Hole by Hole Description
A solid par 4 to start, the fairway is wide and straight and offers a good target off the tee.
Any drives off the fairway will have hazards to deal with. To the left rapidly developing trees could cause difficultly with the route to the green. To the right a lake awaits those long enough to reach, others could be hampered by the rough and mature trees. Out of bounds can catch those very wayward on the right.
The green, protected by a large bunker to the front left, slopes in steps from back to front and is a real test of speed and line judgement
After dealing with the first the index 3 second hole is no relief.
This hole calls for placement and length off the tee. Mature trees encroach on the fairway around 150mtrs. from the green hence obscuring any drives down the left of the fairway. More trees guard the right of the fairway so anything pushed too far will be in trouble.
The green, guarded at the front right by a large tree, is long and narrow cresting in the middle with gradual fall offs to the front, back and right. No bunkers here but another good test all the same
The first of 4 par 3 holes on the course offers another testing tee shot.
A round flat green awaits those who successfully negotiate the gap between large trees just off the tee. The trees jutting out from the right tend to send the eye to the left but danger awaits with young and mature trees all the way down the left of the hole.
The green is protected by small bunkers to the left and right and a good tee shot can bring rewards here.
A wide fairway protected by a line of evergreen hedging along the left and a mature spinney on the right. More imposing trees line the fairway as you approach the green but should not be a problem for all but the more wayward shots.
A square green which slopes gently from back to front is guarded by bunkers with high lips on the front left and right and on the back left. The main challenge on this hole is the accuracy of the second shot.
The next par 3 awaits just behind just behind the 4th green.
Depending on the tee or pin position and wind conditions this could be anything from a sand wedge to a 6 iron. A large green in two steps can offer a difficult put for a misplaced shot.
The green is well guarded by bunkers on all sides and out of bounds behind. The forest on the right and trees on the left offer some shelter and narrow the target but the open areas around the green can cause the wind to play tricks with what looks like a good shot.
The green is obscured from sight by the rolling fairway but the top of the pin can be seen straight down the fairway.
Out of bounds or deep rough will punish drives pushed wide right and a small copse of fir trees will obscure the green for anything only slightly right. A number of small spinneys along the left could cause problems but only for those with good distance. You might be lucky enough to catch the down slope of a large valley in the centre of the fairway this will throw your ball forward leaving a short Iron to the postage stamp green.
The green is cut into the slope with a bank to the left and a drop off to the right either leaving a difficult save shot
The index 1 requires a good drive to set up a second shot to this very demanding hole with tall trees lining the fairway and out of bounds on the right.
Some space exists to the left after approx 150 mtrs but anything else off line will be punished. Your troubles are not over yet, the second shot calls for a long iron or fairway wood and a tree strategically placed in the middle of the fairway must be dealt with before reaching the green.
A single bunker on the front left guards the green but banking all around causes their own problems. Behind the green drops off into rough leaving a difficult target at the best of times. Again the slope is from back to front but the subtle undulation on the green means the difficulty does not stop when you get to the short stuff.
The first par 5 on the course calls for a good drive to deal with a slight angle off the tee.
It is over 100 mtrs from the tee to the fairway at the corner of the dogleg but a wide fairway awaits those balls who make it through the gap. A good drive will put the green in range in two but beware there are hazards to be tackled. A lake short and left of the green requires a good lay up shot for those not taking on the green in two and a large bunker and over hanging tree guards the right of the green.
The green itself is big and slopes severely from back to front. A misplaced shot to the green could leave you with a 40 yard put if you are not careful.
A pronounced dogleg is the main difficulty with this hole.
The corner on the right is guarded by tall mature trees so going over them will not be an option for all but the very long hitters. Anything short and right will have little option but to play for the fairway unless a big fade (hook if you are left handed) is in your shot bag.
The green is guarded short front left and right by a pair of narrow bunkers which can catch those shots under clubbed. The green slopes from back left to front right and can leave a difficult putt if you are on the wrong side of the hole.
A blind drive on this the easiest hole on the course. Don’t let the index fool you this imposing par 5, and the longest hole on the course, has it’s fair share of difficulties for any wayward shots.
The tee is across the 18th fairway so you will not be able to see the fairway from the tee. It is wide and receptive but mature trees to the right have been known to catch drives off the tee. The green is not normally in play in two so a well placed shot is required to allow a short iron to the putting surface. A large tree guards the right of the fairway and can cause problems with approach shots.
A long bunker to the left of this sloping green where there will be a break in the majority of putts. A putt down the hill could leave a longer return putt. Beware of this sleeping giant.
The third of the par 3s is a challenge as accuracy is called for here.
Deep bunkers guard the front left and right and one along the back draws the eye off the tee. A valley is crossed from the tee to the green which can make club selection a bit difficult at times.
The green itself does not pose too many problems if you manage to hit it apart from the slope at the front of the green which will punish any short tee shots.
The 12th is the index 2 of the course for men, and just as much a challenge as the index 1.
Another slight left to right dogleg with mature trees on both sides narrows the target area. With the fairway sloping from left to right in this target area all but the bravest, who cut the corner tight or have adequate distance, will have a sloping stance for their second. Two large bunkers short of the green and a dip just short of these appear to shorten the distance to the green, don’t be fooled this is a good long iron or fairway wood to get home.
The green has a slope from right to left which can leave some difficult putts on this large surface.
Unlucky for some or, in the case of this par 5 hole, for many.
The drive is across the 18th fairway into a fairway which slopes to meet you. A lake to the left will punish anything to this side just off the fairway. This is where you will have to make a choice as the green is easily in play from a drive of 230m or so, but do you risk the full carry to the putting surface to avoid the lake and wall up to the edge of the green. Laying up is the option to take but this must be placed as there is a slight dogleg as you approach the lake. Large trees to the right of the green will cause a very difficult short iron if your second is anywhere right of the fairway.
The bunkers left and right are large and receiving and guard the green which slopes towards the water. This is the first of 4 holes which can ruin an otherwise good card.
Another doglegs hole requires a well placed drive leaving a straight shot to the green.
A shot left of the tree is the easy option but will leave a long second, taking on the gap to the right will give its rewards but brings the perils of the woodland on the right into play.
The green is pear shaped wide at the back narrowing to the front with another gradual slope. The entrance is guarded to the left and right by bunkers. A raised step at the back right of the green can make an interesting pin placement when it is used.
You turn for home and you are tackled with this short par 4. Another right to left dogleg this time.
The fairway is narrow and lined with trees on both sides so accuracy is more important than distance here. The further left of the fairway you go the longer you need to be if you make the corner here you will be left with little more than 50 mtrs. to the green. If you play the safe option and stay right you will have a longer shot but still no more than a short iron.
The green is slightly raised, long and narrow, is guarded by trees to the right and a slope, bunker and lake to the left. It is a difficult target even for the shorter shots.
This is where it gets really interesting, only 3 holes to get home and now the course throws the river barrow at you for two holes.
This par 4 has trees to the left, a lake short of the green which is in range from the front tees and the river running along the length on the hole on the right hand side. Many a ball has been teed up in Offaly and crossed the county boundary of the river to land in Laois.
A drive to the middle of the fairway will leave a middle or short iron to the undulating green whose slopes have a significant fall off at the front. Banking and trees to the left can be punishing and the bunker to the right stands waiting for any wayward shots. If you get out of here with a par then breathe a sigh of relief.
The last par 3 and one of the signature holes of the course.
The fairway narrows from the left just off the tee and the river guards the right. A bunker sits waiting for those short right and trees guard the length of the hole to the left.
A large green which slopes back to front with some undulations can make it difficult to judge the pace and line – a good challenge for the penultimate hole.
The tee shot here has been likened to threading a needle as you have a gap of no more than 20 mtrs. to play through from the tee to reach the fairway.
All the main trouble is down the right where out of bounds and dense tree planting awaits. Some specimen trees will prove a problem for balls hit too far left of this left to right sloping fairway. The green is a small square target with a bunker to the left and another front right.
The slight elevation of the green will reject any shots left short. A fitting finishing hole with a green which is trickier than it looks.