Blooming marvellous — The European Club ready for 2016

Blooming marvellous — The European Club ready for 2016

The 17th at The European Club. Picture © Pat Ruddy

Pat Ruddy's County Sligo facelift will test the best in the Radisson Blu sponsored West of Ireland Championship next week. But Ballymote's biggest golfing export has not been twiddling his thumbs at home over the winter and The European Club at Brittas Bay in Co Wicklow is also ready for what promises to be a busy season.

The wonderful gorse bushes - wonderful when observed from afar and not when looking for balls - will, as usual, offer an explosion of colour at Mr R's seaside golfing playground. 

The pictures shown here are now incorporated into the second edition of Pat's book describing the genesis of the course, The Perfect Golf Links, which is currently at the printer's. 

But that's not all the news. 

A bird's eye view of the 10th hole. Picture © Pat Ruddy

A side view of the par-four 17th hole at The European Club. Picture © Pat Ruddy

Looking up the 17th. Picture © Pat Ruddy

Work this winter has included an extension to back of the fifth green, creating more pins and a panoramic view of the Irish Sea.

An extension to the front left of the 15th green has also created more pin positions and lots of subtle banking.

Mr Ruddy  has also re-contoured the front right corner of green 18 which is now, he writes, "very pleasing to the eye and full of putting and chipping possibilities."

Finally, he has reshaped Harry (Bradshaw) "our main putting green."

He adds: "Indicators are that the golfers are coming to Ireland as never before. The advance parties have been loud in their praise and quite thrilled with their golf.

"Myself ....I've new grips on the big stick and am going to war."