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Esker Hills

County Offaly, Ireland
County Offaly, Ireland
Rankings
  • AddressBaile Mhic Giolla Mhuire, Co. Offaly, Ireland

There is evidence that a 9-hole golf course was in use near the southwest corner of the present day course as far back as 1885 but it wasn’t until over one hundred years later – 1997 to be precise – that the 18-hole Esker Hills Golf Club came into being.

Christy O’Connor Jnr designed the course on land owned by the O’Brien and Molloy families and, with minimal earth movement, he created a challenging parkland layout measuring 6,669 yards in length. The land is rolling, contains four lakes and many young trees have been planted to add definition to the course as they mature.

The club takes its name from the natural landform of the area, known as the Esker Riada. Over 10,000 years ago, retreating glaciers at the end of the Ice Age shaped the land. As the frozen water melted, narrow ridges of sand and gravel – called eskers – were left behind, deposited by streams that flowed in tunnels under the melting waters.

Esker Hills is routed in two loops of nine, each ending close to the clubhouse. There are four par threes on the course, all of which are over 170 yards in length. Several par four holes have doglegs that are bent to almost 90 degrees – and one of them, the 3rd hole, is a whopping 490 yards in length.

The club is home to tour professional Shane Lowry who enjoyed a glittering amateur career as a member, culminating in his astonishing Irish Open win at County Louth in 2009. Of course, Shane later went on to even greater things, becoming Champion Golfer of the Year when he won The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019.

There is evidence that a 9-hole golf course was in use near the southwest corner of the present day course as far back as 1885 but it wasn’t until over one hundred years later – 1997 to be precise – that the 18-hole Esker Hills Golf Club came into being.

Christy O’Connor Jnr designed the course on land owned by the O’Brien and Molloy families and, with minimal earth movement, he created a challenging parkland layout measuring 6,669 yards in length. The land is rolling, contains four lakes and many young trees have been planted to add definition to the course as they mature.

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