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The Patrick's Links at Rosapena, Ireland

What’s New For 2020 and Beyond

January 17, 2020

A slew of top architects like Gil Hanse, Tom Doak and Ben Crenshaw as well as innovative golf course developer Mike Keiser are headliners in our list of new courses and re-designs that will debut this year and next.

Here’s a quick review of some new and improved places to tee up now or in the near future:

The Long Awaited Debut of Dumbarnie Near St Andrews

Slated to open in spring 2020 near St Andrews in Scotland, this upscale daily-fee course will be similar to Kingsbarns and Castle Stuart in that the land will be enhanced by innovative earth moving techniques. Located between Edinburgh and St Andrews, it will be accessible to both areas. Designed by Clive Clark, the Dumbarnie has a mile and half of sea frontage with views of the Firth of Forth. Fourteen of the holes will have views of the Bay and the Firth of Forth. The design incorporates three potentially driveable Par-4s and will range in yardage from 5,300 to 6,900 with a special set of professional tees that can stretch the course to 7,600 yards. Dumbarnie is surrounded by highly ranked courses. Will it be the next great course near St Andrews?

New Tom Doak Course in Northern Ireland

Opening Summer 2021, The St. Patrick’s Links at Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort in County Donegal in Northern Ireland is highly-respected architect Tom Doak’s first course in Ireland. Doak’s routing will cover about 300 acres of sandy terrain along Sheephaven Bay. To be sure, like other Doak courses, St. Patrick’s will be the perfect blend of beauty and challenge.

New Hole at Royal Dornoch

Can Royal Dornoch in Scotland get any better? You bet, with a new 7th hole. Better still, it’s not just a redesign. In 2020, a completely new hole will be built to the right of the current one. The new hole will provide a spectacular panorama of the North Sea from the tee and the fairway. Do better views equal better scores? Hopefully so.

Nairn and Portnoo Re-Design

Gil Hanse was brought on for a re-design, his first ever endeavor in Ireland to work on a links course.  Many of the changes were made to increase speed of play and Hanse created two new par 3s on the back nine that are oozing with “wow” factor. Members who received a sneak preview a few months back say the “course is a completely different experience that they absolutely love playing.” This wasn’t just a nip and tuck, but a full makeover from start to finish.

Coul Links Update

Mike Keiser, the visionary developer behind Bandon Dunes, Cabot Links and Sand Valley has been wanting to build a new golf course in the Scottish Highlands near Dornoch for almost five years. While progress has been made for approval, the final decision on whether the project, Coul Links, can proceed has not been made at this time. These final approvals in Scotland always take time. Stay tuned!

Cabot Saint Lucia

Mike Keiser and his Canadian business partner Ben Cowan-Dewar plan to bring their highly successful golf course philosophy to the island of Saint Lucia in the eastern Caribbean Sea. They’ve recruited Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore to design the course. A tentative course opening is set for November 15, 2021. This is bound to be another Keiser photogenic beauty with nine green sites on the ocean. The golf course will be the focal point of a community, Cabot Saint Lucia, on the northern tip of the island, which will encompass a 50-suite boutique hotel, 3 restaurants, retail shops and the Cabot Spa and Clubhouse. Sure looks like 18 more great reasons to visit Saint Lucia in the near future.

Golf Destination of the Year 2020

The Algarve, Portugal was selected as the “Golf Destination of the Year” by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. What’s the draw? Spectacular oceanside courses on the Algarve, a temperate climate for year-round golf, exceptional wines, superb seafood restaurants and friendly, accommodating citizens, many of whom speak english in the golf destination areas. In recent years, Portuguese resorts and courses have put an emphasis on improving the overall golf experience, which has made it much more appealing to Americans. A glass of Vinho Verde, anyone?

Golf Resort of the Year 2020

Adare Manor in Ireland was chosen at the “Golf Resort of the Year” (Europe, Middle East and Africa) by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators. This opulent, 5-star resort in Limerick is the personification of Irish luxury. It received a massive, property-wide renovation last year propelling it to even greater heights. Set on 840 lush acres, it has 104 beautifully appointed rooms and suites with a staff of 350 and 50 chefs. The golf course has been completely redesigned by Tom Fazio. Oh, did we mention the 300-double thread count Garnier Thiebaut French sheets, the 28-seat movie theater and spa overlooking the River Maigue?