“There’s pretty much everything on display here… elevated tees, blind tee shots, coastal views, massive dunes, and holes played along the beach.”
Our search for the best value Irish links golf experience took us out west for this issue, all the way to Strandhill in County Sligo.
Strandhill Golf Club is a links course that Christy O’Connor Senior once described it as ‘the hidden gem of the west’ and we could see why. Often forgotten in the shadow of its more famous neighbour, County Sligo, Strandhill is a fun and quirky golf course that delivers the full links experience and offers great value for money. A perfect ‘links life’ venue.
There’s an eclectic mix of holes at Strandhill which kept us entertained for most of the day. Some provide championship style golf whilst others are… well, unusual in that links golf kinda way. The variety is the result of the varied landscape and the course expanding with new holes being added over the years (Eddie Hackett extended the course to 18 holes in 1973). Ultimately it all works together to provide a memorable and enjoyable experience. The course is not long on the card, but plays longer due to the coastal breeze. Breeze is being polite, it was closer to a three-club wind on the day we played.
The opening tee shot is a little tricky, and the course then traces the coastline for a few holes under the gaze of the Knocknarea mountain. From there, it opens up into a wonderful little stretch and holes 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 15, 16 would not be out of place on some of the more famous links courses in Ireland. At just under 6000 meters and a par-70, purists would suggest this is too short to provide truly great golf and although the wind we played in showed Strandhill at its fiercest, it’s definitely a fun little track and worth checking out.
How to get there?
Strandhill is situated just outside Sligo town, in County Sligo. Head west on the M4 till you see the signs for Strandhill, and once you hit the village and the beach you’re there.
It’s a 2 hour and 45 minute drive from Dublin Airport or the nearest airport is Ireland West Airport in Knock. It’s about an hour on a bus from there.
Visit Strandhillgolfclub.com for more info or to book a tee time.
€35 for 18 holes mid week, and €40 for weekends. The view from the clubhouse over the course and down to the beach after the round is worth it alone.
For any enquiries, check out www.strandhillgolfclub.com