Course of the Month

April 2010

Erin's Isle, Ireland Ireland

The local electoral area of Finglas is one of the thirteen local electoral areas in Dublin City. Its focal point is the historic village of Finglas. The name Finglas (Fionn-glais), meaning a clear streamlet, is derived from the rivulet, which flows through the village and joins the Tolka at Finglas Bridge.

Finglas' Pitch and Putt Club is Erin's Isle, which is based in the grounds of Erin's Isle GAA club in the north city postcode of Dublin 11. The club boasts a large clubhouse, ample parking space, a full bar, which is shared with the GAA club and an outstanding eighteen hole Pitch and Putt course which is well regarded as one of the best kept courses in Dublin. The club has over 100 active members and are always on the look out for more.

Known for their forward thinking and commitment to development, the club has undertaken many improvements in recent years and the 2009 season saw the introduction of new teeing areas which have impressed everyone who plays the course with the exquisite paving and redbrick finish. The club will also be replacing their tee stands with a unique new approach. The new tee stands have replaceable signage so that new sponsor signs can be swapped in and out, easily allowing for branding by visiting championships and associations. This is set to introduce a whole new level of professionalism and marketing for the sport of Pitch and Putt.

The 18 hole course is defined by its many elevated greens and imposing mounds which surround a lot of the holes which can really make you pay for a poor tee shot. The course itself is as challenging a layout as one will find anywhere. The first three holes would put one in mind of playing tennis rather than Pitch and Putt as the play travels from one side of the course to the other. The second hole in particular can cause early heartbreak with its two deep front bunkers and the danger of out of bounds not even three metres behind the green. The 4th, 5th and 6th are excellent holes, with a mix of bunkers and mounds brilliantly placed to the front and rear. The fifth hole is a difficult pitch over a large bunker to a very shallow green. The tee shot is affected by a strong cross wind which makes this hole a very tough test of pitching. Erins Isle's signature hole is the eighth, which is a sixty eight metre pitch to a huge banked green that slopes almost 45 degrees from back to front. The gradient of the 8th green almost defies fairness - a cunning design and one of the toughest holes in the sport.

The 10th too, is quite a challenge, especially when the ground is firm while the absence of any marker on the 11th means that this seemingly innocuous hole is not as straightforward as it looks. The latter stretch is also a mix of tough and birdieable holes. The 14th has another raised green and the 18th is a long testing finishing hole. One can make it through seventeen holes relativly unscathed and with a good score intact. However, the eighteenth at Erin's Isle can easily undo much good work. Another pitch over sixty metres to a wide but shallow target, trees on left and right and a deep front bunker mean that your score is far from safe. Erin's Isle is truly is one of the best courses in the capital city.

2006 was a year of great uncertainty for Erin's Isle, what with the dispute with their landlord. For a while the worry was if the club had a future. During the period of uncertainty, Erin's Isle lost some members but like most areas of modern Dublin, new housing developments are commonplace in and around the Finglas area. Erin's Isle sees these as housing many potential future Pitch and Putt players. The Scratch Cup is an event that the club is zoning in on as a showcase for the sport in north Dublin.

Erin's Isle hosted just one Irish championship final in its proud history. Eamon O'Reilly (Portmarnock) defeated Robbie McCarthy (Carrigaline) at the first extra hole in the 36 hole final of the 1970 National Matchplay championship.