Carne Golf Links Ireland

Concierge Golf Ireland Carne Golf Links Review

The Hackett Links, Course Review

Carne Golf links Ireland is located in North Mayo on the West Coast of Ireland. The course offers amazing unspoiled sand dunes overlooking Blacksod Bay near the town of Belmullet. Also, Carne Golf Links has two 18 hole golf courses out of 27 holes. 

Carne Golf Links, Black Sod Bay, Concierge Golf Ireland
Carne Golf Links, Blacksod Bay

Certainly, Carne is a link course that has the potential to be one of the great Irish Golf Links. It is fair to say that after golfers have played 18 holes, they might need another crack off the course to post a better score. Mainly because the wayward shots are going to be punished either by losing the ball or a tough lie to play from.

The following golf hole play tips of the Hackett Course are my own reflections after playing 54 holes on the Hackett course over two days. 

Carne Golf Links Ireland Front-Nine

The Hackett Course Holes 1 – 9

1st hole par 5. Golfers tee shots can aim for up the middle of the fairway. That said, the 2nd shot can be blind but keep aim along the middle of the fairway, and the two greenside bunkers are the only hazards to be aware of. Other than the two bunkers golfers will Only trouble is for the wayward shots.

2nd hole par 4. From an elevated tee, you only a 220 yard shot, and keep to the left side of the hole. Because the hole is a dogleg right hole to a raised green. My tip is if the hole is downwind try to play for the front of the green and vice versa for approach shots into the wind.

3rd Hole Par 4. I would suggest playing the tee shot to the right side of the fairway and please note the fairway narrows as the hole progresses. Therefore another 220 shot off the tee would be good to leave you approx. 110 yards uphill to the middle of the green for your 2nd shot.  

4th Hole Par 5. For the big hitters in this world, I would suggest aiming for the left side of the fairway as there is a water hazard where the ball may run into should you play a tee shot to the right. The rest of the hole is straight away in front of you and the green slopes from back to front.

5th Hole Par 3. If you can, play for short of the hole and avoid pin high if possible for an uphill put. The green is tricky and slopes from left to right with a back to front slope in places.

6th Hole Par 4, left centre of the fairway is a good line off the tee. Also depending on the wind, you may not need to hit the driver. A driving iron or 3 wood for a 200 – 240 yard shot will provide a good position for your 2nd shot. It is easy to find yourself with a blind 2nd shot by missing the fairway left or right, so hitting the fairway is key to playing the 6th hole. This green slopes from front to back on this occasion.

7th Hole Par 3. Is a short par 3 and great fun to play. Please note, that golfers are teeing off from a height, don’t play too much club and waiting for the ball to land on the green is a cool surprise!

8th Par 4, the best hole on the course. Your Sunday best tee shot up the right side of the fairway. Ah sadly if you miss the fairway left or right, the ball could be lost or you can end up chipping the ball back on the fairway. Also missing the green right is another disaster and a difficult chip shot. The green is narrow and long, the back right pin position is possibly one of the hardest locations on the course.  

Concierge Golf Ireland, Carne Golf Links 8th Hole
8th Green on the Hackett Course

9th Hole Par 5. Yes hitting the fairway is a must and laying up to 100 yards short of the hole is my recommended location to lay up. The green is deep and wide with enough slope to keep your green reading skills on your toes.

Carne Golf Links Ireland Back-nine 

The Hackett Course Holes 10 – 18

10th Par 4 – hit your tee shot to the hundred-yard mark if possible and be on the right side of the fairway. There is a big mound in the middle of the fairway approximately 80 yards from the green that may block your view of the green.

11th Hole, Par 3, apparently the easiest hole on the course. That said, I would recommend playing for the centre of the green. As there is a tough bunker to avoid on the short right side of the green.

12th Hole, Par 4. Golfers should aim for the right side of the fairway. The green is small and hard to hold, you could try a few different options. Such as, play the ball short and let it bounce and roll onto the green or hit the ball high and try and stop the ball dead on the first hop. Ideally, the right centre of the green would be a good position to be in after two shots.

13th Hole, Par 5. This hole is blind and blind. My meaning is that the first time playing the hole it is hard to follow the hole as the hole plays more to the right than straight out. I would suggest playing for the right side of the hole on both the tee shot and the 2nd shot. Mainly, because the hole pushes golfers to aim too far left and too far left means out of bounds for the tee shot. Furthermore, the roughness on the left side of the hole along with a water hazard may catch your second shot. The green is larger and flatter than most of the other greens. But, consider the 13th hole an opportunity for a birdie. 

14th Par 4, keep it simple. Aim for the left side of the fairway and follow up playing for the centre of the green.

15th Par 4, most certainly aim for the right side of the fairway. Notably, you are blocked out by a dune on the left of the fairway to view the green and you can see the green from the right side but that will depend on how far up the right side you can hit the ball. Otherwise, take aim for the scarecrow on the right side of the green. The green is raised up from the fairway with a false front. Indeed, just another good hole at Carne Golf Links.

Carne Golf Links Ireland
15th Hole, Carne Golf Links Ireland

16th Par 3, Club selection is the key to this hole as the green is located upon a dune. I would recommend playing a little more club than you need as the green has a backstop. There is not much dept to the green, but there is plenty of width to the green. 

17th Par 4, another hole to keep simple and aim your tee shot right side of the fairway. Take a good look at where the hole is located as you are likely to have a blind 2nd shot to the green. All that said, a really good hole to trust your aim and swing.

18th Par 4. Finally, aim right up the middle of the fairway. But!!! Beware of how far you can hit your tee shot as the fairway runs into a significant upslope that can hinder your second shot if you are too close. The green has a lot going on and mainly slopes from back to front and if you can, and aim to play your second shot short of the hole.

My Recommendations:

My recommendation is to play the Hackett course at least on three or more occasions and find your best way to play the course. Also, golfers can stay overnight in the town of Belmullet, or travel from Sligo which is a few hours, but Ballina  

Dooley Noted

I have found that knowing what direction to hit the ball off the tee and what type of 2nd shots to expect was important for me to become comfortable with the course layout. Also, golfers do not need to hit driver everywhere, and I would suggest playing for the flattest part of the fairway on every hole. The greens are tough and do practice your long putting as you will have a number of long putts to deal with.

Besides trying to keep the ball on the fairway. The main challenge is dealing with fairway and tee blind shots. That said, you can rise to the challenge by trusting the distance and picking the best target lines. That said, there are opportunities around a number of greens to play a bouncing ball off the side of dunes to roll the ball closer to the hole. Overall, the Hackett Courses is wonderful fun and worth a game should you find yourself in the Northwest of Mayo. 

John Dooley chatting with GM at Carne Golf Links Ireland, Fiona Togher

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