Carne Golf Links
|Red (W)||73||4826 meters|
|Blue M: 73.1/123||375||200||411||517||413||397||177||399||358||3247||509||363||328||527||145||400||168||436||541||3417||6664|
|White M: 70.7/121||364||163||405||506||358||388||168||394||350||3096||472||330||306||488||141||389||155||429||531||3241||6337|
|Yellow M: 69.2/117||351||151||330||495||296||339||137||381||297||2777||462||325||290||481||137||377||141||378||521||3112||5889|
|Red W: 67.1/113||349||137||284||408||288||273||132||354||271||2496||396||294||254||418||131||320||121||371||427||2732||5228|
Wild and crazy links on the Wild Atlantic Way
Tom Coyne said this was his favourite course on the island; many agree with him that it’s the best. It’s surely a beauty that I will visit again, I’m not sure about the best, but up there.
All three 9s seemingly have the same approach to design – they found these crazy dunes, cut the grass and put flag in the midst of a quasi-flat spot. The course is wild - up and down, left and right, blind shots off the tee and to the green, and plenty of challenge. Land your ball in the wrong spot and you’ll have a blind shot up a dune that seems as tall as Toronto’s skyline. The rough is tough, but not as wild as some; the fairways seemed a touch more forgiving than other courses. Views near the ocean and from the many high points on the course are amazing – those dunes are tall and provide panoramic vistas that mean you don’t care where your shot ends up.
Hacket course (opened 1993) – the original 18 – the front 9 is much more subtle and tame than the back. Anywhere else, it would be a spectacular 9 holes, but it’s followed by the back 9 and that makes it seem rather ordinary. The back 9 provides much more elevation changes, tougher shots, and greater views as it goes out along the ocean and into the highest point in the dunes.
Kilmore 9 (opened 2013) – this new 9 starts between the front and back and crosses the back 9 between and over the same tall dunes. The holes are wild and terrifying at times – the 213 yard par 3 7th has you teeing off from the top of a dune to a green a top the same dune, with only the walking path connecting the two. It’s not an island, but may as well be one – I wasn’t going to climb/fall down 30m of dune going after a ball.
Conditions on all three 9s were similar – not lush and green, but like all links very firm. The greens weren’t in the best shape – multiple grasses seems to have taken hold making putting tough at times.
If you're only doing 18, play the back 9 of the Hacket course and the Kilmore 9. [But really, you came all this way, play all 3.] Keep fueled up, the walk is a great workout that will give you your leg and glute workout for the day and completely justify the seafood chowder in the bar (best in Ireland).
Find Carne Golf Links to prove your love of links golf
Only the most dedicated and determined Americans find Carne, a golf outpost in Gaelic-speaking country in the remote northwest of Ireland. My caddie told me (in English) there isn't another golf course within a half-hour's drive. There are no nearby highways, only narrow Irish roads. My decade-long pursuit to get to Carne was worth the wait. A three-club wind made for a perfect links experience. The Hackett course - the original 18 holes designed by legendary Irish architect Eddie Hackett - features a front nine framed by smaller dunes near the inland farm fields before diving into the massive sand hills overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the back. The par 3s - one uphill, one down - on this nine are glorious. These dunes, as big as any in Ireland, make walking and playing a formidable challenge coming home, even without the wind. I didn't get to play the new Kilmore nine, opened in 2013, but I explored it with a cart to take photos. It might be the best loop on the property, so be sure to play it, too.
If you could only play one course would you choose to play Carne or Enniscrone? I am going to be in the area in June but will only have time to play one course.
Probably one of the greatest golf courses in the world, play it!
A true links course
Carne was a fantastic experience.In a natural setting next to the Atlantic.The staff and members were very friendly.For the most part I kept the ball in the fairway,trouble all around if you dont.The greens were fast and true.A lot of blind tee shots.Elevated tees and greens.Tough pin placements when I played. If your in Ireland its well worth the drive to Belmullet.