Strandhill Golf Club
Founded in 1931 initially as a 9-hole golf course Strandhill Golf Club is a hidden gem of an 18-hole links golf course. Situated on Ireland's Atlantic coast in Strandhill, Co. Sligo and with Knocknarae mountain providing the backdrop Strandhill is as stunningly beautiful as it is fun to play. The club moved to its current location in 1939 when John McAlister was approached to design a new 9-hole course. This course was opened in May of 1940. 1940 was also the first year that the club ran a Winter League, nowadays it is a regular occurrence for golf clubs in Ireland to run a Winter League however at the time it was considered a first for Irish golf. The present-day 18-hole course was opened in 1973 and is home to a couple of Ireland's best holes. The par-5 5th hole is as unique as it is interesting. It isn't the difficulty of the 5th that makes it interesting or unique but rather the fairway itself. It has, in essence, the look of a mogul ski slope and if you can manage to keep your balance you should do just fine until that is you reach the upturned bowl of a green that will swat away any shot it considers unacceptable. The par-4 13th is a devilishly tricky hole that just emphasises that a hole doesn't need to be long to be hard. It starts with a blind tee-shot into a valley and then the golfer must circumnavigate the two high dunes that protect the green from both sides. It truly is a great test of golf.
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