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Best Of The Best 2006: PGA Thoroughbred

Tony Smart

The rolling meadows southwest of Dublin provide a magnificent setting for PGA National Ireland, which joins layouts at the Belfry and Gleneagles as the only PGA courses in the British Isles. Originally scheduled for design by Jack Nicklaus and Payne Stewart, the course was postponed after Stewart’s death in a plane accident in 1999. Former European Ryder Cup participant Christy O’Connor Jr. eventually took over the project, which he completed in May 2005. The finished course, built on an 800-acre estate that once was Ireland’s leading stud farm, measures a hefty 7,419 yards from the tips and features water on 13 holes and heavy bunkering throughout. PGA officials deemed the course mature enough (even the manicured practice greens appear as though they have been in use for decades) to host the PGA Irish Championship last September. One expects that the 18th hole, where a spectacular water feature runs the length of the fairway on the left side, will be the site of heroics during a future Ryder Cup.

PGA National Ireland at Palmerstown House
+353.45.871404
www.palmerstownhouse.com

Photo by Jim Fets
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