The course at Mount Juliet is set in lush, rolling parkland, part of a 1,500-acre old Irish country estate with an 18th century mansion as the clubhouse. Magnificent mature trees line the fairways. The River Nore cuts through the course and is popular for salmon fishing. This is the place to allow the Walter Mitty in you to daydream about having your very own private course. But wake up, because this is the best inland course on the Emerald Isle.
Jack Nicklaus must have been delighted when he was asked to build a course on this beautiful country estate. He created a manicured parkland gem. In 1991, he opened the course himself with an exhibition match against Christy O’Connor Snr. It is not surprising that there is a distinctly American feel to this layout, with numerous teeing areas, plenty of bunkers and water hazards. The course even has concealed drainage and irrigation systems. Thankfully, the buggy paths are absent; it would be sacrilege to drive on these immaculate fairways.
This is a course that can cater for the very best golfers, measuring well over 7,000 yards from the back tees. Three of the world’s best have already won the Irish Open here: Faldo (1991), Langer (1992) and Torrance (1993). Another, less well-known golfer won the WGC - American Express Championship here in 2002, someone called Tiger Woods. The course, however, is eminently playable for the handicap golfer from a choice of forward tees.
Nicklaus has designed a fun golfer’s golf course. Water is the main hazard, but if you can avoid it, you will have a great time. Certainly Ernie Els enjoyed his stay here, beating a star-studded field to win the 2004 WGC - American Express Championship. Are you sure this is not America?
Mount Juliet is a good parkland course, part of a beautiful extensive estate with mature trees and general bucolic idyll. Although there are house dotted around they don't intrude much on your game here.
Although its star may have dipped a bit from its glory days hosting WGCs the new owners have been investing in the course and the conditioning has now improved. There is a new driving range area opening this year , but sadly the putting course seems to have been dug up which is a real shame.
The course is not terribly exciting or unique, but is a pleasant stroll. From an Irish point of view, this is one of the best parklands in the country, but if I was coming from abroad I am not sure this would be top of my list. Although there are some interesting holes with a bit of strategy like number 2, 8, 10, and 13, some of the holes are fairly uninspired, like number 6, 9, 12. There is a bit of elevation on the site, but unfortunately you usually walk / down these to the next hole which ends up being flat. Kind of a shame really.
There is plenty of mounding around but it doesn't serve much purpose, I presume it's there to alleviate the flatness of the actual holes but doesn't really work. Despite this, this is still a good parkland track, but does not come close to the character of the big links courses. It does also get quite boggy in the winter.
If you are in the Southeast of Ireland its the course to play along with Carlow in terms of parkland.
12 is a fantastic hole, strategic drive required over the bunkers on the left. 2nd shot requires less club down the hill into a tree lined green which is protected by bunkers all around the green. Best parkland course in the country (never mind the southeast)