Myself and my father Paul were lucky enough to be invited out by Sean Clancy, the golf sales manager, to play the O’Meara Course at Carton House, a Fairmont managed hotel, this week. Paul being a former member at Carton House, was familiar with the course. I on the other hand was not. I thought this would be a perfect dynamic for an old and new set of eyes to experience the new and improved Carton House.
Located just over 22 kilometres of Dublin City Centre and 30 minutes from Dublin Airport the beautiful Carton Demesne was built in the mid 1700’s it was one of the Irelands greatest homes.
After much refurbishment, Carton is home to 18 beautiful suites located in the original building. The recently refurbished Garden Wing, which now exudes the traditional feel of a country house, 147 stylish bedrooms with a spa and a leisure suite which has made its home in the old stables.
The O’Meara Course
The O’Meara Parkland Golf Course at Carton House is a Par 73 parkland golf course that measures 7,165 yards from the blue championship tee.
Designed by two-time major championship winner Mark O’Meara, the O’Meara is a classic parkland experience that twists and turns through acres of illustrious pastures, ancient woodland and skirts the banks of the River Rye.
Mark O’Meara has created a unique layout. The bunkering is strategic rather than painfully cruel. The bunker placement tempts you to take them on, only to be defeated, time after time. A better golfer would probably play the safer lay-up options; for me, I preferred the more aggressive approaches.
I can’t talk about the O’Meara without mentioning its famous 14, 15 and 16 holes. Very appropriately nicknamed ‘Amen Corner’. It is a stretch that plays with the waters of the river, its weir and lake. On the 16th you need to carry the ball over the lake to hopefully hit the green. Safe to say it wasn’t my most impressive run of the day with a couple of balls being left behind. But it really is a stunning area of the course. A really challenging trio of holes.
Overall my favourite part of the course is the 18th. It offers a breath-taking backdrop of the historic Palladian Manor House. The reflective lake and picturesque boathouse are said to have been custom-built for Queen Victoria. Designed to challenge golfers of all abilities while bringing the beauty and history of the Carton House estate to the fore.
The Tyrconnell Tower in Carton Demesne stands on top of a hill overlooking you as you make your way around the O’Meara. It is an eye-catching feature throughout the first 11 holes of the course.
Sean mentioned to us that they now hold an open every Tuesday which will vary from the O’Meara or the alternative course, the Montgomerie. Depending on the course, the price for entry will be €60 or €65, which is a bargain considering the quality of the courses. Green fees are usually upwards of €95. You can book your spot in the open here, I certainly will be heading back to make an open soon.