Powerscourt possesses two golf courses the East and the West. Both parkland encircling the much celebrated Powerscourt, owned and run by the Slazenger family, famous for sporting goods. Due to the economic boom experienced in late 1990's in Ireland Powerscourt along with places like Druids Glen, Rathsallagh and the K Club became popular clubs for many people who found new money but found the waiting list in traditional Dublin Clubs too taxing and time consuming.
In my opinion the better of the two courses at Powerscourt is the East which was designed by Peter McEvoy, however I must stress it is only considered better as it is stacked alongside the much maligned West course. The most memorable holes on this course are at the start and finish to the round, with many of the holes around the middle leaving alot to be desired. The second is an interesting dog leg right-left uphill par 5, with a huge oak tree situated in the middle of the approach to the green having to be dealt with. The 16th is a nice medium length par 3 with an interesting green played to at an angle from the tee with a lake lurking for anyone who comes up short. The 17th is the strongest hole on the course I feel. A right to left sweeping par 5, played from an elevated tee to a green guarded by water to the front and right and on the left by dense gorse. This hole possesses my favourite attribute of course design the "risk reward" factor, with the player being presented with a realistic eagle opportunity if he is aggressive and accurate with his tee shot and his approach.
As I mentioned the above three holes are far and away the best on the course, with the other 15 leaving serious question marks. I would not normally be one to make sweeping statements but Powerscourt I believe is one of the most overrated golf complexes in Europe, the two courses are extremely average and I cannot believe two such distinguished designers could not produce a better collection of holes across an almost blank canvas. The noteriety Powerscourt achieves most definitely is related to its proximity to Dublin(12 Miles) and as such it receives very undeserved praise, from people who have little or no knowledge of what constitutes a real golf course. If I had the choice I would much sooner play McEvoy's creation at Rathsallagh, it is I believe the most natural newly created parkland course I have ever seen, the course blends in with exceptionally beautiful surroundings, mature trees and stunning water features. I believe this course has un-limited potential and would stress upon anyone to play it, it would be an exceptional venue for a tour event. If I was to rank in order the Dublin suburban new parkland courses my list would appear as follows 1. K Club Palmer 2. Druids Glen 3. Rathsallagh 4. Carton House Montgomerie 5. Palmerstown House 6. The Heritage 7 Luttrelstown Castle 8 K Club Smurfit 9 Carton House O Meara 10 Castleknock Nick
Date: November 21, 2010