The Old Rosapenna Hotel and first Rosapenna links course designed by Old Tom Morris opened in 1893.
Changes were made in 1906 when James Braid and Harry Vardon played an exhibition match, and made recommendations which added length and more detailed bunkering.
Over a century later new holes known as The Strand nine were layed out by Pat Ruddy, replacing the back nine.
And later again Tom Doak’s Renaissance Design reinvigorated the Strand nine which was now the front nine of the Old Tom Morris Links!
In 2003 The Sandy Hills Links opened as the second course at Rosapenna.
The course had been designed by Pat Ruddy, and while acknowledged as a very good course, the knock was that the course was just too tight.
American architect Beau Welling has in recent years been employed to widen the playing areas, and generally improve the course, and the results of his work have been well received.
Frank & Hillary Casey bought Rosapenna in 1981 and the Casey family has continued to develop the facility ever since.
Nearby a tract of dunes perfect for golf was developed by the Walsh family- initially there were two courses designed by Eddie Hackett (Maheramagorgan Links), and Royal County Down assistant prefessional Joanne O'Haire (Tra Mor).
A decade later Martin Hawtree was asked to modify them, but they were barely in play before a major renovation was announced with 36 holes from Jack Nicklaus as part of a substantial resort.
But the depression in 2008 stopped that project in it's tracks..
The Caseys bought that property in 2012, and over the years developed a plan with Tom Doak to pick the eye teeth of the property and build just one world class 18 hole links (in place of two courses).
St Patrick's Links was opened for play in 2020 to world acclaim.
The Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort now comprises the three championship links courses, a 60 bedroom hotel, a leisure centre, 9 hole academy course, 12 hole par 3 course, and extensive practice facilities.
Rosapenna has become a very special golfing destination, indeed..
St Patrick's Links is routed through massive dunes on the banks of Shoalhaven Bay.
It is magnificent golfing terrain.
Still it is one thing to have the right canvass, and quite another to have the skills to paint the picture!
Tom Doak excels at finding a routing that gets the best out of the land, and at St Patrick's Links he takes the golfer on a journey that starts with one of the great opening holes, and then straight into the bigger dunes.
Each nine touches the waterfront mid-nine with memorable holes (holes 4 & 5, 14 & 15).
The surrounding dunes and sandy blowouts frame each hole and add to the atmosphere.
The green complexes display significant movement in places and allow for lots of pin placements.
If playing firm and fast on a windy day, these greens will defend par stoutly!
Notable holes include:
- hole 1, a drop dead gorgeous short par four, and one of the great opening holes in golf! (see pic top of page)
- hole 3, a mid length par 3 protected by huge sandy blowouts, marram covered dunes and some artistic bunkering.
- hole 11, a long par 4 with a delightful sideways biarritz green
- hole 14, another shorter par four with an elevated tee shot headed straight at the ocean then leaving a tight semi blind approach over dunes and bunkers to a green by the beach
- hole 15, an uphill par 3 to an elevated green with panoramic views.
St Patrick's Links is still maturing, but has already been recognised world-wide as one of Ireland's great links.
It should be considered for all itineraries playing 'the Best of Irish Links'.
Rosapenna is a wonderful place to stay and with two other courses of note (Old Tom Links & Sandy Hills links) is a golf destination on it's own.
St Patrick's Links is a "Travelling Golfer must play!"
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For further information on a tailored golf trip please enquire here: