Situated between the Mourne Mountains and Carlingford Lough in County Down, Warrenpoint Golf Club is a beautiful parkland course that has been used by the golf club members since their formation in 1893.
The course is set in the Narrow Water Estate where the Narrow Water Castle and surrounding land has been in the hands of the Hall family since 1670. The 18-hole layout measures just under 6,200 yards with a par of 71, configured as four par fives, five par threes and nine par fours.
A real feature hole is the 348-yard par four 8th called “Cloughmore” where the tee shot must carry all of 170 yards over water, followed by a blind approach to a long, flat green. The hole is named after a thirty-ton granite block that sits in the distance on the Slieve Martin ridge which geologists believe may have been borne from Scotland by a retreating glacier in the last Ice Age.
Of course, Irish folklore would have us believe none other than the Irish giant Finn McCool threw the stone at an enemy from the Cooley Mountains on the other side of Carlingford Lough!
The club is justifiably proud of several members who have represented the club at international level over the years and three of those members – Paddy Gribben, Raymond Burns and Ronan Rafferty – have gone a step further, representing Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup.
Did you know that James Carvill recorded the fastest round of golf played by an individual (where the golf ball must come to rest before each new stroke) at Warrenpoint Golf Club? The round took just 27 min 9 sec on 18 June 1987.
Warrenpoint is a nice enough parkland course, in a pleasant setting between the mountains and Carlingford Lough / Newry River. Like people have mentioned there are 3 par 5s in the opening stretch. The opening 11 holes in general are fairly flat, and fairways are adjacent so even if you are a bit off-line you are not really punished. These holes are a bit difficult to remember and are reminiscent of your typical parkland Irish course of this vintage. Beware the 9th hole which looks easy from the tee, yet has a winding burn protecting the green and could be in reach for longer hitters.
The last few holes are a different kettle of fish, with much more undulations coming into play, and suddenly if you don't find the fairway your ball may be lost or at least its a chipout, much more fun and thought required on these holes, not just drive and a wedge.
Although the course is not long, the greens are appropriately small, with plenty of dips and interesting places for pin positions. So the finishing stretch is 4-ball rating, whereas the opening bit more of an average rating, thus 3 overall.
You wouldn't travel here for the golf per se probably (unlike Royal County Down and Ardglass nearby) but if you wanted a straightforward parkland course with a few interesting holes you could do worse.