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Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Drifting in Donegal: Return to CRUIT ISLAND GC New
« on: July 13, 2014, 04:50:56 AM »
If its beaches you want, step into Donegal.  There are endless angelic strands void of people. 


If its beauty you seek, Cruit Island is the place for you. The scenery is free, but the snag is the golf will cost 40 Euro...60 for two goes.   


Map of the course.


It seems to me that many fine 9 holers in GB&I could be considered modern designs. I have played a few recently and Cruit Island is the latest. We have MIchael Doherty to thank for this 1986 marvel. Doherty was the long time pro at City of Derry GC until his retirement in 2008. Sadly Michael died in 2016. To my knowledge Cloughaneely is the only other original design connected to him.

A bit like Pennard, we look out at the wonderful terrain spilling toward the sea, but instead we play our first shot more inland, from behind the clubhouse. 


The 1st is a stout hole. The approach cascades to the green far below the tee.


Certainly one of Cruit's best holes, the second plays down then up. Its ironic that a rustic, natural course would resort to astroturf paths....not good. 


Behind the green. Its quite easy to slip away down the right (left in photo).


With its green near the water, the 3rd is probing hole.


The fronting bunkers which cause grief. The work around is to stay right, but in keen conditions there is little to stop the ball from rolling madly toward trouble.


Another blind drive at the 4th. Once again the hole is fairly short, but bunkers near greens make life difficult...perhaps unnecessarily so.


An unusual hole, the 5th is barely 275 yards. The green can had, but that line so far right is perilous. The marker pole is a much safer bet.


A look at the green from on top of the hill.


The approach.


Probably Cruit's signature hole, the short 6th is highly dramatic. I have heard folks talk the 6th down...that a churlish view of a good hole.  The elements require keen decision making to get right.


The carry.


Sideview of the green. Play is from the right.


The wild golf continues on 7. It takes a bit of local knowledge or luck to get the uphill approach right. A slight mistake results in a nasty recovery shot. Why don't folks talk about this hole as one of the most beautiful tee shots in golf?


The steep approach finishes at a small bowl green.


A look the green and approach from the 8th tee. Just to the right of the photo the fairway rises sharply to the green.


The 8th is comfortably Cruit's dullest hole. I don't see the point of it. The hole isn't good and it necessitates a dangerous blind tee shot on 9 with the road immediately right. I would much rather see the 8th skipped and instead play to 9 green for a spectacular finish seen below.


The approach to the 9th.


Its easy to see why so many praise Cruit Island. The course is among the most beautiful in GB&I and the holes are fascinating. Book your Donegal ticket and play Cruit Island. 1*  2024

Other courses on the Donegal Tour

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59189.msg1391553.html#msg1391553  Rosapenna OTM LInks

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59240.msg1392946.html#msg1392946  Rosapenna Sandy Hills

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59129.msg1390457.html#msg1390457  Portsalon

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,59008.0.html   Narin & Portnoo

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 20, 2024, 03:15:21 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 06:16:15 AM »
Sheehy

Yes, Donegal is tough travel.  The courses are very well spread out.  I think atb rented a cottage somewhere and day tripped around Donegal.  I spose one could stay in Letterkenny and do the same thing, but I am not sure its a good enough town to spend 4-5 nights. Anyway you look at it, Donegal requires driving and lots of it if N&P and Cruit are to be included in the itinerary.  But that is the thing about golf, ya gotta go where the courses are.  At least in Donegal the reward is very affordable, very beautiful and very empty courses. 

Ciao
« Last Edit: October 03, 2022, 03:23:00 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

jeffwarne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 07:32:04 AM »
One of the parts of Donegal ARE the drives.
Which may be hard to believe given the pictures of the courses Sean has provided.
There are MANY scenic drives (noted on maps) that only a slight detour between courses, and some of the most incredible ,remote, and uncrowded scenery you'll ever see. Our driver was originally from Donegal and was very suprised at many of the routes we chose, but VERY impressed by the scenery, most of which he hadn't bothered to venture by since he was a boy.
Dunfanaghy is a fine little town to base in,and there are a lot of affordable self catering options in the area.

Can't wait to get back.
"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

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 09:50:26 AM »
Sean:

I wasn't as big a fan of the course as you were -- it wasn't nearly as nice a day when I was there last March.

 But the one thing I've got to get right [for my book] is how to pronounce the name.  I'd been told by someone it was "Critch" but there wasn't anyone there in March.  You say "Crutch".  Who else knows for sure?  Or is it one of those Gullane things that no matter which way you say it, they will correct you?

Thomas Dai

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 11:14:43 AM »
Splendid photos Sean. Glad you made it out that way, such a great shame you didn't get to play it though. I'm sure another opportunity will arise. Fabulous looking day too, terrific light, so clean and pure.

A couple of general observations -

a) Cruit, we were advised to say "Critch" Tom, but what the hell, isn't just quirk, it's a much better test of golf than it appears.
b) The spectacular holes get all the photo time,and nice they are too, but I thought the 1st, 2nd and 8th were rather nice, the 2nd greensite especially so. The 1st with it's tee higher than the clubhouse roof - just how much blindness do you attempt to bite off with your first shot of the day? The long par-3 8th looks bland, but it's a curvy green for chips and putts.
c) The 6th hole, the bunkers on the severe slope left of the green are there I believe to force players to go direct for the green from the tee rather than aiming way left and bouncing and trickling the ball down the slope onto the green.
d) The course is much more spectacular without the green mesh fences around the rear or sides some of the greens (eg 6th, 7th, 9th). Spray defence for the winter storms I imagine they are.
e) Cruit is not a course that needs 14 clubs IMO (do any really?). There's a great deal of improvisation required so instead play it with only 7 or 8 clubs. More interesting and rewarding that way, at least I reckon so.

Cruit is an unforgettable course and location, and as others say in their comments, there are scenic drives galore in Donegal. Great part of the world. I agree with Jeff about Dunfanaghy making a fine base during a trip, the course there is worth playing too.

atb


mike_malone

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 12:12:26 PM »
I believe the course is relatively new . I found it beautiful but awkward to play.
AKA Mayday

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 12:53:50 PM »
Sheehy, yes, I was told crutch, but I never heard crutch.  It was almost as if I heard a very soft i and s in the word as well - somewhere between crutchs and cruitch.  Anyway, how its spelled ain't how it sounds. 

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

Dónal Ó Ceallaigh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 05:50:32 PM »
Tom D:

The nearest a non-Irish speaker will come to correctly pronouncing Cruit is to say "Kritch". The "ui" is quite difficult to pronounce; it's a very short "u" sound combined with the "i".

I was brought up in the Donegal Gaeltacht a couple of parishes to the east of Cruit, and that how it's always been pronounced.

If I'm wrong (which I'm 100% sure I am not), I'll pay for the entire reprinting of your book  ;)

Sean:

While no one would claim Cruit is great, 25 euro seems reasonable enough to me. In old money, 25 euro is a little under GBP 20. I guess they could come down to 20 euro, but I can't imagine that people would feel too aggrieved about paying 5 euro more.


Yes, Donegal is remote, but isn't that what makes it so special. You won't see too many tour buses holding you up on the roads and you'll almost always get the tee time you want. Cork, Kerry, Clare and Galway will continue to attract the tourists, and every now and again a group of "yanks" will descend on Cruit or Gweedore or Otway, and the locals will scratch their heads and wonder "What the hell are they doing here?"  :D
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 06:43:22 PM by Dónal Ó Ceallaigh »

Jonathan Mallard

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 09:06:48 PM »
We stopped there for a pm loop.

I enjoyed the course. Fun to play with some pretty good views as well. Some holes as noted are better than others.

We asked what the tare was.

"Fifteen"

"Euros" or as another gentleman in our group said "Pounds?"

"We'll take those too!"

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 04:47:57 AM »
Donal

My "snag" comment was a joke.  I don't think 25 Euro for Cruit is in the least unreasonable.  In fact, that and the views may be the best aspects of the course  :)  I was suitably impressed and Cruit may have been my favourite course of the tour.  I suspect it would earn a 1* if I played it.  I am not sure I can say that about the other courses, but I am still pondering.  For sure, I wasn't as taken as Spangles was by the Donegal courses. 

Ciao   
« Last Edit: October 03, 2022, 03:25:53 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2024, 09:01:38 AM »
See the significantly updated Cruit Island Tour.

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 08, 2024, 09:55:54 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

Dónal Ó Ceallaigh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: Return to CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2024, 03:23:17 AM »
Sean,


Michael Doherty also designed Cloughaneely Golf Club in Falcarragh.
More details here: https://cloughaneelygolfclub.ie/

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: Return to CRUIT ISLAND GC
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2024, 04:49:43 PM »
Well I'm glad I went back, but Mayday's comment about awkward summed up my feelings. 
The designer did a fabulous job but some holes just aren't that playable or would benefit from a prior play, 3,4,5&7.
But 2, 6 and 9 are the real deal. the drive out to it is also surpringly special.
Still the price was OK (40E now?) and its worth adding to the itinerary for anyone in the faboulous Donegal.








The sad news is I left my favourite top there this May. If anyone is visiting this summer please get in touch. 
The Irish postal service won't coperate and I need a carrier!
Let's make GCA grate again!

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Drifting in Donegal: Return to CRUIT ISLAND GC New
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2024, 08:55:40 AM »
Well I'm glad I went back, but Mayday's comment about awkward summed up my feelings. 
The designer did a fabulous job but some holes just aren't that playable or would benefit from a prior play, 3,4,5&7.
But 2, 6 and 9 are the real deal. the drive out to it is also surpringly special.
Still the price was OK (40E now?) and its worth adding to the itinerary for anyone in the faboulous Donegal.


The sad news is I left my favourite top there this May. If anyone is visiting this summer please get in touch. 
The Irish postal service won't coperate and I need a carrier!


Spangles

I didn't think 5 was awkward. Hit to the marker post and chip on the green. It was awkward for you because you hit your drive miles right of the post. 7 needs some experience to know where to land the approach. I agree with 3 & 4. Fronting bunkers weaken the quality of both holes,

Ciao
« Last Edit: June 20, 2024, 03:19:13 AM by Sean_A »
New plays planned for 2024: Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Blackmoor, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Winterfield & Alnmouth

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