Third nine finally opens at Carne

Third nine finally opens at Carne
Toby Ingleton
By Adam Lawrence

The long-awaited third nine holes at Carne Golf Links in County Mayo, Ireland, will open this month.

The Kilmore nine will form an additional loop through the largest dunes on the 280 acre property. It is the first significant Irish new-build project since the economic crash of 2008.

The original eighteen holes at Carne were designed by Eddie Hackett and built on a shoestring budget over a period of seven years in the early nineties. At the time, Hackett said of the course: “Ultimately there will be no better links in the country, or, I doubt, anywhere.”

The new holes have undergone a long gestation period, having first been suggested by Hackett himself the year before he died in 1996. The heralded American designer and Carne life member Jim Engh put together an initial routing in 2004, much of which was used when Irish-based architect Ally McIntosh was engaged by the club in 2010 to produce the final layout and design.

At a time when many other courses in Ireland are struggling to make ends meet, Carne has returned to sustainable first principles by building the course on a very low budget, using what the club describes as “environmentally friendly methods that respect the unique landscape”. As with the original eighteen, the construction was overseen primarily by a small and local workforce .

The new nine will open to members of the public from 1 August and will only be available as part of a full 27 hole package for the remainder of the year.

GCA will be visiting Carne later in July. Watch this space for a full report on the new holes.