Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club
I love Golf – I wish I could say that golf loves me, to be fair some days it does but most days I go through a range of emotions reserved for the looney bin. One of my very favorite places to play is also luckily enough one of the closest clubs to me Bunclody Co. Wexford, just south of the border from Carlow.
Bunclody is a relatively new club built during the boom and survived the downturn it is a course that has found itself maturing nicely with fairways and greens that are as well maintained as anywhere you can imagine. From the second you turn off the road through the winding lane with trees in the middle of the road you are transported to a very magical place, it’s got everything rivers, hills and woods. When you emerge on the far side of the driveway you are met by the excellent clubhouse, beautifully designed to fit the landscape and the time – standing 2 stories high, round with a tatch roof it’s the perfect start and finish to an afternoon of golf.
I like to walk while playing golf in Ireland but be warned it is testing and tiring so if you feel like a buggy they are on offer too. There are a few holes that will test your legs as you head up the hill to the first green you might be questioning your decision to walk, but trust me its worth it. There are a few things to note when golfing in Ireland, you will more than likely encounter 4 seasons during your round so preparation is key, golf umbrellas, light rain gear, hats, golf shirts, long pants, shorts, heavy rain gear – chances are you will want them all but keep it simple push through the occasional showers and you will enjoy the round.
The course starts with an uphill dogleg left par 5 that can be handles quite nicely if you can clear the bunkers on the left with a 300 + yard uphill drive so no problems there …. 260 yard approach 3 wood and you are putting for an eagle, easy peasy. I am not going to go through every hole, however if you would like me to play a round I can be easily bought (in the club house for a few pints of the black stuff).
As the round progresses the course gets more interesting the 5th par 3 is pretty daunting 202 to the front – downhill with danger on both sides – it’s hard to stop your ego from looking at the pin but short left is advisable here. It leads on to the first view of the magnificent river Slaney which distinguishes most of the rest of the course.
Bunclody is a testing round of golf but It’s hard not to get sucked in by the pretty spectacular surroundings, whether you are deciding on a putt on the 10th and you look to the wind turbines in the background or maybe it will be the gently roll of the river of the waterfall on 15 after you negate the tree in the middle of the downhill fairway. Last night I had a curious baby fox take in my pretty amazing 4 iron shot on 16, luckily enough he left before I left my chip 20 yards short, after the fox went and did what he had to do a cock peasant took up spectating duties.
One of the beauties of Bunclody is the fact that a lot of the holes are divided by the river and the woods so each hole feels like its own private hole hidden away from the rest of the world and this is why I like to walk the course, to take in all the sounds and smells that come from playing this deep in nature. If you walk your legs will be getting tired as you head to 18, luckily enough they installed an elevator to take you from 17 to 18 – yes you read that right an elevator that goes up 3 stories to a bridge that brings you a very playable par 5 18. A big drive here from left to right (aim to the trees on the left and let the downhill fairway do the rest) will give you the finish that makes you want to return again and again.
After the trill of battle comes the glory of the scorecard – up to the club house for a few pints or coffee and some lovely food, I have yet to have a bad meal here but then again I am usually starving by the time I land in. I am a big fan of the Guinness served at the bar,Ray pulls the perfect very refreshing after a big round of golf, after all half the fun is talking about all the coulda shouda wouldas that bumped your score up.
Swing softly my friends there is always a round just around the corner.