DG IRELAND TOP 150 – 2021
Editor, Kevin Markham
Of the two courses at Powerscourt, the West uses the biggest elevation changes and some of the shapeliest terrain. It is also the newer of the two, designed by David McLay Kidd and opened in 2003. The West is exuberant and adventurous, thanks to the elevation, ponds and streams, and the ever-present trees. Look at the considerable drop on the par three 17th as you approach the 1st
green and know that the course climbs considerably higher.
It means constant views, intrigue off the tee and some lovely backdrops, including the Wicklow hills, the Great Sugar Loaf and, of course, the magnificent Powerscourt House.
Approaches to big and extensively bunkered greens will prove just as dramatic. This is a course you will want to drive well on and where you might use your putter a bit more often than you’d like on superbly contoured greens.
Favourite Hole: The short par three 6th offers a wide green tucked into a bank above a stream and below towering trees.
What’s in the Bag? As on the East course, you will need a hot putter.
The older of the two Powerscourt courses, the East, opened in 1996. Golfers can expect an exciting start (much like the majestic drive into the estate), a terrific finish and superb greens throughout.
There are impressive views – on the back nine especially – but your attention will need to be on the course at all times. This is a challenging par 72, measuring 5,930 metres (middle white tees) and it will test you all day long… especially on the beautifully contoured greens.
Seriously, if you want to put your putting to the test, step this way. The natural shape of this elegant landscape has been used to enhance its best features. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the par four 4th, 7th and 18th, where the naturally high tee boxes promise tempting fairways below. The par threes are also strong, with the 3rd and 16th particularly outstanding.
Favourite Hole: The par three 16th is one of only two holes with water (the par five 17th is the other), and the pond sits directly under the green. It is not a long hole but you need to stay on the heavily shaped green from a high tee box.
What’s in the Bag? You better hope your putting is on fire.