Review for The Island

Reviewer Score:


The Island eluded me for many years but I was lucky enough to play it last Wednesday. Bathed in sunshine and with a two-club wind, this was perfect weather to experience one of the most underrated links courses in Ireland.

The Island 13th hole

Eight back-to-back par fours on the outward nine could be considered dull, but each and every one is different and in no way monotonous. Ironically, the tee shot on the one-shot 9th (Bowl) appeared innocuous, but the Biarritz-like greensite and bunkering is outstanding. The signature par three 13th was playing directly into the wind and we were called up on this 215-yarder by the group in front. Fergal hit a 1 iron to 10 feet and I sliced my drive majestically into the sea – c'est la vie.

The Island 14th hole

Many don’t like the pencil thin, short two-shot 14th, but I’ve never seen anything like it before and I loved its quirkiness and its beachside setting. With the wind behind, it needed only a 7-iron and a 9-iron approach, but I still failed to make par.

Despite being held up by two groups of members (3-ball and 4-ball) who didn’t care to let our two-ball through, the back nine seemed to conclude in a flash. There’s so much variety here at The Island which captivated me from start to finish.

By some distance, even though the greens were running a tad slow for my liking on the day, I had more fun here than on any other East Coast links. John, the new General Manager, told us after the round that Mackenzie & Ebert are advising the club. Fergal suggested cutting a high tee (or two) into the gigantic dunes to create an outward par five – this would give a thrilling driving platform and generate even more theatre on a layout that already stimulates all the senses.

Date: September 04, 2016

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