A course you don’t just play, you live it.

Achill Island

Achill Island Golf Club

Achill Island Golf Club

Date Reviewed
September 13, 2022
Reviewed by Ed Battye
Achill Island is located off the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo and reached by a small bridge. Civilisation doesn’t quite end but it's very remote. Barren and beautiful.

The island has a 9 hole links golf course at Sandybanks, running alongside the strand of Keel. It is played over the machair where the length of the fairways depend upon how hungry the sheep are. You pay your green-fee in an honesty box and the towering Minaun cliffs watch on as you play.

White boulders line the fairways to help with direction and definition and the greens are protected with fences from the hundreds of sheep which graze the land. The quality of the putting surfaces, in both trueness & contouring, belie it's modest nature.

The course reminded me a little of Colonsay both in its majestic setting and also the type of golf course. Sadly a sea-wall of small boulders obstructs what would be an even more amazing view out to sea.

It’s just 2,738 metres in length and is a par 35 but numbers, scorecards and pencils are an irrelevance at places like this. It’s not great golf but it’s a great experience. It’s a course you don’t just play, you live it. The 5th/14th tee is a prime example of where you may just want to take a few moments to let it all sink in.

That said the putting surfaces were of very high standard in both the contouring and the surfaces themselves. There is good variety too from an upturned green at the first to other putting surfaces with drop-offs and the movement on the greens is very good with various swales and borrows.

Achill is just 30 minutes drive from Mulranny and would make for an excellent day of natural golf.

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