Glasson and Galway Bay are bucking the trend. When most clubs are looking to pull in their horns both these Christy O’Connor Jnr layouts are extending their facilities, Glasson with a spanking new bar, restaurant and banqueting suite and Galway Bay with a new clubhouse.
Glasson boasts a hotel with 65 bedrooms with magnificent views of either Lough Ree or the golf course which opened in 1993 and the new modern glass addition fits in surprisingly well with established hotel which was formerly the home of owners Tom Reid and his wife Breda.
It’s still a family business and they are rightly proud of what they have achieved at this undulating layout with superb views of Lough Ree.
Water comes into play on five holes including the 15th, a par-3 Sawgrass-style, to a peninsula green, but it is perhaps the hole before that is really the best as the tee shot at this dogleg par-5 is a testing one and the views out over Lough Ree are superb.
When it comes to par 5s you’re spoilt for choice. That 14th, at 566 yards is a real three-shotter with out of bounds threatening the drive. The second shot is no less demanding with a waste area to the left and a lake to the right while the approach is threatened by the water to the left of the green.
Meanwhile, the 15th requires a carry of about 185 yards over water and often into the prevailing wind and there’s no real respite as the 16th, a 452-yard par-4, is rated the most difficult hole on the course.
In fact, the closing holes at Glasson are what really make the course as 17 is a 545-yard dogleg par 5 with a real chance of a birdie and while the 18th is only 383 yards it plays uphill and is deceptively long with no fewer than eight bunkers surrounding the green.
Glasson also has a practice ground with three full practice holes including two par 4s and a short hole. There’s also a well-stocked golf shop and the hotel is most definitely four-star with excellent, comfortable rooms.