Two courses at Carton House Golf Club near Dublin, Ireland provide a stark contrast to one another

COUNTY KILDARE, Ireland -- Carton House, a magnificent cut-stone Georgian mansion home to 165 rooms and suites, transformed into a hotel in 2006.

Carton House was commissioned in 1739, contained within a 1,100-acre estate surrounded by walls just 30 minutes outside Dublin. The two courses at Carton House Golf Club, the O'Meara Course and the Montgomerie Course, provide a stark contrast to one another.

The Montgomerie Course, a 7,301-yard inland links, is dotted with 130 cavernous bunkers. Mark O'Meara designed his more forgiving 7,006-yard parkland course in 2002. Its wide fairways give way to large, tricky greens. A valley containing the Rye River, a tributary of the River Liffey, provides holes No. 14-16, a stretch that Carton House Director of Golf Francis Howley calls "our Amen Corner." The two par 3s, and the scenic par-5 15th, play dramatically over water.

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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The O'Meara Course at Carton House Golf Club in County Kildare, Ireland, has its own version of Augusta National's "Amen Corner." Like an engine on a cold morning, O'Meara sputters a bit to start, but the course roars to life on the back nine. Located on the Rye River-enhanced nos. 14-16, the course's Amen Corner is as good a three-hole stretch of parkland golf as Ireland offers.
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Two courses at Carton House Golf Club near Dublin, Ireland provide a stark contrast to one another
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