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Sean_A

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Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS New
« on: June 21, 2017, 05:12:54 AM »


Next door to The Island GC on a small peninsula between Broadmeadow Estuary and the Irish Sea, lies the remarkable wee links of Corballis.  For anyone who likes their golf wild and woolly this is the course.  Golf was first played at Corballis over 100 years ago which is not surprising given the sporty nature of the terrain.  Astonishingly, the history of the site seems to be based on a theme of abandonment for no less than three clubs preferred their golf elsewhere.  After Dublin County oversaw the redesign of the course in 1979/80 it was closed for two years of maturity.  By 1994 Fingal County Council was running the show and in 2004 Corballis Links GC was formed. A short time later the American firm, Bates Golf Design Group, made their mark by replacing the old 4 and 13-15 with the new 4-7.  That gives us a course of a seven short holes, one par five, two par 4s over 400 yards and grand total of a few pennies over 4600 daily tee yards...itís positively Painswickian at Dickensonian prices.

The opener is a very servicable short hole so onto the shocker second.  Playing blind over a crest of hill, this 250 yard hole is reachable, but.....a large hollow blocks most of an already painfully narrow fairway. 


The trouble doesn't end there.  The small green runs away from play.


After the wake up call on #2, we are now asked to thread a drive between the Pillars of Hercules.


The uphill approach.


Looking back toward the serpentine fairway.


The green is deceptively large...as seen by this photo from near the 4th tee.


The wee 4th.  Generally, the maintenance was excellent.  Where possible, large areas around greens were kept short.  It is surprising then the grass short of the green isn't cut to allow for a bump up.   


The severity of the green is very evident from this angle.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 13, 2022, 04:21:54 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS 1-4
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2017, 07:58:15 AM »
Reminds me of the very underrated Annesley course at RCD. Also The Bann at Castlerock. Short, tight, small greens, humps-n-hollows. Looks to be great fun so far.
Atb

Sean_A

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS 1-4 New
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2017, 02:25:13 AM »
CORBALLIS LINKS TOUR CONT

It is back to slithering snake golf for the 5th.  I am of two minds for holes slotted through dunes.  The  visuals are undoubtably terrific, but the actual design/playability of these holes is often suspect. It can be a small miracle to hit a fairway, nevermind if there is a sensible landing zone to hit the second shot.




In this angle above the green the reader can see just how small the target is.  While flatter areas are mowed out very well, there are few places cut where hand mowing is required.


Next up is a very short, downhill par 3. For a course which is watching its pennies, I don't understand the point of paying maintenance for three bunkers.  There are many scattered instances of unnecessary bunkering.  Still, like the 4th, this is a good and exacting hole. 


I totally misconstrued the 7th.  The drive is blind with a fairway which severely necks at about 200 yards.  The brave golfer can have a bash, but the target is well, precise.  Anyway, after reaching the fairway I realized the hole is far straighter than I imagined.  It turns out I was looking at the wrong green much further left.  Below is the approach.


A preview of the green from near the 4th tee...gulp.


The course wisely moves down from the dunes at this point.  Unfortunately, the holes are not terrribly compelling.  It strikes me that each of the two longish par 3s and the par 4 are nearly good, but pieces of the puzzle seem to be missing.  The course would be greatly improved if these holes were given a bit more thought.  There is a bit of a design flaw with 9 & 10 being back to back short holes followed by the crazy 255 yard 11th featuring a blind drive. The result is groups stacking up on the tee.  There is more space than it appears on the 11th, but I wouldn't say the drive is roomy.


The approach from the middle of the faiway is blind, but this is what the green looks like. As can be seen, once the golfer knows the lay of the land, there is plenty of space for the approach...another good example of clearing rough for playablity. 


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 08:15:15 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS 1-11 New
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2017, 12:36:18 PM »
CORBALLIS TOUR CONT

The sole par 5 on the course offers some promise from the tee, but in the end it is quite mediocre.


Crossing over the 1st, anybody who leaves their drive right is left with a blind shot not knowing if golfers are in range to be hit.  Its very easy to end up hitting toward the first green which is just out of shot to the right. 


An uphill par 3 follows.  Much of the raised bank to the rear of the green is cut so balls can roll back.


Playing dead beside the beach, #14 is a head-scratcher.  The fairway is blocked off by rugged dunes, often leaving a blind second. 


A look at the green from atop the dunes.


More to follow.

Ciao
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 08:15:47 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Rory Connaughton

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS 1-14
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 11:10:02 AM »
Sean,


 Looking forward to seeing more. Some real gems up the coast between The Island and Baltray.

Sean_A

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS 1-14 New
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2017, 07:26:28 PM »
Rory

Thanks.  Suffice it to say I am impressed with Corballis!

CORBALLIS LINKS TOUR CONT

While I can understand the love for #s 2-7, I conversely cannot figure out why anyone would disparage the final four holes.  These holes certainly don't have the beauty of many previous holes, but they win hands down in the brains department.  15 & 16 share a generous fairway split by a bunker and flanked by a road. On 15 the golfer is told not to hit when there is oncoming traffic.  Well, without an overhead camera this can prove a difficult task.  In any case, the message was received loud and clear...stay right! 


Most won't be long enough to clear the rise so the longish second will be blind. Even if one can bang it, the very interesting green is sunken.   


To top things off, a blind bunker.


An elegantly simple green.


You might have guessed 16 comes back and if anything, it is tougher because the green is unreceptive...to put it mildly. This is one of a few areas which is quite dangerous....hence the net protecting the 17th tee.


A closer look at this two tier green.


Now then, the diabolical 17th.  The archie must have gotten out of the wrong side of the bed when this hole was shaped.  It doesn't look to be the case, but from the tee the hole looks far more forgiving than it actually is.


A 2 putt par here is little short of miraculous play.


The top tier is all but non-existent!


The tee shot of the "conventional" 18th reveals more about the 17th than the home hole.


The approach, if you can turn away from the 17th green.


I must say Corballis was far better than I expected and in better nick than any 25 Euro course has a right to be.  The variety of holes is only spoiled by the rather dull run from 8-10, but this is a fair price to pay for the crackers such as 4, 13 and 15 through 18 plus the scattered roller coaster rides.  The only real disappointments are the lack of beer in the house and the fact that 18 finishes in no man's land. Corballis isn't for everyone, but judging from how crowded the course was, it is just what is needed for plenty of folks despite the finicky nature of some holes. I am not ashamed to say that Corballis shot straight into the top 25 of My Happy 100.  2017

Other courses on the Dublin North Tour:

The Island
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,64667.0.html

Laytown & Bettystown
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,64681.0.html

Baltray
http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,64710.0.html

Ciao
« Last Edit: April 17, 2020, 02:58:35 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2022:

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2017, 08:46:39 AM »
Another good tour Sean, you find some jewels!

Duncan Cheslett

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 04:36:21 PM »
Another good tour Sean, you find some jewels!


Talking of jewels Mark, I found myself in Prestwich the other evening after meeting a client and stopped for a quick look round Heaton Park GC. I walked about 6 holes and was stunned by the place - I can't wait to go back and play it.


What is your view of Heaton Park?

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2017, 09:20:35 AM »
I think Heaton Park is quite dangerous - there are so many blind shots, and many of the golfers are not members anywhere. That said, there are some fascinating holes, including an all-carry par 3 over part of a lake, and a great cape hole where you drive over a gypsy encampment, if you have the nerve! There are some quite big hills to play over. I think the order of the holes has been changed since I played there occasionally in the 80s. There may even be a clubhouse now! JH Taylor, I think.

Tony_Muldoon

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 07:58:52 AM »
Corballis was the one Iíd never heard of and I doubt Iíve had a more pleasant surprise in Golf.   
 
 
Looking again at the pictures, I feel the need to remind people that the camera flattens the landscape and this is as wild as they come.    The closest comparison might be the Cashen Course at Ballybunion where the game is always to guess, where to next. On the Cashen I had a scoresaver to help, at Corballis you just follow the guys in front - unitl the dissapear round a corner -and guess what club to hit.  The greens were smallish and elusive and the fun was off the scale.  The flatter bits donít last long enough to be more than a welcome breather and are not so weak as to be a major downer. I w



A canít think of a course that more fully deserves the title: A Hidden (in full sight) Gem.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 08:21:01 AM by Tony_Muldoon »
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2017, 02:38:19 AM »
Spangles

I too can't figure out why I haven't heard more about Corballis.  The only thing that comes to mind is the course is a modern design. Corballis is far from perfect, but man does it deliver on character.

Ciao   
New plays planned for 2022:

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 02:03:34 PM »
Sean,


I'm not sure it's a modern design. Ron Kirby added a few holes about 12 years ago but I thought the bulk of the course was an oldie... Could be wrong - I don't know the design history.


Ally

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2017, 04:27:46 AM »
Sean,

I'm not sure it's a modern design. Ron Kirby added a few holes about 12 years ago but I thought the bulk of the course was an oldie... Could be wrong - I don't know the design history.

Ally

Ally

I thought the course had been changed quite a bit on several occasions in the past few decades, but I don't know for sure.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2022:

Důnal ” Ceallaigh

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Re: Short Tour of Dublin North: Cool CORBALLIS LINKS
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2017, 08:16:36 PM »
A little bit of it's history here (I've no idea if it's 100% accurate or not):


http://www.top100golfcourses.com/golf-course/corballis-links

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