Mahony’s Point is a shorter but competent understudy to the Killeen course.
There was a trio of 18-hole courses at the Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, and for a period Killarney was able to boast three courses in Ireland's Top 100. Sadly the Donald Steel-designed Lackabane course, which opened for play in 1999, closed in 2012 due to the financial crisis, but it was reborn in 2016 as a 9-hole course.
Killarney is set in its own National Park within the famous Ring of Kerry. Here we have some of the most magical and enchanting scenery in Ireland. The Mahony’s Point course is set on the banks of Lough Leane, the largest freshwater lake in the southwest. The backcloth is the majestic Carrauntoohil, the highest mountain in Ireland, one of the many peaks of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks. This is the most mountainous region in the Emerald Isle.
Golf at Killarney dates back to 1891, but it was Sir Guy Campbell who laid out the first proper golf course in 1939. In the 70s, a new course was built and now both Mahony’s Point and the Killeen utilise a mixture of the old and the new layouts. The last three holes on Mahony’s Point are part of Campbell’s original design, one of the finest finishing stretches in golf. The conclusion is a remarkable and supremely challenging signature hole, usually played into the prevailing wind. The tee shot must carry across the edge of Lough Leane to a naturally elevated green framed by pine trees. The 18th hole will remain etched in the memory forever.
Everyone says that Mahony’s Point is shorter than the Killeen course and of course it is, but it doesn’t feel short and why should it? It measures 6,700 yards from the blue tees and 5,500 yards from the reds. This is not a pitch and putt.
In 1993, Following the Fairways voted Killarney, Golf Club of the Year. The fantastic experience is made up from many factors. The setting is breathtaking, the course condition is first class, the holes are varied and exciting and last but not least, the Irish welcome is warm and friendly. Surely there can be no better place in the whole of Ireland to play inland golf?
The course had been closed for 3 days due to heavy rain so it is slightly difficult to review this course too harshly. The conditioning wasn't great but that could be forgiven given the recent rain, however, at least three of the greens had severe problems and damage which looked long-term.
The views are beautiful and there are some lovely holes (3, 6 and 10) but there are also some very ordinary holes which either need very little strategy or have failed to make the best use of the great land available (9, 15 and 17).
Overall it felt the course was living on former glories and certainly can't compare to some of the other great Parkland courses in Ireland. If it was half the price then I'd understand but my recommendation would either be to stick with the great links courses in Kerry or head to Beaufort.