Tullamore Golf Club


For some it might seem a coincidence, for others simply fortuitous, but Tullamore Golf Club and the world-acclaimed Tullamore Dew whiskey distillery are little more than a crisp five wood apart. Regardless of how you see it, sample the golf and the whiskey and you will appreciate that both are sheer quality.This is the centre of Ireland, lush and green. It is rich golfing country, too, for it possesses 18 holes of parkland magic designed by the legendary Scottish architect, James Braid. In his designs, Braid believed every hole should force golfers to question their approach tactics and challenge their shot making abilities. Such traits can be found everywhere at Tullamore. Braid is also widely regarded as the inventor of the dogleg… something he applied liberally at this Co. Offaly course.
In its centenary year (1996) revisions were made to the course, so a tip of the hat must also be given to Irish course designer, Patrick Merrigan, who introduced three lakes, seven new greens, and new tees and bunkers. Additional trees were planted to complement the existing clusters of oak, beech and chestnut.
The course weaves through the tree-drenched Charleville Estate and over gently rolling terrain. It is known for its intelligent routing and, not surprisingly, its mature trees which give Tullamore its backbone, its protection and so much of its beauty. It is also known for its conditioning and its sublime greens.
If you haven’t heard of this parkland gem there may be a very good reason. Its name is often whispered in reverent tones for it holds an aura over visitors that makes them want to brag about its brilliance… but not too loudly, for fear others might head to this sweet parkland and steal their tee time.
A round of golf is highly recommended as you will find yourself tested in every facet of the game. Holes whip through the trees, some doglegging left, others right, and finding the correct side of the fairway is essential if greens are to be accessible. Accuracy off the tee is key. There are fairway bunkers, of course, but it is those around the greens which will cause the most angst if you are forced to watch your ball heading towards them. The sand traps may not be deep but greens are so beautifully and intricately shaped that you are unlikely to find many flat putts. On surfaces as smooth as silk, bunker and chip shots take on whole new dimensions of difficulty.
Golfers will have the last laugh, however, for this is as enjoyable a game as you could ask for. It may not be hugely long (par 70, 6,472 yards, back tees) but it satisfies a golfer’s appetite, whatever his or her ability. Stand out holes include the 4th, 5th, 13th and 18th, while the par four 16th promises the hole of the day as you fire your approach at a green nestled in a cocoon of trees below, a stream flowing underneath.
One final thought: Irish whiskey, unlike Scotch, is spelled with an ‘e’. The ‘e’, you see, stands for everything… and everything is exactly what you’ll get at Tullamore Golf Club.

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