Situated in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains, Powerscourt Estate is one of the most fantastic properties in all of Ireland. The 13th century castle built by the Power family was turned into a magnificent mansion by Richard Wingfield in 1731 when the north end was changed to present a grand frontage with the southern side facing the extensive gardens which were created over the next decade.
In more recent times, the Slazenger family – creators of the sporting goods empire – acquired the Powerscourt Estate in the early 1960s. The modern day Powerscourt doesn’t only attract visitors to its wonderful House and gardens, though. Two golf courses were constructed in 1996 and 2003 and they have been pulling in the punters in equally large numbers for over a decade since then.
The East course, designed by Peter McEvoy, was the first course to open and it set the standard for golfing excellence at Powerscourt with a stunning parkland 18-hole layout that was good enough to host the Irish PGA Championship in 1998.
The West course was created by DMK Golf Design – whose founder, David McLay Kidd, was the man responsible for designing the much-acclaimed Bandon Dunes in Oregon and Queenwood in Surrey – and opened for play seven years after the East.
Powerscourt West is a traditional parkland track that maximises the natural assets of mature trees, lakes and stunning views. As the architect Kidd says, the intention was to create a challenging course “but to do so in a fashion that allowed the occasional golfer to have fun without being beaten up. The fairways have quite a bit of width and the greens are a little larger than usual.”
The signature hole on the 6,980-yard West course is the 577-yard par five 16th which plays as a slight left dog leg with massive cross bunkers in the fairway to catch errant second shots.
May 27, 2012