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“The Best of the Links” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carne Golf Links

Carne Golf Links
R312, Belmullet, Ireland
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: Carne Golf Links lies in magnificent unspoiled sand dunes overlooking Blacksod Bay and the wild Atlantic Ocean near Belmullet Co. Mayo in the west of Ireland. Carne was the last links course to be designed by the late Eddie Hackett and it is now believed by many who have played it to be his greatest challenge. The building of Carne has caused little disturbance to this wild and ancient landscape. Tees and greens occurred naturally and very little earth moving was involved in the course construction. Along the course are some breathtaking views over the Atlantic and the legendary islands of Inis Glóire and Inis Géidh
Pfafftown, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“The Best of the Links”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Last summer, I played Carne once on a two week stay in Ireland and Northern Ireland. I went back this year and stayed a week in Belmullet and played Carne 5 and 1/3 times - 5 times playing 18 holes and 1 time playing 6 holes [the last day when I was tired]. I also played Enniscrone links once in this week. Although Enniscrone is a good course, Carne is better. Carne pretty much challenges you on every hole. And the new nine - it opened just last year - is amazing, both as golf holes and as vistas to be enjoyed whether one is playing well or not. The new nine needs some time to mature but when it does and the new "composite " 18 is put together, it will among the best links courses anywhere in the world. If you go to Ireland to play golf, play Carne. Finally, you will find that the people at Carne are all about making sure you have a great golf experience. They are welcoming, professional, and willing to help you out with things not even connected to golf. [My friend and I found a lost puppy and the people at Carne helped us contact the rescue people to come for this dog. As they would say, "No bother."]This is a golf experience no golfer should miss. Play Carne.

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

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English first
Ormond Beach, Florida
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A new #1”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

I have played this great seaside links course a number of times and recently played the new nine. I thought the new nine was magnificent allowing for the fact that it is new and has some growing into be done. The location is far removed from any major city but it is worth the trip. The next time I visit Ireland (have golfer there 16 times), I very well may just spend the week at Carne; it is that good.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Watford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Utterly Brilliant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2014

I visited Belmullet for a wedding in July, and decided to take the opportunity to play a course I had heard many great things about. It was probably the best golfing decision I have ever made.

Carne is a gem, a masterpiece. The dunes, the undulations, the views, the changes in elevation - take the biggest you’ve seen elsewhere and times it by five. Playing Carne is like playing adventure golf. Every hole feels like an epic battle against the most natural golfing terrain I’ve seen. This is links golf as I’ve always imagined it should be played. Wild, rugged and without concessions.

The journey begins on a relatively short, dogleg par four. As you make your way up the rolling fairway, with the flag dipping in and out of view as you traverse the numerous ups and downs, you realise this will be special. While many links courses feature blind shots, this is magnified at Carne by rarely being able to see over the mound in front of you. These are not small humps and bumps as you’d find on most links, these are tumultuous banks and hollows. The majority of my approach shots featured an initial climb to check the location of the flag/green and you could never be sure just where your drive was going to end up.

The fairways are relatively generous (with some exceptions), so I was never unfairly penalised by a bad bounce. This also compensates for some of the most penal rough I’ve ever encountered. By my third day on the course, I’d learned that provisionals were essential, even if you’d seen exactly where the ball landed. The rough at Carne seems to swallow golf balls.
The rest of the front nine is great, featuring more rolling fairways and amphitheatre greens. Personal favourites were the 5th and 8th, par fours where your approach varied hugely depending on where your ball had kicked to, from the huge mounds in the fairway. But while I loved the front, the back nine steps up another gear.

Huge dunes, the like I’ve never seen. I had the misfortune of landing on top of one on the 11th hole. It took me 15 minutes to climb up, find it and play it. Fortunately, there was nobody behind (an enduring mystery, Carne was never busy when I played), but I was still feeling the exertions in the bar that night. The course sweeps down to the sea for the wonderful 13th and 14th holes before rising again into the dunes for possibly the toughest finish in golf. The 15th fairway has undulations that dwarf even the rest of Carne, before a tough approach to an extremely elevated green. The 16th is a phenomenal postcard par 3, from an elevated tee, which required a different club each time I played. The 17th is the stroke index 1 and fully deserving of the title. The huge drop off from the sloping green makes for an unbelievably intimidating approach. And the 18th is a rollercoaster of a par 5 which had me giggling with delight.

I also played the new nine holes a couple of times. While they haven’t quite bedded in yet (the greens are almost white), they were still playable and are simply sensational. It actually felt like playing one of those made up golf courses you used to find on computer games. The elevation changes, dunes and undulations are all even bigger and, at times, it felt like golf on another planet. I suspect that once these holes have been completely integrated in the planned composite 18, Carne will be recognised as the best course in Ireland. To be honest, I think it already is.

I can’t honestly submit the review without mentioning the welcome. Almost all Irish golf courses are accommodating but, again, Carne takes this to a new level. There are no airs and graces about the place. No allocated car park spaces, no members bar. Everyone I met in the clubhouse was friendly and helpful. From the staff in the pro shop, the bar, the club captain, the members and Eamonn Mangan himself, I was made to feel as an honorary member throughout the time I spent there.

I cannot recommend this course highly enough. If you love links golf, you owe it to yourself to play here. You will not be disappointed.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2014

Great layout, great conditioning, great shot values. The 8th hole alone is worth the trip to this out of the way golf links. What more could one ask for?

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Carne Links -Belmullet Golf Club”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

Played in the AnnuAL Pro Am in June (2014) I was aware that a recent Sunday Times article rated Carne as No 1 in Ireland and like most people from Dublin thought that was an exageration - not so - its out of this world - its a monster - with views to die for - its not surprising that the pro-am was oversubscribed and its 200 miles from Dublin! Having played golf in the 32 counties of Ireland for past 30 years I thought I was beyond surprises -
If you want to an unforgettable experience -play Carne Golf Links. If you love the walk and are reasonably fit use an elec caddy car if your lazy lkike the rest of us use a buggy.
PS: There are 9 new holes (KIlmore 9) just opened - greens will need time - but that said they are simply awesome - roll on 201
Green fees were very reasonable (we had all in Pro Am package) and if staying at Broad Haven Bay Hotel you can get all in package - some of the lads are going back down in July and have been offered BBD & Golf package by said hotel. Am going back in August for links golf this is the place!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And it has a lovely friendly helpful staff...how often do you have an oppertunity to be so positive about a holiday experience.
While your there try to get on the boat to the islands and drop in to Caide Fields on way home (take north Coast Road to Ballycastle)
Happy Stoney!

Visited June 2014
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