to flat ground but then the hole climbs to the green which is tightly nestled between tall dunes with high grass. Land short of the green and your ball will come slightly back to you. It is a challenging second shot.

2. Par 5 - 535/507. This is a good hole with a tall dune down the right and fronted by a tall grass valley. The fairway narrows substantially like a portage between small ponds before it widens again. Tall dunes are on both sides of this narrow fairway which widens again as you approach the green. The key is to hit your tee ball center-left. I guessed center-right and therefore had a blind shot over the high dune and went through the fairway into the grass on the left as this is a much sharper dogleg than I guessed. There are fall offs to either side of this green with a sandy collection area on the left front. The green is not overly complicated. It is a very nice par 5.

3. Par 3 - 218/164. This long par 3 plays to a slightly uphill green with a tall dune on the right side and two smaller dunes on the left. Miss to the left of those dunes on the left and you could tumble down perhaps as much as 40 yards. The green is somewhat narrow. My partner hit a snap hook that we assumed was over the dunes to the left. I hit a shot slightly right of the pin which was in the back right side of the green. When we arrived at the green we saw one ball eleven feet from the green. The green cants to the left with no bunkers on the hole as it does not call for any. We looked for my partner’s ball in those dune mounds and finally gave up. I walked to my ball on the green and discovered it was his tee shot. My ball was down in a hollow on the back right of the green that is hidden from the tee. Worse was that it was on a downslope having to hit a short wedge seven feet high over the steep bank of the green to a near pin running away from me. I had no chance. Such is golf; sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to it.

4. Par 5 - 530. This hole bends ever slightly to the right but feels straight off the tee. The fairway has a horizontal rise that if you carry them you can get an additional run out of 30 yards (I did not). The hole goes through smaller dunes lining both sides but not nearly as dramatic as the dunes on the second hole. I do not recall any bunkers on this hole and I thought perhaps one should be added at the green which sits on a small rise. The green is fairly easy to read for no more than a two putt. I liked the hole.

5. Par 4 - 446. This hole is difficult with three bunkers down the left where two of them flank a sizeable dune mound on the right squeezing the fairway. The hole is basically flat and straight to the green. While one is out of the dunes, this is a well conceived green with very good micro-contouring in the land surrounding the green.

6. Par 4 - 420. You reverse direction to play another decent hole with three bunkers right and a single bunker left. The green has a substantial false front with a small bunker on the front corners. One has to find the green or their recovery shot will likely be semi-blind due to the height of the green.

7. Par 5 - 533. One of the lesser holes on the course is the straight, flat seventh. The highlight of the hole are the three cross bunkers angled right to left beginning 60 yards from the green. I did like how the green was placed to the right. The green has a fair amount of interior movement.

8. Par 3 - 177. There is not much to this hole other than the three front bunkers and a back swale.

9. Par 4 - 447/396. This hole plays next to the water with higher ground running down the right. There is an early fairway bunker left. Much like the seventh, three cross bunkers are set about 20 yards in front of the green. A final greenside bunker is right center. This green has various drop-odds and depressions.

10. Par 4 - 376. This hole also plays with the sea off to the left. Two bunkers guard the green which is shaped like a peanut angled left. It is another green with lovely micro-contouring just off the green as well as different little plateaus in the green.

11. Par 3 - 171. You play to a bunker less green placed against the dunes. I thought there should be two bunkers on the left side of the green as the tee points more to the left.

12. Par 4 - 347. The two quirkiest holes on the course come next. You are back in the dunes and we did not know which direction this hole went. The tee shot goes downhill so one can easily hit through the fairway into tall grass or bushes or possibly tumble down into the valley at the end. The green sits off to the left on higher ground with a wide, deep valley preceding it. Hit short and you could have an uphill shot of 40 feet. I thought the hole was a lot of fun.

13. Par 4 - 349/342. This hole plays strongly downhill and if you catch the final drop you can add nearly 100 yards to your drive leaving a wedge of some sort into the green. The green is placed against a dune wall behind it with mounding on the front right. There are a front and rear bunker at the green.. It’s another fun golf hole.

14. Par 5 - 537. This hole plays uphill rolling and falling as it climbs. I do not think there is a bunker on this hole as it snakes it’s way to the green with dune corridors on both sides. What I liked about the hole is that the green was offset to the right making it hidden. The green has a lot of movement.

15. Par 4 - 421. This is the finest hole on the course. You are beside the beach for this dogleg left. Tall grasses line this flat hole. The green is set off to the left and shaped like a bell. The hole is beautifully shaped.

16. Par 5 - 538/507. The final par 5 is a good one with a bend to the right about 120 yards from the green. I do not recall bunkers on this hole. Much like the previous hole, this is a flat hole near the beach playing between tall grasses or mounds on either side. The green has a substantial falloff on the left side.it is another quality hole.

17. Par 3 - 150. Playing from an elevated tee to a raised green, the one place not to miss is the right side due to the sharp falloff. It’s a fun hole.

18. Par 4 - 432/407. Playing again from an elevated tee set off to the left, the hole appears as a slight dogleg left. One must avoid the three bunkers on the left turn of the fairway and one on the right. Three bunkers front the slightly raised green. The green is somewhat flat. I dismissed the unattractive buildings behind the green and focused on the hole which is a nice finish.

Enniscrone Dunes is a lovely course. It will always be held back in the rankings by holes 5-11 which play on flat land out of the dunes. Better bunkering could enhance the course both in size and shape. Yet the greens and many of the green surrounds are terrific. There are many memorable holes here with fifteen being my favorite.

May 20, 2022
7 / 10
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Stuart Bendoris

I first played Enniscrone 4 years ago and it was a case of love at first sight. I returned recently to renew my romance with this course, I still love it!

There is no gentle introduction, like say Ballybunion. From the opening approach shot the course takes you into the behemoth dunes and there you stay until completing the rollercoaster par 5 4th hole. From the 5th to the 10th, the course escapes the mountainous dunes into flatter terrain and though some say these holes are weaker than 1-4 and 11-18 they are not weak holes per se. They just pale into comparison with what is arguably the finest, most exciting back nine in Ireland (although Tralee and Ballybunion may contest this).

The uphill par three 11th starts the breathtaking rollercoaster towards home, followed by the superb right to left dog-leg 12th requiring an accurate tee shot and pinpoint approach to the green with a significant drop-off at the front, and enormous dunes left of and behind the green. Last time I played the short par 4 downhill 13th I went for the green, hit it well and never saw the ball again. This time a 5 iron and wedge delivered a birdie. But it is so tempting to hit driver from such an elevated tee! The 16th is an outstanding par 5, dog legging left then right to a slightly raised green between two dunes. It is not that long but you have to carefully keep it alive if you want to pinch a birdie. The sea envelopes the hole to the left, the large dunes frame the right side all the way to the green.

I have a real soft spot for Enniscrone, possibly more than any Irish course I've visited and I've been fortunate to play the top 20 on this list. I'm not sure why this should be, it just feels like a very special, spiritual almost, challenging but above all fun course to play. One last thing - dotted around the course are benches with humourous and inspirational quotes - a really nice touch befitting such a glorious golf course.

October 12, 2021
9 / 10
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Jorge Arizpe
June 07, 2022

I played Enniscrone today--I felt I was at a mini Cruden Bay. I loved it! I laughed very hard at your Hole 13 experience. Both my son and I attempted to cut the dogleg thinking there was only one hill to go over. To our surprise we ended up in the valley of death. Luckily the grass was not very high and we were able to easily find our balls. Now, at Hole 16, I hit a beautiful drive and then two fairway wood shots to the hole. The second fairway shot ran the right side of the fairway and looked like it was landing into the right side rumples under the green; but, to our surprise the golf course swallowed the ball.

The course was a hungry course today. We say many golfers in the rough looking for their balls. Something tells me not many were found.

Tyler Webb

The biggest dunes in Ireland (Carne might be equal) are found at Enniscrone. From the opening hole to the finish you will climb and dip, twist and turn. The one constant will be the wind will not let up the entire round as Enniscrone has multiple holes exposed to the sea. Do not attempt to play Enniscrone on the back end of a 36 hole day, or towards the end of a golf trip, your legs will not hold up. However, if anywhere near Enniscrone, it's a must play.

September 08, 2021
8 / 10
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Doug Roberts

Enniscrone starts strong and finishes strong. But in the middle I felt like I made a wrong turn and ended up on the Scurmore Course. It's a very nice course and worthy of your visit.

August 31, 2021
7 / 10
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Daniel Fogarty

Enniscrone is a truly wonderful place to play golf. It's not as well known as many of its peers, but it's as enjoyable and potentially more memorable based on the wildness of the dunes and how it majestically meanders its way through them. Enniscrone, has a number of holes where I think I could say this might be the best hole I've ever played and it also has a couple of stretches of holes where I could say this is the best 3/4 holes in a row I've played, such as 2-6, or 9-11 or 14-18.

A few things I love about Enniscrone are:

1. As I mentioned above, the wildness of the dunes. Some of these dunes feel like Mount Everest when standing at the bottom of them, and even on days with strong wind, the Dunes can actually protect you from it.

2. The course is surrounded by water on 3 sides, with a mix between the ocean and an estuary.

3. The course winds across the land a little which means you play holes in every direction, rather than the classic straight out and back.

4. It has a great mix of wild dunes holes around the outside of the property that faces the ocean, and some awesome flatter holes in the middle and estuary side of the property. Having this mix of holes really gives you a full appreciation of links golf on one course.

5. It is a brute of a course that can and will beat you up, offline shots into the dunes will be punished, but it does reward great golf shots and gives incredible vistas of the holes. So, when I have always finished my rounds at Enniscrone you have this strange feeling of being abused by the course, but also remembering some awesome shots and birdies you made and some incredibly memorable shots and vistas you had.

6. There is a beautiful mix of dog legs left and right, both severe and gentle, which forces you to use all the clubs and shots in your bag.

Only things I don't love about Enniscrone are:

1. Im not a huge fan of 12 and 13. I generally love short and quirky par 4s, but to me, these two holes feel a bit contrived and squished into the corner of the property. I don't think these holes are bad, (I actually think they both have fantastic greens) but to me, they don't really fit into the flow of the course.

My favourite holes at Enniscrone are: 2, 5, 14, 15

2. After a handshake opener around the clubhouse, 2 instantly shows you the wildness that you will be dealing with today. You tee off amongst big dunes, with huge dunes left, right and at the end of the fairway. A perfectly placed tee shot will leave you with a view of the green through a small gap in the dunes, but most people will play their second shot blind of dunes either laying up or going for the green in two. Once you get through the dunes that split the fairway you play uphill into a beautiful green that is perched up a little bit with a beautiful view of the atlantic ocean behind it.

5. Is one of the inland flat holes that feels a lot more English or Scottish in style then Irish. Playing from an elevated tee box, you have a burn down the right, dunes and pot bunkers down the left, and a small dune in the middle right of the fairway. There are two ways to play this hole, take out your driver and challenge the left side of the fairway to get a short and open look at the green, or play "safe" off the tee down the right which will leave you a longer and blind shot into a green with pot bunkers on the left and runoffs on all sides.

14. Is a long par 5 (that usually plays downwind), that is so memorable. You tee off from an elevated tee box, down into the fairway which is guarded on the left by possibly the biggest dune I have ever seen. If you hit it left, just forget about your ball unless you have experience in mountain search and rescue missions. You can bail out right on the drive and have a good bit of room, but if you hit a good drive down the left, your ball can run for miles and potentially give you a chance to go for the green in two. From the fairway, the hole doglegs uphill and to the right to a beautiful green that is almost sitting at a right angle to your approach. An interesting note, is that all the par 5's at Enniscrone are fantastic and hugely memorable, and there is not a single bunker on any of them.

15. The 15th tee at Enniscrone, might be one of my favorite places in golf. The tee boxes sit out past the dunes close to the beach and you feel you are at the end of the earth. You feel isolated out there and all you can see is the regal gentle right to left dogleg par 4 in front of you. If you can hit your tee shot down the rightside of the fairway the green will open up for your second shot, but if you hit it down the left, your second shot will be blind into a green that is raised up but sitting amongst small dunes on all sides. I think this hole will always be my lasting memory of Enniscrone.

More people should go play Enniscrone. It doesn't have the name or history of other Irish courses, but it is just as good if not a little bit more fun and memorable.

July 21, 2021
8 / 10
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Barra O Connell

My favourite course. 18 class holes surrounded by some of the biggest dunes I’ve ever seen. Too many highlights to mention. Visit Enniscrone and play the links you won’t regret it.

August 19, 2020
10 / 10
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Peter Wood

Located right on the Moy estuary in some enormous dunes, Enniscrone is both pretty, and pretty challenging.

After a flat opening tee shot on the opening par 4 first hole, the approach shot is played to a green nestled in a ring of dunes. Thereafter the first four holes traverse some dramatic sand dunes, until suddenly the fifth holes takes you out onto flatter terrain again, but only for a few holes.

Hole 8 is a delightful downhill, downwind par 3- but then the ninth and tenth holes play along the estuary. With the wind off the water, and the dunes along the right side of the fairway it may take all of your concentration to hit the short grass.

Then the par 3 eleventh hole Enniscrone (Dunes) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer takes you back into the serious dunes. With the inevitable wind off the sea, and a big fall off on the front right of the green, it is a challenging and picturesque hole.

For me the highlight of the round was the back-to-back short blind par fours at twelve and thirteen. If the lovely quiet dunes holes from the fifth to the tenth suited a 'moonlight sonata' soundtrack, then perhaps 12 & 13 would require the 1812 Overture played with gusto!

The dunes are huge and the fairways positively pitch and heave. Twelve goes left and thirteen goes right. Find the short grass off the tee and you will have a very satisfying approach shot. The amazing green on 12 is a slender ledge cut into the front of a large dune and falls away significantly at the front. You need an accurate short iron in.

Thirteen has a roly-poly green which is just a flick in from a fairway hit – it’s a real birdie chance, but you must hit the fairway off the tee. The run home is an adventure in high-octane links golf through some wonderful dunes.

Enniscrone is a joy to play. Don’t miss the opportunity if you are in the area.

Peter Wood is the founder of The Travelling Golfer – click the link to read his full review.

October 23, 2019
9 / 10
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