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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« on: June 13, 2024, 08:55:56 AM »
After Cruit the tour made its way to Gweedore. It wasn't a course I knew much about, but it fits well with Cruit. Another unmanned clubhouse!



Gweedore GC (Galf Chumann Gahaoth Dobhair) is in the heart of Donegal Gaeltacht. The club was founded in 1923, but activities seem to have ceased from 1939 up to 1960. The original course seems to have been more centred around the graveyard near the current 18th tee. The original tin hut house was in this area. The new house was built in the 1970s in its current location after the club purchased land. This must have been how the 1st/10th & 9th/18th were created. By 2014 the club had a 9-hole course on its own land. There are five holes on the commonage for a total of 14 holes. 1/10 - 3/12 & 9/18 are played twice to create the loop of 18 and return to the house. It is these holes plus the 4th (on commonage beyond the fenced area) which are unmemorable. In truth, the course struggles to recover due to the start. There seems to be OoB everywhere! We decided to play the back nine iteration which doesn’t include the holes on the commonage. These start along the commonage at 13 & 14 before moving back toward the graveyard. The dogleg left 13th isn’t a terribly exciting hole either! The quality of the back nine is captured between 14 and 17.

On to the 14th, perhaps the hardest hole on the course. The OoB is well; the fairway runs just to the right of the stakes and doglegs around the boundary.




A strange short hole, the 15th is rudimentary uphill affair from tee set at a poor angle.  More artificial turf in a rustic setting...heavy sigh.


Looking back to the tee.


A side look at the green. Play is from the left.


A down n' up two-shotter, I expect some flat bellies can have a go at the 16th green in one.


Regular Joe is left with an uphill approach.


We see the promising 8th green on the walk to the 17th tee.


An unbelievably sadistic 123 yard hole...17th. 13 green is to the left.


No nonsense hit the shot golf.


The graveyard near the 18th tee.


There are some lovely fairway features on 18.


The road leading to the graveyard must be carried for the approach.


That ends Gweedore. It is tough to overcome the start to Gweedore and worse, this trio of holes is played twice. On paper its a clever way to make up 18 holes, in practice I question the thinking. Once again, the yoke of 18 hole codification rears its ugly head. There is without doubt a better course available on that land if 18 holes wasn't the goal. Still, the greenfee is cheap, there are some fine holes to be had and Gweedore serves the locals. I might return someday to see the commonage holes, but I wouldn't suggest folks leave Cruit early to sample Gweedore. NR  2024

Previous Stops on the Drifting in Donegal Tour Tres

Cruit Island
https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59070.0.html

Planned Tour Stops

Dunfanaghy
Rosapenna Old Tom Morris
Rosapenna Sandy Links
Rosapenna St Pat's

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 18, 2024, 08:00:23 PM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2024, 11:04:00 AM »
Rural and rustic with

daisies on the fairways. Yippee!
Looks like a cracking location.
Been meaning to get to Gweedore but not managed it yet. One day hopefully.
Atb


PS Donal did a detailed review some years ago of what I presume is an earlier version of the course/routing etc - [size=78%]https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41990.msg895010.html#msg895010[/size]

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2024, 01:02:02 AM »
Rural and rustic with

daisies on the fairways. Yippee!
Looks like a cracking location.
Been meaning to get to Gweedore but not managed it yet. One day hopefully.
Atb


PS Donal did a detailed review some years ago of what I presume is an earlier version of the course/routing etc - [size=78%]https://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41990.msg895010.html#msg895010[/size]

Unfortunately it seems like all of Donal’s tours had their photos blasted.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2024, 08:27:11 AM »
Thanks Sean
I played Gweedore years ago 2011 ? when it was 9 holes.
Haven't played the newish 14th etc.
I remember a stretch of rolling open land that contained 2-3 greens (5-7?)
that was fun golf and a few quirky lay of the land greens on common ground they had slated for extinction (2-3?).


A fun 9,not sure I'd be in 18.
Is there a reasonable way to just play 14 ?
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2024, 08:57:55 AM »
Thanks Sean
I played Gweedore years ago 2011 ? when it was 9 holes.
Haven't played the newish 14th etc.
I remember a stretch of rolling open land that contained 2-3 greens (5-7?)
that was fun golf and a few quirky lay of the land greens on common ground they had slated for extinction (2-3?).

A fun 9,not sure I'd be in 18.
Is there a reasonable way to just play 14 ?

Yes, I think 4-7 and half of 8 are on the other side of the fence on the commonage. The land looks to be wide open and highly attractive for golf. Well, the 4th isn't up to much, but then the holes push out away from club land. I don't know which holes were eliminated to make up the 18.

It would be very awkward to play only 14, hence the reason we didn't try it. If the course was empty I reckon you do 1-8, 17, 3 (again), 13-18 (playing 17 again). So 16 holes, but at least 1, 2 & 18 are only played once and you get two cracks at the great 17th.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 19, 2024, 11:22:12 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

Dónal Ó Ceallaigh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2024, 10:56:40 AM »
When I see Sean's course tours, I sometimes wish I was as lucky as him, but then again, he has high standards and is clearly not as easily pleased as me.  ;D  I can't imagine skipping holes on a course, not unless the pace of play was awfully slow, or it was a dog track.


Maybe I can salvage the photos from this course tour: [size=78%]Gweedore GC (Magheragallon), Co. Donegal, Ireland - Photo tour (golfclubatlas.com)[/size]
but I have no idea which website I should choose to host them (Photobucket are looking for $5 from me so that I can access my own photos; I might have copies on an external device somewhere). Any suggestions?


The old 9-hole layout is visible in the first image on that old course photo tour I did.


I preferred the old layout; I liked its vast openness and natural feeling. Most of the greens were simply cut where they were found, with the exception of the old 8th (present 17th). However, as the club managed to buy more of the land, it became inevitable that they should try to make use of that land and exclude the sheep (the course was seriously overgrazed, yet the authorities did nothing to prevent the destruction of dunes and the machair itself). It was always felt that the total lack of rough was a major negative, but I think that was what was so unique about the course. The sheep shit was an irritation and the very bare lies demanded precision strikes. To be a proper course, rough was needed.


Here's a map of the new layout: https://gweedoregolfclub.com/course-map/


The old 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th remain. The old 3rd has been converted into a short par five and now plays to the right of the old hole (unfortunately you play this one twice). The old 3rd hole was excellent but universally hated due to the severity of the green. An uphill par three (present 4th) now plays back to the old 3rd green, and then you continue to play the old 4th, 5th, 6th and part of the old 7th (which are all in the commonage). The present 8th (old 7th which used to play to the present 13th green) follows most of the old 7th hole, but turns into the dunes to the right about 120 yards from the green. You then skip the old 8th (now the 17th) and jump to the present/old 9th.


Play is repeated on the 1st (10th), 2nd (11th) and 3rd (12th) holes. The 13th is a terrible hole; it plays over some old fields and is so awkward. It is obviously just a way to get from A to B and continue with the new holes. Due to some ferns (I had no idea that ferns were protected) growing on the side of the large hill (called the Binn Bhuí = yellow cliff), the 14th green had to be relocated. The green for the 15th was laid in the 1980s and is very artificial looking. Much of the work was done at that time by members that knew very little about building greens and the manual work was done as part of a Youth Employment Scheme.

The new holes out at the Binn Bhuí are a bit of a disappointment. I was told someone from Sligo Golf Club (it might have been John McGonigle, the club pro at Co. Sligo, but I'm not sure) advised the club but I would not lay the blame in his hands. The locations of two of the greens out in the dunes were there in one form or another since the mid-1980s. The 16th is a totally new hole with a new green.


I think with a bit of advice and some tweaks here and there, the course could be improved a lot. Unfortunately, OB is everywhere, but it does add to the excitement when you're playing the last hole and there's some money at stake.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2024, 11:02:49 AM by Dónal Ó Ceallaigh »

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2024, 03:03:02 AM »
Donal, you have to be in love with Gweedore if you think 1-3 and 18 are worth playing twice. Gweedore has immense potential. I hope the club can someday find a way to make improvements.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

John Mayhugh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2024, 12:53:44 PM »
Am I alone at wanting to see more of the terrible holes?

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2024, 09:52:01 AM »
Am I alone at wanting to see more of the terrible holes?


LOL.
No, you are not.
I fondly remember the old (3rd?) super tilty lay of land green,wehre tee shot angle mattered.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC New
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2024, 04:08:32 AM »
Am I alone at wanting to see more of the terrible holes?

LOL.
No, you are not.
I fondly remember the old (3rd?) super tilty lay of land green,wehre tee shot angle mattered.

Sounds similar to the 3rd today. Par 5 heading down a gentle slope between OoB left and right. The green follows the grade and slopes away from play. It must be a nasty approach in summer.

Whenever I asked Irish folks about Gwerdore I was usually met with a “I don’t know what to say” face. Now that I have seen Gweedore I know that response is completely understandable.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 27, 2024, 02:25:53 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2024, 07:55:39 AM »
Am I alone at wanting to see more of the terrible holes?

LOL.
No, you are not.
I fondly remember the old (3rd?) super tilty lay of land green,wehre tee shot angle mattered.

Sounds similar to the 3rd today. Par 5 heading down a gentle slope between OoB left and right. The green follows the grade and slopes away from play. It must be a nasty approach in summer.

Whenever I asked Irish folks about Geeedore I was usually met with a “I don’t know what to say” face. Now that I have seen Gweedore I know that response is completely understandable.

Ciao


Old #3 was a short par 4 crossing the property after the shortish par 3 2nd.
the green on #2 would 've sloped left to right or left to right/into the player depending upon where one drove it
At the time they told me #3 was slated for extinction.
"Let's slow the damned greens down a bit, not take the character out of them." Tom Doak
"Take their focus off the grass and put it squarely on interesting golf." Don Mahaffey

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal Tres: Golly, GWEEDORE GC
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2024, 08:11:00 AM »
Am I alone at wanting to see more of the terrible holes?

LOL.
No, you are not.
I fondly remember the old (3rd?) super tilty lay of land green,wehre tee shot angle mattered.

Sounds similar to the 3rd today. Par 5 heading down a gentle slope between OoB left and right. The green follows the grade and slopes away from play. It must be a nasty approach in summer.

Whenever I asked Irish folks about Geeedore I was usually met with a “I don’t know what to say” face. Now that I have seen Gweedore I know that response is completely understandable.

Ciao

Old #3 was a short par 4 crossing the property after the shortish par 3 2nd.
the green on #2 would 've sloped left to right or left to right/into the player depending upon where one drove it
At the time they told me #3 was slated for extinction.

The hole still crosses the course, doglegging right at the commonage fence. Maybe the hole was extended because it is an awkward walk back up the hill to 13. The 4th, over the fence, looks like an afterthought hole.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend & Alnmouth

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