by Kevin Markham
Loughrea was extended by close to 1000 yards when the club acquired additional land in 2002. This allowed a quiet country course, first extended to 18 holes by Eddie Hackett in 1992, to build four new holes and extend its par to 71. Today it measures 5,825 metres from the back tees. !
It is the natural feel of Loughrea's terrain that makes golf here such a pleasure. There is no need for glamourous touches on a course where landscape does all the work..very much the design principle of Hackett. Trees frame holes on the opening nine especially. They're not too intrusive but you still need to be straight. The back nine elevates proceedings with some tricky water features and open, tossing countryside. Even so, you can open the shoulders here, especially on holes 13 to 15 where you'll get a true feel for Loughrea's shapely terrain.
FAVOURITE HOLE: The par four, 14th is a tough dogleg around a lake but from the high tee you'll really want to smash the driver.
WHAT'S IN THE BAG: Smallish greens run fast and true so pay attention to pin positions.