Moyola Park Golf Club Course Review

The engaging course at Moyola Park Golf Club is packed with natural beauty and charm

Moyola Park Golf Club - Feature
The signature hole at Moyola Park, the par-3 17th, The Island
(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Moyola Park Golf Club Course Review

GF £35-£40; Twilight: £15
Par 71, 6,383 yards
Slope 121
GM Verdict A big, easy-paced parkland looping around a pretty hill
Favourite Hole Few tee shots are more charming than the wooded wonderland that is the par-3 17th

Unlike several Top 100 golf courses, Moyola Park in County Derry is one of Northern Ireland’s big and best kept secrets. It is similar to Ireland’s Portumna, in that regard and is situated an hour south and inland of one of the very best golf courses in Northern Ireland, Royal Portrush. This is a grand parkland experience of rivers, ancient woodland, a tree-drenched hill and fun holes. It is rich and vibrant, and the trees dominate and define holes as they move serenely over the undulating terrain.

Moyola Parh - Hole 1

Looking back from behind the opening hole, a strong par 4

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Holes are practically drawn to the central densely wooded hill at the course’s heart where your first encounter - the Index 1, par-4 8th - requires an approach shot over the River Moyola. The hill poses behind with the amphitheatre of trees around the small green promising a daunting and captivating approach shot.

Moyola Park - Hole 2

No bunkers are required to protect the par-4 second

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

The walk over the bridge that follows is enchanting. On the far side of the hill, giant oak stand like sentinels, wreaking havoc on the wayward, before the outrageous dogleg 15th brings you back to that hill. Two par-3s follow, with the signature 17th being the hole of the round as you hit out from a tree-enshrined tee to a green far below, wrapped in more trees with the river flowing behind.

Moyola Park - Hole 3

Big hitters may be tempted to have a go at the 301-yard par-4 third

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Trees play different roles: they squeeze your opening two drives and the gap between the trees on the short par-3 4th is nerve-wracking; thereafter you will have more room but the corridors of trees are never far away and the lone trees overshadowing fairways are a real menace. You may be forced to hit over or under them on approach.

Moyola Park - Hole 8

The approach to the beautiful but testing par-4 eighth, The River

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

It is a lightly bunkered course and several holes have no bunkers at all, including the 18th, the longest hole here. This 562-yard par 5 is all about positioning your second shot as the green sits beyond a narrow gap in the trees. Unless you are in the perfect spot you’ll be hitting a high lofted club up and over. That is true, too, on the somewhat shorter 315-yard dogleg 15th. It is one of those quirky short par 4s where your tee shot must be inch perfect if you want to avoid the bunkers and see the small green through the gap in the trees.

Moyola Park - Hole 17

The green on the penultimate hole, a cracking par 3

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Overall, the bunkers are big and visible, with the beach-like titan defending the front of that par-3 17th being biggest of all.

Kevin Markham
Kevin Markham

Kevin Markham stepped into a campervan in 2007, and spent the next 14 months playing every 18-hole golf course in Ireland… 360 of them. He wrote two books on the back of those travels and has been working in the golf industry ever since, both as a freelance writer and a photographer. His love of golf courses has seen him playing extensively in Scotland, as well as across Europe. In total, he has played over 550 courses including most of Scotland’s top 100, and over half of Portugal’s growing number. He writes for the Irish Examiner newspaper, Irish Golfer magazine, and Destination Golf, and is a regular contributor to Golf Monthly. He has his own photography website – kevinmarkhamphotography.com – and spends hours on golf courses waiting to capture the perfect sunrise or sunset.

Kevin can be contacted via Twitter - @kevinmarkham