Charlesland is a perfect example of the individual course-designing skills of Ireland’s first and most prolific of golf course architects, Eddie Hackett. Hackett’s trademark was to keep his layouts sensitive to the natural terrain. He didn’t talk so much about designing golf holes as finding them, and he liked to say of his creations “it’s just as nature intended.” There is a consistent style and rhythm to his links that takes its theme from the specific natural surroundings. Nothing seems artificial or imposed.

Hackett’s courses tend to be long from the back tees, with clearly visible landing areas, large greens and spectacular elevated tees, and they have a maturity and grace. Such is the case with the par-72, 6,169-metre Charlesland course. While the front nine hugs the Irish Sea and is links-like, the back nine is beautiful parkland with several outstanding holes including the par-3 13th from a lofty elevated tee 229 metres down to the green – and at the back of the short 17th there are birdies of another kind with a family of swans in residence.

The 18th is typical of Hackett’s vision – a double dogleg and a massive 562 metres from the championship tees with a sting in the tail. The green is well guarded and you have to negotiate water on both sides of the fairway before you reach the haven of the welcoming clubhouse.

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