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Sean, do you see any kinship between Carne and Pennard?(and thanks, as always, for the write-ups)
Sean, is the grass brown or non-existent?
What work is Jim Engh doing at Carne? Would be great to see some posts from him, too.
It’s funny, Carne still looks better than Enniscrone to me from your pics – the scale of the undulations through the green and the lay of the land putting surfaces just tick all the boxes.But they’re only pics and your judgment is excellent in these things, Sean, so if Enniscrone is the Rihcelin 2* I’ll have to find a way to get there during family time in Belmullet in August (already got ‘before they’re up’ Carne tee-times). OT (but I’ll ask here rather than an IM as your answers may be of interest to others) did you try any good/bad restaurants/food pubs/music pubs in or around Belmullet, and Strandhill, where we’re also staying?Loved the whole Mayo and Sligo series – will give Strandhill a go but reluctantly skip Rosses Point at that price.
AndyBelmullet is small place. However, and you would never guess it, The Western Strands Hotel has very fine steaks. We also ate a fish pub in town on the road back to Sligo (its sort of a purple/blue colour), it was very good and they had music on Sundays. In Sligo we had a good Indian at Popodums. There is a wonderful pub on the same street (O'Connell St). I don't recall the name, but its only 1 minute down the road on the right (past the pub with the outdoor seating). There was music there on Saturday night. There is another good pub on the river (don't recall the name) - the next road past O'Connell St. Its red and had a fantastic singer on there. Everything from Steve Miller to Pink Floyd to Johnny Cash. Sorry I don't have specifics of road names etc. These places are too small to bother with such details. We didn't hang around Strandhill, but I didn't notice any town of consequence. While I like Enniscrone more than Carne, Carne is plenty good enough to interest you for a few days if it isn't convenient to get to Enniscrone. As I say, Carne is more old fashioned even though its modern. Its a wonderful course and you will need at least two games to get a grip.Ciao
On the back 9 there are a few spots where I wondered why Eddie did not incorprate the ocean more than he did at Carne.Driving from Enniscrone to Carne gives one the feeling of driving back to NYC/Boston. It is remote for those that love remote golf. The greens and greensites are not world class, but I really believe it is a place that needs to be seen and played at least once. I played it just the one time in 40+ MPH winds. It really was because the girl in the pro shop said "you are going to play in this wind?! This is the real Ireland out at Carne.
I managed a couple of games at Carne last week. Routing, terrain and green sites as good as anywhere. Very impressed how playable and enjoyable it remained in a strong wind (just as well in that location) - the first four holes all go in different directions and no two succeeding holes go in the same direction. The big dunes offer a lot of protection, with greens generally sheltered a bit out of the wind, which greets you full blast on some of the tees, often on top of a dune to give you some idea where you're going.The wind was against on the 7th both days so the last thing I was worried about was stopping the ball. Maybe mowing the grass at the back bank to fringe or green height so shots could be played to roll back would improve the hole when the wind's behind? If people are complaining Carne is a tough walk you certainly wouldn't want to put the green any higher up, that could finish some off before they reached the turn! 17th is a superb hole - and shows Eddie would move the dirt if he had to! Such great terrain doesn't need many bunkers but you wonder if some of the few there are at Carne were added later by the members as they look a bit amateurish in placing and execution.I thought the greens were fine in design, and condition when I visited. Condition was even better at Enniscrone but the shaping's less natural there and the extra internal green contours were a bit 'fiddly' for my taste on what is already a pretty tough golf course.My other quibbles with Enniscrone were several long tee to green walks and some rather brutal cuts through dunes ( eg to make the 1st and 2nd greens visible). To be fair, neither Steel, nor Hackett before him, started with a blank canvas at Enniscrone, whereas Hackett had free rein at Carne.On the other hand Enniscrone has the better par 3s, and bunkering, and the back-to-back driveable par 4s at 12 and 13 (9 and 10 pre-Steel) worked really well in different directions.Overall, I'm going against what seems the majority view here and saying Carne is definitely the better course but would encourage anyone remotely within range to visit both and decide for yourself.