4 reviews of Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Links
Played both courses in May 2007 - Sandy Hills is the best of the two, cut through huge dunes. The Old Tom Morris course is excellent for 10 holes and then crosses the road for the last 8, which are not links holes and not as interesting. Soon, I believe, new holes will be added that should improve this course. Excellent food in the hotel and a warm welcome for visitors.
Played the Sandy Hills course the second week in september on a clear day with just a light breeze. This course has some spectacular views and the design of the course is right up there as well. Greens weren't the fastest but still true and the course in general in very good condition. First few holes are pretty long and tight with some tricky drives. Outstanding facilities and a top course for 75 euro. But why, when there is stunning scenery like this, do people still ride a buggy around the course? Seems such a waste to me!
I have played the new Sandy Hills links, designed by Pat Ruddy, at Rosapenna on three occassions over the summer, the first being only several weeks after it opened. I have to say that it is the best course I have played and by far the toughest. In fact, it is an absolutely brutal golf course in terms of scoring but it is simply stunning. The course has been laid out in the sand dunes above the original nine holes of the first course and you are encased between the dunes from the first hole to the last. I have played Glashedy at Ballyliffin and Murvagh Bay at Donegal but I do not think either course compares to this. Benny, the starter, told me that a group of Americans had played various links on the West coast of Ireland, including Ballybunion and Lahinch, before playing the new links at Rosapenna, which they subsequently said was the best course they had palyed on their holiday. The green fees are only 60 euros for the course and a new clubhouse is being built. I think once the general golfing public here more about his course it will become as busy as Ballyliffin. Of the blue tees the course is about 7100 yrds and the whites make it about 600-700 yards shorter. You need to be straight off the tee or your ball will be lost in the impenetrable rough and with the wind blowing you can be hitting a long iron from 140 yrds out. There are no weak holes and some are the best I have played anywhere. Two miles from Rosapenna there is St Patrick's Links, another 36 hole layout that was designed by Eddie Hackett. Although I have not played the two courses are mean't to be excellent but in need of a little care and attention. As the courses have been sculpted from the same land as Sandy Hills, I cannot wait to play them.
I played this course for the first time on a beautiful January Sunday and was not disappointed. The course was in fabulous condition and the scenery was some of the most stunning I have ever experienced, not to mention on a golf course. It is said that your golfing experience is not complete until you have stood on the 9th tee at Royal County Down but I find it hard to imagine it is any more spectacular than the 2nd or 13th tee at Rosapenna, simply jaw dropping. There is still work being done on the new 18 hole layout and my round incorporated some of these holes. When the new layout opens in June 2003, this will be a fantastic golfing destination.It may not be a Ballyliffin but if you are in the North West of Ireland then you must play here. Staff and members were all very friendly and the golf was top notch. The only bad point of the day was my score.
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