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Palmerstown House

Palmerstown House

Johnstown, County Kildare
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Johnstown, County Kildare
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  • AddressPalmerstown House, Palmerstown Demesne, Johnstown, Co. Kildare, Ireland

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.

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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!

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