Athlone is one of Ireland’s oldest clubs, first established in 1892. There have been many developments at the club during that long history, with the most recent; a major course re-design during the mid-noughties, creating a championship layout that golfers of all abilities will enjoy. The medal course is a par 72 golfing test measuring 6,600 yards (6000m).
Athlone GC is a lakeside course, laid out on the western shore of Lough Ree and offers superb views of the lake from the clubhouse and around the course.
Your round begins with a tricky trio of holes which offer scoring opportunities for the accurate and a tough start for those who are not. Water comes in to play for the next few holes, including the par 5-3-5 sequence known as Athlone’s Amen Corner. The front 9 ends with a par 5 which is reachable in two for the bigger hitters.
The par 3-4-5 sequence at the start of the back-9 brings you back to the clubhouse and the tee box for the signature 13th hole. There follows two of the best short par 4 holes you will find anywhere before you cross the road for the final stretch. These 3 holes are the finishing holes of a championship course. With the Index 1 and Index 5 sandwiched by a short par-3 which should be a straightforward were it not for its treacherous green.
If you have played to your handicap around this course, you have the sense of satisfaction that comes from having earned it. Thereafter, the clubhouse Bar and Restaurant offers an extensive menu which caters for all tastes and appetites. You can relax and take in the views of the lake below while you enjoy your food and drinks.
If you are planning to stay in the area, the nearby town of Athlone is a great base from which to explore the region’s golf courses and tourism attractions. The town has many fine hotels, restaurants and bars (including Europe’s oldest pub!).