Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - hole 1
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - hole 1
The new Kilmore nine at Carne Golf Links opens with a par 5 cut from the dunes between the first and 10th tees of the Eddie Hackett course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 2nd
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 2nd
The par-3 second hole of the Kilmore Course at Carne Golf Links tumbles to a green surrounded by magnificent dunes. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 3rd
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 3rd
The par-4 third hole on Carne Golf Links' Kilmore Course doglegs right and drops downhill. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 4th
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 4th
The tiny par-3 fourth hole Carne Golf Links' Kilmore Course plays to an undulating elevated green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 5th
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 5th
A look down at the fifth green, the finish of a wild par 5 through the dunes on the Kilmore Course at Carne Golf Links in County Mayo, Ireland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 6th
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 6th
This greenside bunker protects a short but severely uphill par 4 on Carne Golf Links' Kilmore Course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 7th
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 7th
The seventh hole on Carne Golf Links' Kilmore Course is an incredible par 3. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - no. 7
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - no. 7
There are some scenic spots (like the seventh green) on the Kilmore nine at Carne Golf Links in Co. Mayo, Ireland. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 8th
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 8th
A bottleneck in the fairway and an elevated green make the eighth hole an interesting short par 4 on the Kilmore nine at Carne Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - no. 8
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - no. 8
The natural blown-out sand bunkers in the dunes add an incredible look to Carne Golf Links' Kilmore Course. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 9th
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course - 9th
The difficult par-4 ninth hole of Carne Golf Links' Kilmore Course runs along an out-of-bounds fence. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course
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Carne Golf Links - Kilmore Course
Carne Golf Links sits in remote region of northwest Ireland where Gaelic is still spoken. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Nine-hole Kilmore Course adds drama, scenery to Carne Golf Links in remote northwest Ireland

CO. MAYO, Ireland -- More than a decade in the planning, the new Kilmore Course at Carne Golf Links might be just what this remote links in northwest Ireland needs.

Carne has always been Ireland's most unattainable links. There's not another golf course within 30 miles. Americans renting a car rarely head this direction, fearing the confusing road signs written in Gaelic, an Irish language still spoken in these parts. Golf tour buses struggle to navigate the narrow local roads. The new nine makes the journey even more worthwhile.

The original course, designed by Irish legend Eddie Hackett, ranks among the top 20 golf courses in Ireland -- 16th by Golf Digest Ireland and 13th by www.top100golfcourses.co.uk -- but the Kilmore nine is uniquely special. The par 35 routing of 2,952 meters (3,228 yards), which was completed in 2013, is currently used as a standalone nine holes, although it could eventually be integrated with the back nine to form one of Ireland's wildest dune rides.

Irish architect Ally McIntosh stepped in to finish the job started in 2004 by American Jim Engh, an overseas member at Carne. He let the natural elevation changes within the dunes dictate the flow of holes.

The first hole, a par 5 squeezed between the first and 10th holes of Carne's Hackett course, immediately dives into the dunes. The second hole gets the blood pumping with a drop-shot par 3 of 165 meters into an amphitheater of gigantic hills covered in maram grasses. The third, a short par 4, doglegs right and falls downhill, introducing views of the Blacksod Bay. The difficult par-5 fifth hole snakes through dunes as high as any in the British Isles. Should the club someday merge the Hackett back nine with the Kilmore nine, a new top-100-caliber Irish links could be born.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Nine-hole Kilmore Course adds drama, scenery to Carne Golf Links in remote northwest Ireland
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