The renowned Fota Island Golf Club is set amidst the fantastic scenery of the estate itself. While golf on the site dates back to the 1800s, it was not until Christy O'Connor Jr. and Peter McEvoy laid out their new Deerpark course in 1993, that Fota Island became a serious golfing destination. Since its inception, the championship course has played host to the Irish Open in 2001, 2002 and 2014 and has established a reputation as one of Ireland's best.
2014 Irish Open
Finland's Mikko Ilonen led from wire-to-wire to claim his
fourth European Tour title at Fota Island. Ilonen carded a final round of 70 to
finish 13-under par, one shot ahead of Italy’s Edoardo Molinari, with Sweden's
Kristoffer Broberg and English duo Danny Willett and Matthew Baldwin another
shot back in third.
What the pros say:
“I love the venue. It’s a great venue for a golf tournament
— the setting, the type of course it is. There’s plenty of birdies to be made
out there. We seem to get better weather down here at Cork. Nice practice
facilities, hotel on site; what more could you ask for in a venue, [and an]
airport nearby? I hope it comes back and gets onto a rota that it comes back
here regularly.” - Padraig Harrington
“I believe they are talking about Fota Island as a venue the
next two or three years. I’m all over it. I think it’s a great venue.” – Graeme
The Belvelly's par-72 layout includes the new nine holes added by Jeff Howes in recent times, and is a formidable test at 7,121 yards from the back markers. Interesting features have been worked into the design, not least on the signature 16th hole, where visiting golfers face the challenge of firing their approach shot over an old quarry to a small target.
The par-73 Barryscourt Course also takes in the new nine holes, and is the latest addition to Fota Island's impressive portfolio of golf. The course is a monster from the back tees, but the characteristic slope of the greens will also undoubtedly challenge the putting of every visitor. The highlight of Fota's latest course is the redesigned 8th, which features an array of hazards to be safely negotiated.