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Rosapenna (St Patrick's)

Rosapenna (St Patrick's)

Downings, County Donegal
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Clyde  Johnson
ArchitectBadgeTom Doak
Downings, County Donegal
  • AddressRosapenna, Downings, Co. Donegal, F92 PN73, Ireland

In the past, golfers visiting Rosapenna might have wondered about the giant sand scrapes and barely visible outlines of fairways on a rugged piece of land that lies immediately to the south of the Old Tom Morris and Sandy Hills layouts.

This was actually the remnants of a 36-hole facility developed by the Walsh family of Carrigart in the early 1990s, with the Maheramagorgan Links designed by Eddie Hackett and the Trá Mór Links laid out by Royal County Down assistant professional Joanne O’Haire.

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Clyde  Johnson

Early in the new millennium, Martin Hawtree was called in to suggest course improvements but his modifications were hardly in play before it was announced in late 2005 that both courses would be redesigned by Nicklaus Design as part of a €60 million project, involving the construction of a 5-star hotel and spa, up to two hundred luxury apartments, and a number of retail units. Work actually started on the golfing element of the development but the global financial recession of 2008 brought work on site to a grinding halt.

The Casey family at the Rosapenna Golf Resort then stepped in to purchase the property in late 2012 and they quickly entered into discussions with Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design, who convinced the new owners to build one new 18-hole course on the links land that previously housed thirty-six holes.

Doak’s plan was to fashion one spectacular course instead of two mediocre layouts, using the best of the 300-plus acres for his first 18-hole design in Ireland. Not only that, he helped the Caseys source funding for the project, becoming a part-owner himself.

Construction of the new St Patrick’s began in April 2018, with Doak’s lead associate Eric Iverson working alongside Clyde Johnson and Angela Moser to complete the build during 2020.

The final piece of the jigsaw was put in place when head greenkeeper George Helly – who previously worked at Bandon Dunes and Tara Iti – was brought in to look after the grow-in leading up to the official opening in June 2021.


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Course Architect

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Tom Doak

Tom Doak studied Landscape Architecture at Cornell University where he won a scholarship to travel to the British Isles, he then spent seven months on the road, literally living on the links.

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