6 - Top 50 UK & Ireland Stay and Play Carton House
The history of Carton Estate just 15 miles west of Dublin dates back over 800 years and the demesne has a colourful history. Home to the FitzGerald family then the Earls of Kildare, the house has welcomed guests from Queen Victoria to Grace Kelly. Carton House offers fine dining, fishing and cycling on the 1,100 acre estate as well as two superb golf courses. Designed by eight-time European Tour Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie, the Montgomerie Course was used for the Irish Opens of 2005 and 2006. Inspired by the links, the layout features sweeping fairways, deep bunkers and sloping greens. It's a relatively open course where crosswinds are a factor and an emphasis is placed on shot-making. The O'Meara course is a parkland creation by the 1998 Open and Masters champion Mark O'Meara. With many holes played along the banks of the beautiful River Rye, this is a testing and striking layout. On both the par-5 15th and par-3 16th, approach shots must carry all the way to the greens over water. Off course, guests can enjoy a range of activities including off-road driving, fishing, tennis and cycling. There's a salubrious spa as well as top-drawer dining options.
Rooms & Suites: 165 Courses: 2 - Montgomerie, O'Meara Visit www.golfbreaks.com for the best Carton House deals
Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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