Fota Island (Deerpark) - Cork - Ireland

Fota Island Resort,
Carrigtwohill,
Co.Cork,
Ireland


  • +353 (0) 21 4883700

  • Jonathan Woods

  • Christy O'Connor Jnr., Peter McEvoy & Jeff Howes

  • Kevin Morris


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Fota Island (Deerpark)

The Fota Island course is located close to Cork City, situated within a 780-acre estate which is included in "The Inventory of Outstanding Landscapes in Ireland". The course is laid out on rolling parkland and framed by mature woodland with stunning views across Cork Harbour.

Early records suggest that golf was first played at Fota Island back in 1886, but the club was not founded until 1993. Former British Amateur Champion Peter McEvoy and Irish Ryder Cup star, Christy O'Connor, originally designed the course. In 1998, Fota Island was stiffened up to European Tour standards by Canadian architect, Jeff Howes, in readiness for its first Murphy's Irish Open, which saw Colin Montgomerie emerge victorious. The Irish Open returned to Fota Island in 2002 and Soren Hansen eventually won after an exciting four-way playoff.

Wide fairways and light rough are features of Fota Island, but don't let this lull you into a false sense of security. The course can be stretched to 6,927 yards and with par set at 71 for men (72 for ladies), it represents a very tough but fair challenge. And, considering its relative youth, it appears mature beyond its tender years. Bunkering is relatively moderate, but water is a significant hazard, so take enough balls just in case your game is not on song.

Our favourite hole at Fota Island is the unique par five 10th, which tunnels down through trees before turning sharply left, leaving an approach to a green which is cut into the lakeside. The 18th is a memorable conclusion and it's also a potential card-wrecker. In a similar vein to the Belfry's 18th, water is in evidence, but it's the multi-tiered green that can present all sorts of problems – there's nothing worse than ending up in possible four-putt country.

Undoubtedly the remodelled Fota Island is a tremendous course, which comes highly regarded by the serious golfing connoisseur. Fortunately, four separate teeing areas make the course eminently playable for the handicap golfer, so whatever you do, don't give Fota Island a miss.

Following the addition of nine new Jeff Howes designed holes at Fota Island, which opened for play in August 2007, the 27-hole Fota Island has renamed the original 18-hole course Deerpark. Deerpark seems a strange choice of names as Ireland already has a fine course at Carlow Golf Club named Deerpark. Click the link to read Jeff Howes' press release: Fota Island gets nine new holes

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Reviews for Fota Island (Deerpark)

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Description: The Deerpark course at Fota Island has played host to three Irish Open Amateur Championships and the Irish PGA Championship, impressive for a track which only opened for play in 1993. Rating: 4.5 out of 6 Reviews: 10

Played Fota Island Deerpark course about 4 years ago in the Cyder Cup. I thought it was in excellent condition and the practice green was tremendous. Considering it has held the Irish Open I was a little bit underwhelmed, but perhaps the fact that I didn't play great golf tarnished my view. The last hole is a great signature hole to finish on as its winds down to the clubhouse.

I would definitely play the course again.

4 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
December 02, 2017


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It almost seems criminal to go the Ireland and then play parkland courses but Fota Island is one of the best and well worthy of your time. They recently held the Irish Open so it always feels special when you are following in the big boys footsteps. If you play of the right tees its very playable, the greens were excellent and running at 10.5 which we was told was slightly slower than normal. The 4th and 5th are back to back Par 5’s which I had only encountered on the West Course at Wentworth before. The 10th and 18th where water surrounds the green are particularly eye catching. Really enjoyed it as a opener to our Cork trip, would love to go back.
5 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
September 18, 2014


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A very good test of Golf for the Amateur Golfer from the standard tees. It rained all morning on the day we played but within minutes of our afternoon tee off the course was in excellent condition. The tees and greens were magnificent. For a course still under 20 years old there was a maturity about it beyond its years. The fairways were also very good. Par 3's could have been a little longer in length from the standard tees but with water in play a good test. Our match went to the wire with a birdie 4 to win at the last. Would love to go back but feel it would spoil a fantastic memory. Would highly recommend.
6 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
October 12, 2009


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Decent enough course but not great. I expected so much better from this highly ranked course. To be fair, it is in excellent condition, and is in a beauitful setting, but there are a few forgetable holes and the greens will yield many good scores if you are putting well as they are mainly flat. On the plus side, holes like the 10th, 7th and 18th were very strong. In fact the 10th in particular is one of the best holes ive ever played - as you line up your shot from the tee-box you can picture yourself smashing a mammoth drive down the middle. wasnt to be for me that day but its a very very good hole nonetheless. the 18th is also a worthy finisher to any course with the fabulous green with the water to the sides and behind coming into view just as you go over the brow of the hill. All in all a good course but for high quality inland alternatives i suggest Headford New and Slieve Russell (PGA) both cheaper and better courses. To be fair, it was a miserable day when i played this course, which wasnt the courses fault, so i will definatly give it another go. Staff were great and the club house was fab also.
4 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
October 20, 2008


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I stayed and played at Fota Island in May 2008 and played the original layout for the second time. Was impressed with the course again from a technical perspective but somehow it didn’t quite get my personal pulse racing. The whole new Sheraton resort is sumptuous and it proved a hit with my non-golfing other half! I didn’t get chance to play the new nine.
4 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
September 12, 2008


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Mixed feelings, yes it is very well kept and manicured to a high level but out of all the Irish courses I have ever played (30+) this is the first that just had no Irish feel to it. A lot of the time I thought I was at another hotel course in the south of England, albeit a decent one. Overall a little predictable and did not get the golfing blood pumping for me – this is a high class resort with an ok golf course.
3 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
August 03, 2006


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I really cant understand why this course is not in the top 20 yet alone the top 100. The fairways are excellent, the views superb and greens that are perfectly manicured.Quite simply a stunning golf course with some great holes.The 18th was my particular favourite. A par 5 with a green surrounded by water. Reasonably priced.
6 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
March 27, 2006


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Pleasant track in excellent condition which I didn't find very demanding.
4 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
June 08, 2005


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Played Fota Island on a trip which also included Old Head and in many ways, I found Fota a better test of golf, although Old Head obviously has the location to die for. Everything about Fota is classy but in an understated and unpretentious sort of way. Is as tough as old boots - although only a par 71, it's almost 7,000 yards long...you need to bring your best driving game or it will be disheartening. It's a course for the better golfers and well worth a visit. However it's a design that won't set the pulse racing and is more than a tad déjà vu in sum.

4 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
October 29, 2004


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Fota is one of those sorts of golf courses that keeps you thinking and having to play your best golf all the way round. Lots of well designed holes await you, and the greens are amazing so even though you may be on in 'regulation' there is more than likely still a tough putt (or 2 or 3!!) to complete the hole. Watch out for the 18th! The clubhouse is lovely and the people very welcoming, we spent a wonderful afternoon on the patio indulging in their 'hospitality'! All in all, a great course in lovely surroundings and well worth every Euro.
5 / 6
Fota Island (Deerpark)
September 10, 2004


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