The Island course is named for the fact that it was at first accessible only by sea. Here the quirky names by which the holes are known—Boulia Field, Desert, Partridge Hollow, Skylark's Nest and so on—seem to have developed organically rather than having been dreamed up by some PR department. Among standout holes here are Quarry, the 10th, which doglegs to the left while the pitch to the fairway pushes the ball to the right (and where the green sites behind a dry creekbed) and one of the top 18ths anywhere in Ireland. Players will find birdies within reach, provided that they remain wary of the setbacks that await the overconfident. Located as it is right outside Portmarnock, the course is not much buffeted by the wind, and it makes for a good round on a day after a workout on one of the tournament-level courses nearby.
Fred Hawtree, Eddie Hackett, Jeff Howes