Irish sports enthusiasts will know that Thurles was where the Gaelic Athletic Association was formed in 1884 – the town’s 53,000-capacity Semple Stadium is the second largest GAA stadium in the country after Croke Park – and the town remains a hotbed for traditional Irish games like Gaelic football and hurling.
What many may not know is that Thurles Golf Club was formed twenty five years after the GAA in 1909 and, in the early years of its formation, members played at a number of different local locations in Leugh, Loughtagalla and Dovea before Turtulla House and its estate were acquired in 1944.
The property is split in two by the N62 Cork road, lending itself to the creation of two 9-hole layouts on either side of the main highway. After major renovation work in 2006, the holes on the outward half were redesigned and new, USGA specification greens installed to greatly enhance the playability of the course.
Both nines of the Thurles parkland layout are configured with two par fives and two par threes, each loop finishing close to the clubhouse. The 9th hole is a favourite of many on the front nine; a par four played along the bank of the River Suir to a narrow, left sloping green. On the inward half, the long par three 11th hole (named “Jacks House”) features an interesting ruin worth examining en route to the green.