Carne Golf Links: Wild Atlantic Dunes Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

Carne Golf Links is set among the wildest dunes on Ireland’s spectacular west coast and offers a sensory overload that makes it one of the most thrilling courses in the Top 100

Carne Golf Links - Aerial
Carne Golf Links is blessed with some of the finest dunes in Ireland
(Image credit: Carne Golf Links)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

(Image credit: Future)

Carne Golf Links - Wild Atlantic Dunes Key Information

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Header Cell - Column 0 Header Cell - Column 1
AddressCarne, Belmullet, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Phone00353 97 82292
Visitor TimesWelcome at all times, subject to booking
ParMen 72, Women 73
SlopeWhite/M 124, Red/W 116
ArchitectEddie Hackett, Ally McIntosh/Jim Engh
Golf Monthly Verdict

Carne - Hole 14

(Image credit: Carne Golf Links)

Carne was always a fascinating attraction even before the newer nine were added and brought into regular play. Now that they make up the Wild Atlantic Dunes along with the original wow-factor nine from the Hackett Course, this has made all the difference. This is a visually stimulating links that is now consistently exciting all the way.

Reasons To Play Carne Links

– Enjoy a thrilling ride up, over and through some of the best dunes in the Top 100

– Play a fresh and different challenge on every hole

– Savour the pilgrimage to one of Ireland’s more far-flung beauties


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 76 

Beautifully sited on the County Mayo coastline, Carne Golf Links’ original course was in the Top 100 of the UK&I until being leapfrogged by others. Now, very happily, the newer Kilmore nine has fully merged with the more spectacular nine of the original course to create the Wild Atlantic Dunes. This means that the thrills, beauty and drama are present for a full 18. It is all set to join the list of the best golf courses in Ireland.

The approach to Carne, just beyond the coastal town of Belmullet, makes you feel you are entering uncharted territory. The original course here was the last from the fertile imagination of Eddie Hackett, and was a fitting testament to one of golf architecture’s leading figures with nine holes that were very good but perhaps not so spectacular, and nine that were most definitely the latter.

The project to build another nine - the Kilmore nine - came to fruition a few years ago, but budgetary and maintenance issues meant that for a while it was on the back burner. The dunes throughout are now as spectacular as the front nine on the Strand Course at Portstewart.

You now follow the original routing through the first seven holes - it was originally the back nine but swapped - and then head out into the new holes before finally re-joining the original course for the last two. The result is simply fantastic, with our panellists generally insisting that there are quite simply no weak holes anywhere.

There is immense variation through the dunes with a healthy combination of demanding holes and a number where risk/reward means there are chances to score well. The fairways are generous although a good number are hidden from view - intimidating the first time here. The five short holes are excellent, each visually dramatic and with a good variety in length. The same number of par 5s are all sensible, offering the chance to attack but also giving safer options if you want to play more conservatively.

The course is lightly bunkered, but the topography means that few are needed. The routing through the dunes, the elevation changes and the wind provide all the challenge anyone would need. The greens are also cleverly designed - get on the wrong side of some pins and you will be in trouble. Many have sharp run-offs around them but they are generally in view and so quite fair with no hidden surprises.

Promotion from the Next 100 courses into the Top 100 is fully deserved. It would be no exaggeration to say that at least two of the Golf Monthly panellists fell in love with Carne!

Carne - Aerial View

Carne's dunes are simply magnificent

(Image credit: Carne Golf Links)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Top 100 Panellist Gary Etherson
Gary Etherson

There is just hole after hole of unreal beauty about the place. You head off over a hill on the first hole and play in and among the dunes for the entire round. I will be telling anyone who's thinking of making the trip that it is well worth the effort.

Peter Hurst UK&I Top 100 panel
Peter Hurst

This truly was an epic experience, with a smile on the face throughout and even a week later. No weak holes, numerous awesome holes, and now easily right in there with my favourite top 5 courses played. The course planner should be supplied as a 3-D pop-up book!!

Gordon Ross UK&I Top 100 panel
Gordon Ross

Wow, where to start? Dramatic dunes - possibly the best in Ireland, sea views, unspoilt countryside all around the course. This place has it all, few courses are more scenic or dramatic. Quite possibly now my favourite course in Ireland!

Carne Golf Links Location

Carne Golf Links - Green Fees

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Row 0 - Cell 0 Row 0 - Cell 1 Row 0 - Cell 2
18 holes€140Apr-Sep
18 holes€65Nov-Dec

Carne Links - Wild Atlantic Dunes Scorecard

Carne Golf Links Scorecard

(Image credit: Carne Golf Links)

Best Courses Near To Carne Links



As you approach the first green, you enter some of the finest and most attractive and dramatic dunes anywhere in the Top 100. This Eddie Hackett design is simply one of the most entertaining and varied links in the country.



The opening three holes only hint at what is to come, as you then then head out over a spectacular dunescape packed with golfing delight. The views are outstanding, and at the far end, especially from the 9th round to the 13th, you feel as though you are in a different world.

Best Places To Stay Near Carne Golf Links

Broadhaven Bay Hotel - Book now at

This 3-star hotel is surrounded by breathtaking scenery and fully equipped gym, as well as a spa and hairdressing salon. Rooms are elegant and stylish, and you can enjoy fine dining in the Bayside Restaurant. The more informal Kilmore Bar has a beautiful water setting, and offers food as well as weekend entertainment.

The Talbot Hotel - Book now via

This 4-star townhouse is in the centre of Belmullet, and each room boasts sumptuous decor,  unique furnishings, and an iPod dock. The sophisticated AA Rosette Barony Restaurant serves fresh cuisine, and guests can dine outside on the terrace, or inside next to the open fire. The stylish bar serves an all-day menu in casual surroundings .

Carne Links Course Gallery

Historical Top 100 Rankings UK&I

  • 2023/24 - 76
  • 2019/22 - Next 100
  • 2017/18 - 93
  • 2015/16 - 99
  • 2013/14 - 96
  • 2011/12 - 87
  • 2009/10 - 82

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Carne worth the long drive?

Absolutely! Now that the Wild Atlantic Links is fully up and running, Carne is set to be one of Ireland’s most sought-after must-plays.

Why did Carne lose its place in the Top 100 a few years ago?

It was always a course of two very different halves and while the flatter nine holes are all perfectly good, improvements and changes elsewhere tipped Carne into the Next 100. It is now very deservedly back!

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2021, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He has been a member of Tandridge in Surrey for 30 years where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at