Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Dromoland Castle is another of those venues featuring on the NCG Top 100s: Ireland list that also has a place on the NCG Top 100s: European Resorts list as well. 
Just focussing on the golf course alone, you can see why Dromoland Castle makes the Ireland list.  
Ron Kirby and Joe Carr made changes to the layout at the start of the 21st Century, and the course achieved championship status by hosting the Women’s Irish Open in both 2022 and 2023.  
You can read our full piece on the Dromoland Resort here
Visit the Dromoland Castle website here.  

A Brief History of Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle has a history dating back more than 1,000 years, with its origins dating to the 11th Century. Seven centuries later, a second house was built at Dromoland Castle. 
1961 saw the opening of the golf course at Dromoland, having been designed by Brook Wigginton. Ron Kirby and Joe Carr made some changes to the course, upgrading and improving it, just after the start of the 21st Century. 
Dromoland Castle achieved championship status in 2022, when the Ladies European Tour visited. The course hosted the KPMG Women’s Irish Open for two years, with Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic and Denmark’s Smilla Tarning Sonderby being victorious at the venue.

Dromoland Castle Review | NCG Top 100s: Ireland

Thanks to those changes by Kirby and Carr, the golf course at Dromoland Castle now plays as a Par 72 and at more than 6,800 yards from the championship tees. Golfers play through trees, around large water hazards and to greens surrounded by sand in some cases. There are a range of tees, though, to allow golfers of all abilities to enjoy a round on the championship course. 
The first at Dromoland Castle is a gentle dog-leg right par 4, measuring just 385 yards. If you find the fairway (with trees lining both sides), there is a chance of making birdie to kickstart your round. The 2nd is a lengthy par 4 of more than 450 yards, and there is a large bunker which surrounds the entirety of the left side of the green that you must avoid. The 3rd is the opening par 3, and at 200 yards, it is a tricky green to find. The 4th is a short par 5, and provides a great birdie chance, especially with a relatively wide fairway. Two dog-legs follow. The 5th is a par 4 where you need to carry the fairway bunkers, while the 6th is the longest hole on the property at almost 600 yards. Five bunkers, including three greenside bunkers, await anything awry.
The 7th is one of the signature holes at Dromoland, and the first to feature a water hazard. The 180-yard par 3 plays from an elevated tee, making it shorter than the carded distance. How much shorter, though? The 8th has a wide fairway and several bunkers by the green, with the closing hole on the front side being a risk-reward par 4, with just 300 yards to the green. There is water in front of it, so you must be confident you can carry it that far. If not, then lay-up and it could still bring about a birdie opportunity. 
10 and 11 are both dog-legs to the right around the lake in the centre of the property, with the latter being the first of two par 5s on the back nine. The 12th takes you away from the water again, but the 13th features a stream running in front of the green. The short par 3 is only 160 yards long, but with the water in front, and three bunkers surrounded the green, it is a tricky hole to conquer. Another tough par 4 follows, but a real chance comes next. The 15th is just 272 yards from the back tees and offers another drivable par 4 option.  
16 features a river running across the fairway, which splits the fairway in two. However, for most, the water should not come into play on the tee shot. The penultimate hole could be anywhere between 225 and 155 yards depending on which tee box you’re playing from, while the final hole at Dromoland is a stunner. The par 5 18th plays around the lake, another dog-leg to the right. Find the fairway, and there is a chance of birdie, but there is plenty of trouble around. Water stays on the right all the way down to the green, with the castle as the sublime backdrop to the hole.

FAQs about Dromoland Castle

Where is Dromoland Castle located?  
Dromoland Castle is located near Ballinacragga, between Ennis and Shannon in County Clare in the west of Ireland. Limerick is just 20 miles away, while Ireland’s capital – Dublin – is 150 miles to the east. The venue is situated just a less than a mile off the M18 (which runs between Limerick and Galway via Ennis). 
Shannon Airport, the third busiest airport in the country, services the region. Dromoland Castle is just ten miles from Shannon Airport, which is a hub for Ryanair. More than one and a half million passengers flew via Shannon in 2022. For more international flights, Dublin Airport – the nation’s biggest airport – is the obvious choice, but it is three hours away by car. Ennis is the nearest train station to the resort, with trains from Limerick coming each hour. Dromoland Castle sits 15 minutes away from Ennis via road.  

What golf facilities does Dromoland Castle offer?
Along with the championship golf course, Dromoland Castle is also home to its own Golf Academy. The state-of-the-art driving range features the latest TrackMan technology, allowing golfers to practice with the use of data on screens in each bay. The technology also allows guests to play games and rounds on some world-famous courses.  
The practice facilities at Dromoland Castle also include a pair of greens which are made of the same grass you will find out on the course, and to USGA specifications. There is a 500 square metre putting green, along with a chipping green with practice bunkers. One of the bunkers at the short game area has a riveted face and is modelled on the famous bunker on the ‘Road Hole’ - the 17th on the Old Course at St Andrews.  
Dromoland is also the home to a beautiful golf shop. Only opened in 2019, and located near the 1st, 10th and 18th holes of the championship layout, the shop offers a range of Oscar Jacobsen, Galvin Green and Peter Millar along with plenty of other brands. 

What are the green fees at Dromoland Castle?
The price of a green fee at Dromoland Castle changes throughout the year, depending on the season. It is also different depending on whether it is a weekday or weekend. There are also stay & play packages available at the resort.  
For more information on current green fees at Dromoland Castle, visit their website here
Visit the Dromoland Castle website here