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Two Lovely Links Courses in the Northwest of Ireland

Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort located in Donegal in the Northwest of Ireland has two fantastic links courses and another 9-hole-course.

In addiotn to the 45 holes, there is also extensive practice facilities including a 9-hole-pitch-and-putt course.

Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort is the largest golf complex in Ireland, and is spread out over 324 hectars in Downings, Co Donegal. With an opening date of 1893, it is also the oldest golf resort on the island.

Laid out by Old Tom Morris

Since in the original layout by Old Tom Morris (pictured above his statue, that guards the first tees). The back nine was inland and separated from the coastal part by a street. The comtemptorairy Irish legende course designer, Pat Ruddy, designed nine new links holes running along the spectacular coast.

These new nines, called Strand Nine, offer great views over Mulroy Bay and are now played as the front nine. The original Tom Morris designed Valley nine now form the back nine.

Together they offer the best of classic and modern links golf design measuring approx. 7000 yards (6409 meters). The original back nine of the Tom Morris Links now play as separate course called the Coastguard Nine.

Pat Ruddy also designed the Sandy Hills Links. This course opened in 2003, and is constantly ranked among the Top 100 courses on the British Isles. With a total length of 7300 yards (6675 meters) from the back tees it is a challenge even for the tour professionals.

Golf Pavillion serves as a clubhouse

Both courses start and end at the Golf Pavillion, which serves as a clubhouse with locker rooms, pro shop, a bar and a restaurant offering great views over Sheephaven Bay. The grass driving range also boasts covered hitting bays.

More great links courses can be found in the region such as Portsalon, Ballyliffin (two courses) and Narin & Portnoo. Also Portstewart, Castlerock and Royal Portrush (all in Northern Ireland) are within easy reach. They are just across the border, and can be reached within 2 hours drive along the scenic coastline.

Many breathtaking sights are within easy reach of the resort, such as Doe Castle, Glenveagh National Park, Fanad Head (one of the discovery points of the Wild Atlantic Way) and  Horn Head in the Republic of Ireland. While Northern Ireland host the famous Giants’ Causeway as well as the Bushmills Distillery.

Also read: More about Rosapenna

The new Strand Nine loop is played as the front nine, and offer great views over Mulroy Bay. Foto: Rosapenna