Connemara GC was designed by the venerable Eddie Hackett and opened in 1973. It was the brainchild of 28 year old priest Peter Waldron whose vision of creating something for the community, and his persistance to see it though paid off. A third nine holes was added in 2000 designed by Eddie Hackett in conjunction with Tom Craddock
Connemara is located near the remote coastal town of Ballyconeely on a rocky peninsula 75 km west of Galway. As one approaches the area the scenery is dominated by the sea views, vast tracts of rocky terrain and the occasional whitewashed stone cottage. And one is struck by the number of horses roaming the fields. Ballyconeely is renowned for the world famous Connemara Pony. The story goes that as a result of a Spanish shipwreck off the coast a number of Arabian horses swam ashore and eventually bred with the local ponies!
Just when you think you are lost on this wild peninsula, a sign points you down a country lane where you will find the 27 holes of the Connemara Golf Links sitting on rolling hills overlooking the sea.
The site is utterly exposed to the elements, and Hackett has produced a true links site, but it is one with rocks of all shapes and sizes interspersed through the site, although they are rarely in play at all. Whether it be the rocks below the surface or not, the fairways have a traditional rumple throughout, and head off in all directions to offer different angles to play the ever present wind. The Championship Course is longish and would be a stern test of golf even without the wind. The front nine is somewhat shorter and flatter, but still will prove a good test of golf. The back nine steps it up a little with a little more elevation change, and more of the rocky moonscape surrounding the holes.
The newer nine holes comprising the C course is shorter in length and occupies some coastal land with more movement in the fairways. It may not offer the same stern test of golf, but it does look fun!
Notable holes include:
- the par 3 eleventh hole with it's mountain backdrop
- the par 3 thirteenth hole with valley carry to a picturesque green
- the par 4 fourteenth with elevated tee and panoramic views
- the par 4 fifteenth with it's dell green
- the dogleg par 4 sixteenth hole with burn protecting the green
- the long par 5 seventeenth with it's tabletop green.
Overall Connemara offers a unique setting for a quality links exposed to all of the elements.
Real golfers need only apply for a tee time!
If you do, you won't be disappointed!
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