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Corballis Golf Links
Corballis
Donabate
Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 843 6583
Fax: 01 822 6668

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      09.05.2002 21:10
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      ~ ~ Most of the Irish golf courses that I have reviewed here at dooyoo have one thing in common. They would all rank in the top twenty or so in the country, and consequently the cost of playing them can sometimes be prohibitive, especially for the golfer who is simply after a pleasant game of golf without having to re-mortgage their house for the privilege. As well as this, most of the top ranking courses require you to book your round well in advance, (and pay for it up-front!) and also ask you for a handicap certificate from your home club to ensure that you are not a complete ‘hacker’, and thus liable to cut their hallowed turf to shreds. So for the occasional golfer, or for those who are not members of a recognised golf club, gaining access to these austere establishments can sometimes prove a daunting task. Indeed, if they would even want to play them in the first place! None of the above conditions or drawbacks applies to the course I am going to write about here however. So if your golf game is more like Fred Flintstones than Tiger Woods, and all you are after is a pleasant round of golf without any of the associated ‘hassle’, then read on. ~ ~ Corballis Golf Course is a Public links situated about 12 miles or so to the north of Dublin near the village of Donabate, and on the same stretch of seaside links land as its far more illustrious neighbour, The Island Golf Club. (which I’ve also reviewed) Yes, you actually heard me right! Corballis is a public golf course, which is run and maintained by the local county council! So no restrictions whatsoever are placed on who or who can’t play here, and it is open to all, from the complete beginner to the scratch golfer. Indeed, the council here in Dublin are superb when it comes to providing golf facilities for the general public, and as well as opening a number of brand new courses in the past decade or so, are renowned for keeping all of the cou
      rses they manage in absolutely tip-top condition. ~ ~ But Corballis really is something special! It’s blessed with the same natural links turf and rolling sand dunes as the likes of Royal Dublin Golf Club, Portmarnock, and its near neighbour the Island, and boasts some of the finest putting surfaces you will find anywhere in the world! And that’s NOT an exaggeration. I guarantee you will think you’re putting on your carpet at home, so smooth and true are the greens at this marvellous wee course. And the springy links land turf completes the golfing experience, as you feel like you are literally walking on air, and ‘bouncing’ around the golf course. Don’t simply take my word for it. Joe Carr, the famous Irish amateur golfer, says Corballis is, “A little gem, well worth a visit”. And Philip Walton, the Irish professional and ex-Ryder Cup golfer describes it as having the truest and most consistent greens in the country! When the Irish Open was played for many years at nearby Portmarnock and Royal Dublin, many of the famous European Tour professionals used Corballis to acclimatise to playing on a links surface. (they mostly play inland golf courses on the Tour) And Bernhard Langer, the world famous German/European golfer, played here often when he was working on the design of the new Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links during the late 1980’s. And if you’re having a bad round, then you can always chill out and simply enjoy the superb views out over the Irish Sea. ~ ~ The golf course is not long. Indeed, by modern standards (where most courses measure over 7,000 yards in length) it is practically a ‘pitch and putt’, at only a meagre 4,971 yards. The par is 65, and it has no less than eight par-3’s. (and only one par-5) But what it lacks in length, Corballis makes up for with its rolling sand dunes, and untended rough. Get a shot off-line
      here and into the rough grass or dunes, and the chances are very high that you’ll never see sight nor sound of your golf ball again! So while you don’t have to hit the ball vast distances to score well here, you must be able to hit it in the right direction, and keep it on the ‘short stuff’. There are one or two memorable holes. The second is an extremely short par-4 of only 251 yards, which is well within reach with the tee shot for most average golfers. The problem is the huge gully in front of the green, which you have to carry over in order to find the putting surface. (I’m a coward, and usually lay up short with my tee shot!) The third is (strangely enough) a very LONG par-4, at 465 yards. Formerly a par-5, it dog legs to the right from the tee, and it takes two excellent shots to find the putting surface and walk off with your par. The short tenth, a par-3 of only 132 yards, is played straight up a steep hill. If you land short of the green here, then you could easily find the ball rolling all the way back down the hill to your feet! The next hole (the 11th) is a par-4 of 374 yards. A good drive will only leave you with the shortest of pitches to the green, but if you hit your tee shot even very slightly to the right, then you will end up on the adjoining beach. (and out-of-bounds!) And, of course, if the prevailing wind is blowing in off the Irish Sea (which it often is) then even the shortest of holes suddenly becomes a far more daunting prospect. ~ ~ So what will it cost you for the pleasure of playing this little ‘hidden gem’ of Irish golf. The very most you will pay is €18, (weekends) and this drops to only €14 during the week. They also have special rates if you are a Senior Citizen, student, or unemployed of only €9 during the week, and €13 at weekends. (proof required) You can play even more cheaply if you avail of their ‘twilight’ rate
      s in the early evening. These are only €13 (weekends) and €9 (mid-week) for any golfer. Even if you are on holiday and haven’t brought the clubs, they will hire you a set for only €10. (they’re not that great though!) And to hire a caddy cart will set you back €2.75. The chances are you’ll get out easily enough most days, but with the increased popularity of golf, it’s always better to either phone or email in advance and get your name down on the starter’s timesheet. And the course is VERY popular with visiting Golf Societies, so can be closed from time to time for a couple of hours to let them play off in comfort. The facilities at the small clubhouse are fairly basic. You can get a sandwich or a snack, but if you want drink or a full meal after your round, then your best bet is to visit the nearby Dunes Hotel, which has a special arrangement (and cheaper menu) to facilitate players at Corballis. Or drop into the nearby small village of Donabate, where there are a number of decent pubs and restaurants. ~ ~ The course is easy enough to find. Simply take the main N1 road from Dublin to Belfast. About three or four miles after the roundabout at Dublin Airport, you will see a turn off to the right for Donabate village. Go across the bridge in the village, and take an immediate right turn past Donabate Golf Club. (it’s golfing country out here!) Take the next right turn (about two miles) and Corballis is about two miles further on the right. ~ ~ Golf has been played here at Corballis from as far back as 1905, and the present course was opened in 1920. A true hidden gem of the Irish golf scene, and a course that comes with the ‘mad cabbies’ highest recommendation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ (A Euro is approximately 61 pence Sterling) Address: Corballis Public Golf Course, Donabate, Co. Dublin. Tel: (0353 –1) 8436583 <
      br>Fax: (0353 – 1) 8226668 Email: corballis@golfdublin.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~

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