Course of the Month

March 2019

McDonagh, Ireland Ireland

Host venue to the III European Team Championships in 2003, the McDonagh Pitch and Putt course is situated in Ireland, just off Junction 12 of the M7 motorway. The historic McDonagh course lies on the famous Curragh of Kildare – the 5,000 acre plain that covers much of the county. 

Its rolling expanse of parkland provided an ideal opportunity to extend the normal course and be a perfect host venue when the EPPA members congregated in Ireland for the 2003 European Team Championship.  McDonagh, situated just down the road from the Curragh Racecourse (headquarters of Irish horseracing), boasts a number of feature holes. Who can forget the challenging opening hole – 60 metres from an elevated to a green masked by mounds?  Or the uphill 3rd where it’s so difficult to find the tiny green?  The downhill fifteenth is not easy and the sixteenth – a long pitch across the valley to a green carved into the hillside - is another memorable hole.  McDonagh lies on Irish Army land and the club members enjoy an excellent relationship with their neighbours – the Irish Defence Forces Training Centre.  Named after Thomas McDonagh, one of the signatories to the 1916 Proclamation (which declared Ireland’s independence during the Easter Rising), McDonagh, which was founded in 1947, is the last survivor of an original seven Pitch and Putt courses on the Curragh.

Visitors to McDonagh are ensured of a royal welcome.  A hardworking committee ensures the course is always in first class condition.  Lily Slattery is a first class chef so the quality of meals at McDonagh is second to none.  The large clubhouse boasts a well-stocked bar and has been the scene of some wonderful social events.  It’s a very popular venue for visiting clubs and societies.  It has also memorably hosted a number of Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland majors over the years.

The McDonagh course was specially lengthened by over 100 metres for the 2003 European Team championship.  Following consultations between the club and European officials, two new holes were constructed.  One was the 48 metre first hole and the other served as the 80 metre thirteenth.  The normal 60 metre opening hole at McDonagh was the second for the European Team championship.  A novel hole saw a teeshot from the usual twelfth tee to the thirteenth green, creating a masterpiece of a hole at the European maximum distance of 90 metres.  The remaining additional length was created by moving the tee back on a number of the existing holes.   The card of the European Championship course was:

Hole      Metres  Hole      Metres

1           48          10          62
2           60          11          52
3           75          12          90
4           65          13          80
5           83          14          57
6           53          15          70
7           40          16          90
8           43          17          44
9           43          18          42

OUT     510        IN         587

Total 1,097

Green fees at McDonagh are an extraordinarily reasonable €5.00.