Massereene Golf Club was formed back in 1895 so members have enjoyed playing in a lovely parkland setting on the shores of Lough Neagh for over one hundred years. Fred W. Hawtree is credited with the design of the course as it is played now in the new millennium.
Measuring 6,605 yards in total, the Championship course has a par of 35 for the outward half. The back nine is three hundred yards longer – three of the four par fives on the course are located here – with a par of 37 for a total of 72. The inward half is also more undulating and links-like due to the free draining land they lie on.
Holes are generally tight, with relatively narrow, tree-lined, lush fairways, well-placed bunkers and small but smooth greens – all of which makes this a course for the strategist where accuracy is rewarded rather than raw power. Consequently, Massereene is a popular venue with visiting societies and lady golfers as the layout is not overly punishing.
In 2021, the club co-hosted (along with Galgorm Castle) the ISPS HANDA World Invitational, with the course lengthened by around 200 yards to just over 6,800 yards in total after the introduction of eleven new tee positions. It was the first time an event of this kind was tri-sanctioned by the European Tour, LPGA Tour and Ladies European Tour in the northern hemisphere, following in the footsteps of the ISPS HANDA Vic Open in Australia which has the same format.
A total of 144 men and 144 women competed over the first two days of competition, with the men’s and women’s tournament playing one round on the two host courses. A 36-hole cut was then made, with a further cut after 54 holes to allow only the top 30 men and women to play on the final day.
We had the privilege of playing a courtesy round on the “1895” reciprocal arrangement with our home club while visiting family. We were warmly welcomed on the 1st tee by the centenary ladies captain and her group of ladies. The course was in great condition, two distinct 9s with the front being on hilly ground and the back 9 on flatter ground by the lough shore. Very playable, well maintained and interesting layout. Friendly reception in the bar post golf. All in all a lovely experience and well worth a visit.
What a delight! Mature pretty and well maintained course. Greens, tee boxes, fairways and bunkers all very good. Outstanding clubhouse overlooking the 18th green and the loch that is behind the trees.The only disappointing thing was that the trees were so established that you couldn't enjoy the fantastic views of the loch whilst walking down any fairway. Very much worth a visit