Cloghogue Pitch & Putt Club

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The course at Cloghogue is widely regarded as one of Irelands Premier courses.  Proof of its popularity among the games elite players came when it was voted as the Best Course in Ireland in a poll held on the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland's own website.  What follows is a synopsis of each of the courses magnificent 18 holes.

   
 

 

     

     

     

    

   

   

1st

36 m

An innocuous short pitch up hill to a raised flat plateau green.  Innocuous until you pitch short, left or right and the banks push you away from the green, making it difficult to get up and down in two.  Pitch big and you really are in trouble. 
     
     

2nd

56 m

A downhill shot, with only the flagstick visible from the tee.  The danger is in missing the green big or left, which makes for a difficult second shot, thatís why a large bunker is positioned short on the front right of the green! 
     

3rd

50 m

Another blind shot.  The green is nestled between banks and trees and is receptive to a good pitch.  A bunker awaits a long shot.  The green is very sloped and the hole position can cause problems when you finally get on to it!.     

4th

51 m

With a tee box view stretching over Newry and the Mourne mountains, the 4th is a similar length of shot to the 3rd and effected similarly by the wind.  However the trees on the bank well short of green make the distance deceptive.  Recent changes have seen the green moved much closer to the bunker protecting its right hand side.    

5th

39 m

 

The 5th has been strengthened over the years by 2 front bunkers left and right, a bank bridging these bunkers, and a bunker at the bank to catch the over adventurous.  Thatís not forgetting the large tree half way down the fairway which forces your shot left unless you can pitch high enough (provided the winds not in your back)!    
      6th

53m

Once the signature hole in Cloghogue, which was a 63m pitch over a disused quarry, the progress of housing developments has meant a major change to this shot.  Reduced to a 52m downhill pitch, two new bunkers now protect the front of the green, forcing players to hit longer and as expected the main danger is off the back.  Once you are long the chip is uphill to a green which slopes away from you Ė a three is bonus when you are here!

 

   
      7th

48m

You must have your pitch high here to negotiate the three trees which are mid fairway and which partially obscure the green from the tee.  The green slopes towards the shot which makes it easy to hold (although fatal to the player who spins the ball).  Again, go long here and you are in trouble as you chip downhill to a lightening fast green.  Even being deep on the green leaves a knee trembling putt.  Another frontal bunker awaits the short shot as players try to play safe.    
   

 8th

68m

Index 1.  The longest hole on the course and considered the longest in Pitch and Putt, as this shot is all up hill and carry.  The green has been flattened over the years but is blind to the tee-shot.  The only trouble is the large mound 3 metres short of the green on the left, oh yes and the distance (and thatís as long as the wind doesn't blow off Slieve Gullion into your face).    
   9th

32m

 

Once considered a birdie hole, like the 5th, the 9th has been toughened of  late.  A slightly down hill pitch, two small trees break the players of the full green  A small frontal bank also shields a view of the front half of the green.  But the trouble is off the back, right and left.  The ground falls away so much that you could end 3 or 4 metres from the green and an up and down is unlikely.    
  

 10th

51m

The first of two completely blind shots.  A bank splits the fairway, 20 metres from the green.  Trees line the out of bounds to the right and can come into play.  A pitch to the right or big is in trouble as the green is banked up at the right and back to be receptive to the pitch, the downside is that its isnít receptive to a return chip    
   11th

54m

 

The first 40m of this fairway are flat, making it difficult to visualise the shot to the green and gauge the distance.  At 40m the fairway drops into a ravine where the green lies at the bottom, 10m below.  No other hazards surround the green other than the natural terrain of the banks.  Picking your line is essential.     
  

12th

45m

 

The new gaping bunker at the front of the 12th makes this slightly downhill pitch very daunting.  An equally large bunker guards the rear of the green.  The wind on this shot can be the problem, if it is in your back it is take a risk time as you need to just clear the front bunker, into your face and you may get complacent.    
  

13th

49m

 

Pitching up hill to a right to left sloping green, a lightening storm hit the tree which strategically placed half way between tee and green.  Part of the tree remains and still forces the player to pitch right.  The plateau green is long and it can be difficult to gauge how far in the hole is cut.  Anything missing the green short or left catches the natural slopes and leaves you with a long and difficult chip.     
  

14th

44m

 

A shorter hole, the 14th is guarded along the left by out of bounds and blackthorn hedge to the rear.  The actual green, which is in the shape of a figure 8, is unsighted from the tee.  Again trouble is long and left, but equally a pitch hit on the right can break down through the green or stay high, leaving a downhill chip with little landing room.     
  

15th

43m

 

Nestled in the same valley with the 11th, the high bank at the front of the green means a high pitch is essential.  A feature of this hole is the Japanese Elm tree on the right of the green which, in summer, gives off a wonderful scent to distract the best of concentration.  Unfortunately a similar tree on the left fell victim to a storm.     
  

16th

60m

 

A similar shaped shot to the 8th, albeit shorter, the 16th is the first of three difficult finishing holes.  For some, getting up the high ravine bank is a feat, but even when achieved, you then have to be careful of the bunker 3 metres short of the green.  Again the green is unsighted to the player at the tee, with the bell tower of the church providing the backdrop.     
  

17th

66m

 

A long downhill shot, the wind plays a big part here.  All down the right is the local graveyard and sometimes with a strong right to left wind you may be forced to start the ball out over the graveyard.  A bunker guards wide left and a new bunker sits on the right to catch what was once a safe shot.  Two mounds protect a lower runner.  And when you get there, the green is two tier so position off the tee is everything.     
  

18th

44m

 

The final hole is uphill with the graveyard bordering the whole left hand side of the shot.  The large bunker blocks a view of the putting service and forces the player to hit long.  However the out of bounds hedge sits 1.5metres off the back of the green.  Often the player is caught in indecision and thinks more about the hazards than the green.  The green slopes towards the tee  and is quite fast, even on the back of the green a three is far from guaranteed.