Glasson is located in the heart of the Emerald Isle on the banks of Lough Ree, the second of the great lakes on the River Shannon. The course was designed by Christy O’Connor Jnr., and opened for play in 1993. The Reid family must be thanked for the gift of Glasson, for they gave up their land and their period home to enable the birth of the Glasson Golf and Country Club.
O’Connor was immediately smitten with this stretch of Lough side terrain, calling Glasson: "One of the most scenic pieces of land I've ever seen in my life, with the first nine holes overlooking Lough Ree and the second nine Killenure Bay. There is nothing I've seen that comes close to that". This really is a most charming location with simply stunning vistas. There are so many courses located close to water but there are few where it is visible from every hole. At Glasson, as O’Connor pointed out, you really can see the lake from every hole and what a pretty picture it is too.
The course itself is excellent, stretching out to 7,120 yards from the back tees. But don’t worry, there are three other teeing areas catering for golfers of all standards. Glasson golf course has been designed with the future in mind; this is an interesting and challenging tournament layout. Philip Walton holds the course record with an impressive 65.
Many strong and varied holes make up this sublime golf course, the par fives are especially memorable. The sixth hole is a tough par five with out-of-bounds stretching all the way down the left-hand side of the hole. A good and brave tee shot will need to carry the dogleg, over the out-of-bounds, to find a narrow fairway that slopes towards the hole. Don’t slice your approach shot either because there is water on the right. The 15th will stay in your memory for a very long time, an amazing par three with both the tee and the green completely surrounded by water, and you have to walk across a bridge to get to the back tees.
County Westmeath is not famous for golf; most golfers visiting Ireland tend to head for Kerry and the likes of Ballybunion. We think that a visit to Glasson is well worth a detour. There is plenty going on around the lake and at Athlone, but you might not want to leave the Glasson Golf & Country Club. It’s exceedingly comfortable and the people are genuinely warm and friendly.
November 24, 2006