Jim Mansfield, owner of the Citywest Group, has brought to fruition three prestigious projects in the west and south west of Dublin in recent years; the Citywest Hotel, Conference, Leisure and Golf Resort in Saggart, the Weston executive airport at Leixslip and Palmerstown House in Johnstown – with the course at Palmerstown formerly used by the PGA as its Irish headquarters.
Mansfield bought the Palmerstown estate in 1999 and, with the help of Christy O’Connor Jnr as course architect, he has since transformed a substantial part of the former stud farm into a magnificent championship golf course – measuring a colossal 7,419 yards from the back tees. It will be a big golfing venue in the future, possibly hosting the Irish or European Open, such are the exacting standards to which Palmerstown House has been built.
The conditioning and manicuring at Palmerstown House cannot be faulted – the course is out of the top drawer in those aspects. Some may criticize the design influences that owe little to the game of golf as it has been perceived for decades in Ireland but everything to golf as it is played in other parts of the world. Water hazards abound here and there are acres of bunkers – some shamrock shaped – which may not be everyone’s idea of golf in the Emerald Isle but there are plenty of traditional parkland and links courses elsewhere to keep the purists content as Palmerstown House is one of a new breed that caters for not just the national golfing community but the international golfer too.
The most photogenic hole here is one that is said to have taken more than a year to construct and refine the green and bunkering complex. The 178-yard par three 10th has an island green unlike any other isolated putting surface on other courses. Water is not the dominating feature but sand. The undulating green is almost entirely surrounded by two enormous bunkers that must have more sand in them than all the sand traps combined on many courses. Now, from the tee box, that’s what you call target golf!
Really beautiful course, although on the day we played I think the fairways could have done with a bit of a trim. Very dramatic and exciting holes, with the 10th - a mid-iron to an island green - being the real jawdropper (reminded me a bit of THAT one at Sawgrass). Very good value for money but bring plenty of balls - there's a LOT of water!
I haven't played an awful lot of courses, but I would definitely rank Palmerstown towards the top. The course is immaculate, layout was perfectly challenging and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Usually a course saves its best holes for last but all holes at Palmerstown are outstanding.
Played back in 2018 and had an enjoyable round. Many championship styled holes, water carries, risk reward shots make for an enjoyable experince. I recall the conditioning at the time wasnt great but it didnt bother me too much.
Id recommend a visit if you want to get out of Dublin for a bit!
It is beyond me how this course is not higher rated in ireland , I played in a corporate event in September 2016 and the greens were the best I had putted on all year , fantastic layout with the par 5 16th one of my favourite in golf , great experience stunning course and facilities, thanks Martin