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Carton House Golf Club. This just-outside-of-Dublin estate has quickly become one of the brightest stars in the Irish golfing universe. It's in a majestic 1,100-acre park that was the ancestral home of the earls of Kildare, presided over by an enormous and very grand 18th-century house. The parkland Mark O'Meara course makes use of the estate's rolling hills, specimen trees, and the River Rye. The 14th, 15th, and 16th stretch is a highlight: a pair of classy par-3s wrapped around a heroic par-5. The second 18 holes, created by Colin Montgomerie, are an inland links-style course that is flatter and virtually treeless. There's a good mix of long par-4s backed up with tricky short ones. Recessed pot bunkers lie in wait to pick up off-line shots. Off R148, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. 01/651–7720. www.cartonhousegolf.com. April–Oct., Mon.–Thurs. €75, Fri.–Sun. €85; Nov.–Mar., Mon.–Thurs. €60, Fri.–Sun. €70. 36 holes. Yardage: 7,006 (O'Meara), 7,301 (Montgomerie). Both courses: Par 72. Practice area, caddies, caddy carts, buggies, club rental, shoe rental, catering. Visitors: daily.
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