Review for The Island

Reviewer Score:


The Island exceeds expectations -- if not re-defines them. What golf course anywhere starts a round of eight par-fours in a row? One might imagine that sort of opening to become boring and dreary pretty quickly ... but not here. The strong variety of holes, both in length and design, really helped focus one on what the game is truly all about -- drive the golf ball consistently, get to greens successfully, then two-putt or get up and down for par (i.e. it actually helped my round and scoring, fwiw). Holes 6 and 7 are especially memorable, both nestled jointly in their own warm amphitheater, offering "feel good" and "I'm into this round" moments to make par or better. The back nine is very different, traditional in its variety of holes, but equally strong -- and the stretch in the middle is the course's best. The brave and difficult par-3 13 -- long, great view, no bail out. The uniquely short and narrow par-4 14th -- I walked off the fairway at it's widest parts, probably no more than 10 yards wide at best. Then the par-5 15th -- my favorite hole on the course, one of the best and most memorable par-5s I've ever played anywhere. And what a wonderful finishing hole at 18! Longest and hardest par-4 on the property -- but a fair, inviting and unforced finishing hole (perfect presentation of links dunes to border and undulating terrain to support). Requires a long drive to a pinched landing area -- then a mid to long iron, over bunkers, to an elevated green -- and with a following wind, using the game along the ground to shape and advance both tee ball and approach. As you might guess, this type of memory for a single golf hole speaks to the overall wonderfulness of The Island -- as this web site's summary describes, the course is in perfect harmony with it's surroundings. And while I have yet to play County Louth or Royal Dublin -- I would certainly choose The Island above Portmarnock, if I had just one round to play in and around Dublin. And did I also mention -- the staff is warm, friendly and unpretentious -- so what's not to like about spending a day in your life at The Island?!?!?! Don D

Date: November 29, 2017

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