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Rathsallagh

Dunlavin, County Wicklow
Dunlavin, County Wicklow
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  • AddressRathsallagh Golf Club, Griffinstown Glen, Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow, W91 NW92, Ireland

Rathsallagh House is a 31-bed country house – converted from stables in 1798 – that sits in 530 acres of parkland in Dunlavin, County Wicklow. In the early 1990s, the owners commissioned Christy O’Connor Jnr and Peter McEvoy to construct a golf course on the estate and this opened for play in 1994.

Rathsallagh is a long, demanding course routed over gently rolling terrain with a number of burns, ditches and ponds to bring water into play at several holes. Mature trees flank most fairways, the construction and positioning of bunkers around greens is quite exceptional and the putting surfaces have been built to USGA specification.

The overall yardage from the back tees can reach 7,200 yards so it is perhaps no surprise to learn that the standard scratch score is two more than the par of 72 – as good an indication as any to the difficulty of scoring well at Rathsallagh!

A feature hole on the front nine is the 8th, a right doglegged 382-yard par four, where a blind tee shot is played with water all the way down the right. The second shot must be accurate as the narrow green has protection from a pond and large bunker to the front and a stream to the right which winds its way round the back – easily one of the most challenging holes to be played on any golf course.

The favourite of many on the back nine is the 536-yard par five double doglegged 16th where the intimidating view from the tee to a fairway with ditches and bunkers may make the completion of the hole in par seem a distant prospect. However, two well-placed shots will leave an approach that could well result in at least a par on the scorecard – something that may have looked rather forlorn from the tee.

In 2014, the Rathsallagh golf course closed and was floated on the open market. For some time it was feared that the property would be sold to farmers and returned to agriculture, but in September 2015 a local Co. Wicklow golf investor ruined agricultural interest and bought the 274-acre Rathsallagh Golf Club for more than €1.5m.

The golf course reopened in June 2016, and since then the layout has been reconfigured so that play now starts and finishes in front of the clubhouse. Additionally the course has been partially re-routed and a new "signature" par three (#11) has been built in the woods between the old 1st and 2nd holes. Hats off to the new owner who has breathed new life into Rathsallagh.

Rathsallagh House is a 31-bed country house – converted from stables in 1798 – that sits in 530 acres of parkland in Dunlavin, County Wicklow. In the early 1990s, the owners commissioned Christy O’Connor Jnr and Peter McEvoy to construct a golf course on the estate and this opened for play in 1994.

Rathsallagh is a long, demanding course routed over gently rolling terrain with a number of burns, ditches and ponds to bring water into play at several holes. Mature trees flank most fairways, the construction and positioning of bunkers around greens is quite exceptional and the putting surfaces have been built to USGA specification.

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