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Rosapenna’s Newest Addition: St Patricks Links

St Patricks Links Rosapenna Resort

Rosapenna Golf Resort in Ireland’s Donegal County, home to the Old Tom Morris Links and Sandy Hills Links Golf Courses, acquired the nearby St Patrick’s Links in late 2012. St Patrick’s Links was formerly 36-holes owned by the Walsh Family, consisting of two golf courses: The Maheramagorgan Links designed by Irish legend Eddie Hackett, and the Trá Mór Links designed by PGA Professional Joanne O’Haire. The second course at Rosapenna is said to be the only golf course in Ireland to be designed by a female.

Rosapenna’s acquisition of the two golf courses resulted in Renaissance Golf Design’s Tom Doak refashioning a brand new 18-hole route, completely unrecognisable but running over the same tract of land as the original golf courses. Doak is renowned for his simplistic links golf courses that include greats such as Streamsong Blue, Tara Iti and The National’s Gunnamatta Course.

Due to open late June 2021, The St Patrick’s Links takes golfers on a journey high above Sheephaven Bay on Ireland’s North-West Coast, near Donegal Golf Club, Portsalon and Ballyliffen Golf Club. The dunescape is as evocative as Barnbougle Dunes, whilst the naturalised bunkers and modern links design provide a brand-new Irish playground for visiting golfers.

St Patricks Links and Rosapenna Resort start the North-West Coast’s golf, sitting on the same stretch of land as Ireland’s world-famous Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills Distillery along the Wild Atlantic Way. Other golf courses lying along this stretch include Portstewart, Castlerock and Royal Portrush, home to the 148th Open Championship.

Rosapenna is a relatively undiscovered hidden gem, that lies in the shadow of its southern counterparts Tralee and Ballybunion Golf Clubs. Other golf facilities at the Resort include a 9-hole pitch-and-putt, and a 12-hole par-3 golf course, as well as a turf driving range and short-game practice area.

St Patrickss Links Rosapenna Resort
St Patricks Links Aerial View – Courtesy of Rosapenna Resort

The golf course is not set to open until mid-2021, so it is best to start planning now. Visiting golfers can experience the best of Ireland’s North in various ways. The best way to experience the Causeway Coast is to start in Northern Ireland’s Belfast City, before heading north-west along the Causeway Coast. There is world-class golf course all along the Irish coast. We recommend taking your time: between a week to a fortnight should prove ample time to explore Ireland’s golf coast. Be sure to play all three courses at Rosapenna Resort, before travelling south to Galway Bay in Ireland’s west.

Jack Nicklaus, winner of 18 Major Championship titles including three British Opens and his design team were commissioned to redesign the 36 holes at St. Patrick’s Golf Links and work did start in November 2006 after Relton Developments had purchased the two courses from the Walsh family of the Carrigart Hotel, owners since 1976. “The land and the dunes comprising St. Patrick’s is what Ireland golf is supposed to be – raw, natural, wild, windy, with bunkers, carved and created by Mother Nature,” said Tim Kenny, executive vice president of Nicklaus Design. “It is absolutely an incredible site.” Work finished with Nicklaus in that same year. Discussions ensued with Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design, with Tom finalizing his lay-out with lead associate Eric Iverson in March 2013.

Rosapenna has been owned and operated by the Casey family since 1981 and has seen the resort grow from one 18 hole golf course with a 40-bedroom hotel to the resort as it is today which now boasts a four-star 66 bedroom hotel, leisure centre, Golf Pavilion and now 81 links holes as well as the practice facility with its own 12-hole par-3 course.

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