The seaside village of Mulranny nestles at the foot of The Nephin Mountains, between Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay in County Mayo, and it’s well known in the region for the outstanding quality of the blue flag sandy beaches that run along the coastline at this point.
The village lies on the recently developed Great Western Greenway cycle trail which stretches 42 kilometers along the route of the old railway line between Westport and Achill and this project was afforded a European Destination of Excellence award by the European Commission in 2011.
Mulranny’s little 9-hole golf course has been an integral part of village life for well over a century, since first opening for play in 1896 when the golf club was founded. It’s said that an 18-hole layout once operated here before nine holes were lost to the sea and these days the club struggles to maintain the remaining nine.
Winter storms at the start of 2014 almost wiped the course off the face of the map when a combination of high tide and high winds allowed the merciless ocean to break through the club’s coastal defences, depositing millions of gallons of seawater and hundreds of tons of rocks onto the fairways.
The course has since recovered but it took weeks to pump the water away and remove the many stones and boulders that were dumped onto the course by the unstoppable storm waters.
My only visit to Mulranny happened a few years ago on my way to Carne and I remember the golf for the basic manner in its overall presentation. The architecture is simply matter-of-fact.
Yes, the nine-hole layout is without all the elements one finds today with golf. One has to ask -- have all the recent inclusions been a plus or more of a sideshow? For those enamored with the sideshow -- the experience at Mulranny will be a desire to get it over with and quickly move on to other more noted courses. Fair enough.
For core golfers wishing to savor the game through its most bedrock principles a round at Mulranny will be a reconnection to the game's most enduring elements. Sometimes to really appreciate the golf journey one needs to get off the main road.
Keep your expectations in check, enjoy the views provided via Clew Bay and smile at how meaningful the game can be.
M. James Ward
After so much high-end golf I decided to pay homage to the origins of the game – at a place, that is not very far removed from them! It takes some doing to get there from Lahinch, you'll have to cut off Connemara entirely and keep pushing north until you meet the coast again at Mallaranny. Nobody knows who laid out the nine holes on the links or when exactly it happened. In fact, nothing much appears to have been done at all outside of fencing off a few green sites and creating remarkably undulated putting surfaces within. Fairway lines and conditioning are determined by grazing animals, there's an honesty box for the greenfee and off you go. Click the link to read more… Ireland – any decent golf on the West Coast?