Portumna is a small town in the south east of County Galway, near the border with County Tipperary, where the river Shannon enters Lough Derg. Angling is a very popular sport at this historic crossing point over the Shannon but so too is golf and the local course is situated within a woodland setting in a national park, to the west of the town.
Portumna Golf Club was formed in 1913 and members played on land adjacent to the present course before the club moved across the road twenty years later. Land was acquired in the 1970s to expand the course and the old 9-hole layout was eventually extended to a full 18-hole course in 1992. The following year, Portumna purchased the 126-acre property from Coillte (the Irish state’s forestry management company) and have never looked back since.
The course has undergone many changes in recent years (including new holes at the 5th and 6th) and it now measures just less than 7,000 yards from the back markers, with a par of 72. The mature trees that bound many fairways provide a full range of seasonal colour to playing here and the wild deer that roam the course are a very pleasant diversion if spotted. The 550-yard par five 17th is one of the hardest holes on the course, with a blind tee shot then water all the way down the right of the fairway to the green.
Portumna won an award for the best presented course in the province of Connacht in 2005 and this – for a club competing against 39 others in the west of Ireland – was an admirable achievement and an indication of the quality on offer at a club which many consider to be an Irish hidden gem.