Mel Flanagan .ie

Cracking The Golf Code

Dunmurry Springs Golf Club

by | March 31, 2018

Decency is the word word that comes to mind when I think of Dunmurry springs. The Holihan family are just that, decent, old stock. They are clever, courteous, efficient, determined. I have to say it was a pleasure to work with them when I designed this course for the family.

The site though very good farming land was not ideal for golf. It had a very steep incline on it. To put it bluntly it was difficult to avoid uphill walks on it. Never once did any of the family hinder or interfere with the design. They as young Simon said, left it to the experts.

The Golf course.

Hole 1 is a soft opener par 4. IT cuts up through the very middle of the site.

Hole 2 turns sharply right a delicate right to left dogleg with a tricky green. Almost unknown to oneself one has reached high ground with commanding  panoramic views of the great county of Kildare and into the capital city and even beyond off into the Wicklow hills  . We thought heretofore Kildare though world famous for equine in the Derby at the Curragh was flat and featureless, the picture painted on this Kildare hill tells us, this is not so.

Hole 3 is the best hole on the course –a dramatic downhill par 4 with snake like green set sideways  on fronted by random stone and a strong water feature  , framed by the old world cottage sitting neatly in behind .  . There are endless pin options –back right is a killer. In my opinion, this is the signature hole on the course.

Hole 4 has the only steep incline however as it comes early in the round golf golfers are ready willing and able to play it.

Going back to 4 the prize for reaching the high ground it this– all the next 6 holes are flat or downhill with commanding panoramic views of Kildare and beyond.

Hole 5, I love this short 5, almost drivable but with a treacherous green complex.

Hole 6 every course needs a maverick hole and no 6 is just that. A multi option par 5 with a semi blind tee shot and semi blind 3rd shot. Anything is possible on this hole.  Some say it is the best hole, others say something else, but everybody sure remembers it. 8 and 9 are totally different but cracking par 4‘s.

Hole 7 is a quiet par 3 after the storm on the maverick previous HOLE and needed at this time.

Hole 8 is great par 4 with a blind green well guarded by deep bunkers with a long with a perfectly sideways on green complex a very strong 4.

Hole 9 hits the highest spot on the land a short par 4 with a truly devilish green.

Hole 10 is a very short par 3 and one of the very best. The view behind the green is the best on the course. You are looking right across Dublin and off yonder are the Wicklow Mountains.  Now there is a view. Dunmurry Springs derives its name from right here that we found a spring at such a height was truly remarkable. The shot is with a wedge and the ball seems to hang forever in the air. Hitting this green is not easy.

Holes 11, 12, 13 and 14 are a run of 4, 3, 4 5, 3, are totally different challenging and in my opinion truly great.

Hole 11 is a lovely downhill par 4 not easy.

Hole 12 is one mighty par 3 uphill and a fantastic HOLE.

Hole 13 is easy off the tee but the narrow green lurks behind a random stone water feature and very difficult to hit. The second shot is so demanding.

Hole 14 is great, a par 5, created out of a featureless piece of ground. It has twists and turns, water feature and so many optional ways to play it. Exiting with a par amounts to one HAPPY camper. This par 5 is one full of personality from tee to green.

Hole 15 is an unbelievable par 3. IT looks frightening almost impossible off the tee yet plays a little easier. It is a shock hole, in the way the water feature is so much in your face. This is good very good indeed.

Hole 16 a mighty par 4, so difficult off the tee and very long with a depth perception dip in front of the green. It is almost impossible to get the ball past the pin. One supreme test.

Hole 17 has always been my favourite HOLE on the course, a gettable par 5 with the green set high up into the hill. The drive is narrow and the water feature cutting in severely on the right side. It looks and plays as one great HOLE a fitting penultimate HOLE and a great course.

Hole 18 is a finishing hole orientated directly to the 19th, starting from an elevated tee down to the narrow green flanked by a severe water feature. As the saying goes, it is not over till the fat lady sings.

The course was built in the winter months and to a very high standard.

Dunmurry Springs Golf Course won the award as the best new course in Europe on the year it opened 2003. It is hard to believe 15 years ago now.

A clever clubhouse, was added, a tidy functional one and Sean the Secretary manager is tops at his job. It a pleasure to visit and we are very proud of it and very thankful, to have met and worked with the Holihan family. Oh that all jobs were like this and all families like the Holihans.

In Summary

I love the course from many aspects. I love hole 3, 5, 6 and the loop 7, 8, 9. It is a pure golfer’s course. It is always in pristine condition. Hole 17 is my favourite a 4 -1/2, short 5. 14, 15, 16 a par 5 par 3 par 4 three great holes. I could go on and on and on but it is one very good golf course no more no less. I stress golf course, do not expect an easy ride. It is tough and a buggy is essential on this course. Go play it and see for yourself. You will arrive in the clubhouse on your hands and knees totally invigorated after one hell of a journey.

Dunmurry Springs golf course is a diamond in the rough, a true gem.

FINALLY, there is lovely warmth feeling inside the clubhouse fine homemade food at a great price and you will be ready able and willing to enjoy it. It is the Holihan course on their land and I must repeat I   truly love those Holihan people, the way they carry themselves, their integrity, ethos and high standards. .

GO VISIT! and tell them Mel sent you.


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40 years playing and teaching professional level, I strive to improve the game for all my students.

Mel Flanagan PGA

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