Galgorm Castle – home of the NI Open
Galgorm Castle is one of Ireland’s finest Championship parklands and is the Home of the European Tour’s Northern Ireland Open. Awarded the IGTOA’s ‘Parkland Course of the Year 2014’ award, Galgorm Castle is consistently ranked among the Top-3 Parklands in Northern Ireland.
The Championship layout is nestled in the heart of 220-acre Galgorm Castle Estate, providing a mature setting that promotes an easy, relaxing rhythm that makes playing golf so pleasurable.
Ahead of the NI Open, Director of Golf Ross Oliver looks at some of Galgorm Castle’s best holes…
A beautiful par-5 to begin the back nine, the 10th hole is a beast from the Tiger tees measuring 575 yards and requiring a 225 or 275 yard carry over the lake, depending on how brave you are! Even from the forward tees the lake is a threat to all distances of drive to the right of the fairway, while there is plenty of tree trouble to the left. Only long hitters will reach the corner of the dogleg to open up the chance of hitting the green in two. The shallow green is guarded by a deep bunker front right while any misjudged approach could end up in trouble long through the green.
The 13th is a very demanding hole measuring up to 446 yards from the championship tees with the River Maine lurking ominously the whole way up the right hand side of the fairway. If you try to avoid the dreaded slice into the Maine by bailing out left you’ll find trees and long rough to punish a very errant tee shot so finding the fairway is a must, but no mean feat. If you find the short stuff this is a genuine birdie opportunity with a gently sloping green guarded by a large bunker to the left.
My favourite hole on the course, the 17th measures 457 yards from the blue/white tees and is a downhill left to right dogleg between mature woods. The fairway slopes from left to right requiring a tee shot that favours the left side. A ball-below-feet lie adds difficulty to the approach to a slick two-tiered green guarded by a deep bunker to the right. A par here is always a good score.