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 has recently extended the configuration to 27 holes by using new land and adjoining dunes. He has 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 dunes 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 Ireland’s most beautiful beaches, borders the links, while the moody Ox Mountains provide a stormy 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
Quite simply one of the very best links courses you will play, anywhere in the world. It is literally, jaw-droppingly brilliant!! Played it twice in a day on a very windy weekend tour alongside County Sligo and Carne with three pals (handicaps of 4, 6, 6, 6) in September 2016. After a somewhat inauspicious first tee shot the course begins to wind its way through some of the largest and dramatic sand dunes you will find anywhere on the planet. It really gets going from the 11th or 12th onwards, although that is not to say the holes that come before are inferior as they are all truly marvellous. It I was being very picky holes 5, 6 and 7 don’t quite compare to the grandeur of the rest of the holes but they are still excellent holes with brilliant green complexes.
I rate it above all the other courses I have played in Ireland, namely Ballybunion Old, Waterville, Tralee, Lahinch, Ballyliffin etc. It is straight in at my all time number 3 behind Royal County Down and Royal Birkdale.
Fantastic Golf Course, great setting and great value. Its a real test and has some of the most dramatic dunes and golf holes you will see anywhere. The warning light system on the blind 13th, probably my favourite hole, was particularly good, cant wait to go back!!
Played for second time in April 2016 on a beautiful stay. What a stunning course and setting and terrific value at about Eur50. Terrific test, great condition, undulating fairways and incredible Dunes. Maybe my favourite course in Ireland. Highly recommend it.
Some might think it strange that golfers return to the same courses when they venture overseas, even if there are plenty of other places to visit that they haven’t yet seen. Well, truth be told, it’s like wrapping yourself in a golfing comfort blanket when you return to the likes of Enniscrone – you basically know what it’s like (as in you’re aware of how good it is) and you just want more of the same, safe in the knowledge that there’s every chance you’ll get what you’re looking for.
I returned here last week for the third time in seven years to sample yet again some of the best links golf that Ireland has to offer. It helped to have Vice Captain Liam Hallinan with me as he helped point out lots of little things around the course that I’d have otherwise overlooked.
The new holes on the front nine attract most of the plaudits and rightly so, but there are plenty of good things to admire on the flatter holes, like the wonderful sets of cross bunkers that lie short of the green at holes 7 and 9.
On the inward half, the 12th is a brilliant doglegged par four, requiring two very precise shots to reach a green that’s benched into the dunes and there’s now a green/red traffic light on the downhill 13th which is triggered by golfers crossing a beam in front of the hidden green but I still think that system won’t stop big hitters going for the green with their tee shot, risking potential health and safety issues.
My latest round on the Dunes course can be summed up by another playing partner who hadn’t been here before, walking off the 18th green with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on any golfer’s face – no matter how poorly you may have played, if you don’t finish here in a happy frame of mind then an appointment with the local doctor for anti-depressant tablets might well be needed for you. Jim McCann.
It can be a disappointment sometimes to return to a course that you’ve played once before and it turns out to be not quite as good as you remember it. On the other hand, what a joy to pay a second visit somewhere and discover it’s even better than you thought it was originally.
When I renewed my acquaintance with the Dunes course at Enniscrone a few days ago, it fell distinctly into the latter category - partly I suppose because I’d been forced through lack of time to play it using a buggy in 2009 so maybe I didn’t really appreciate the true scale of the place, epitomised by a number of relatively long walks from green to next tee. I also didn’t properly appreciate before just how well routed the holes are, dipping into the dunes early on, coming out onto flatter terrain for a change of pace around the turn then climbing back into the sand hills again for the remainder of the back nine.
I know the cliché’s much abused, but Enniscrone really is a golfing roller coaster ride of epic proportions, where fairways tumble from tee to green through acres of mountainous duneland -- that’s why it’s so important to have a few “breather holes” mid-round, otherwise you’d be walking off the 18th green completely giddy from such a full on big dipper experience!