|Mullingar Golf Club|
The Mullingar Course at Belvedere on the outskirts of town is the work of famous Scottish designer James Braid. Although some 'cosmetic' changes have been made since its creation in 1935 Mullingar is essentially as its designer intended, a championship challenge set in old wooded and delightfully undulating parklands.
The course runs to 6685 yards with a classic par 72 balance of 10 par 4's, 4 par 5's and 4 par 3's evenly distributed over both out and inward 9's. It's routing is player friendly, returning to the club house at 3, and 9, and 10 giving opportunities to restock as required.
All four par 3 's are feature holes, but the 209 yard second in particular, with its elevated tee and green is considered one of the toughest one shotters in Irish golf.
An Irish Gem
(Made in Scotland):
Mullingar Golf Club has been part and parcel of Irish Golf since 1894.
Mullingar Golf Club is based just outside of the county town which gives it its name, about fifty miles from the capital Dublin, and just off the main N4 highway to the West. Long noted in golfing circles for the warmth of its welcome towards visitors, the top-rated parkland course is renowned in golfing circles as one of the countries very best parkland courses. Designed by the famous Scottish professional James Braid, (from the city of Edinburgh in Scotland)
The story of how James Braid designed this marvelous course has gone down in Irish folklore. Brought over from Scotland by the old Dublin boat train from Glasgow, he arrived at Mullingar with the early morning dew, and after a little "liquid refreshment" to enliven his flagging energy, simply asked for "a hatchet and three dozen wooden tees". Then, before the astonished eyes of the founder members, he simply chopped and hacked his way into the middle of the then formidable gorse. With his trademark walrus moustache flapping in the wind, in four hours flat he had "pegged off" the now famous eighteen holes and greens, using the little wooden golf tees as markers. He then simply pointed to where the clubhouse should be built, handed the members his bill, and stepped back into his motorcar for the return journey to Dublin.
This story by itself would be incredible enough, given the totally incredible amounts of money and man-hours that are now spent on course design, but it doesn't end here. As the course was nearing completion, someone suddenly realized that no provision had been made for any sand traps. An urgent telegram was sent to the unflappable Braid, asking him to return forthwith and "finish" his design. By return, a telegram winged its way to the members. "Play your new course for a month, and where you see the most divot marks, that's where you put your bunkers!" As far as is known, that is exactly what was done, and a more sinister and wickedly placed set of sand traps you would be hard pushed to find anywhere!
Individuality is the key to the layout of the holes at Mullingar, so there is a wide variety from which you can pick a personal favorite. Every hole has its own little quirks and features, but one thing that is common to all of them is trees. There is an old saying in golf that a tree comprises 90% air, and only 10% wood. If that's true, then Mullingar must be one of the "airiest" courses in the country, because mature trees abound throughout the entire layout, thus making precision with nearly every shot a necessity. Get off line here, and you can almost be guaranteed that your next stroke will be a recovery shot of some kind. It is a fair course though, with very few blind shots, and if you keep the ball straight you will be rewarded with a good score.