Hole by Hole
Fintona Golf Club boasts a magnificent mature 9 hole parkland course, but thanks to different tee boxes, playing 18 holes offers a new perspective the second time around. As anywhere in Northern Ireland, any challenges can be exacerbated by the weather!
Par 4, 310m / SI 5 for gents, 265m / SI 6 for ladies
The starting hole offers a good opportunity to start strongly with a par as the green is reachable in regulation. However, 1st tee nerves can get the better of you as the fairway is lined by a river on the left with a lovely tree to catch the eye – and the ball if you’re unlucky. On the right, there is a downsloping rough with trees. A good drive will clear the path crossing the fairway leaving an iron shot over the river to the elevated gently sloping green. Mind your distances as being long puts you out of bounds.
Par 4, 418m / SI 1 for gents, 270m / SI 12 for ladies
A slight dogleg right, the hardest hole for the gents and a far forward ladies tee box means you better avoid penalties for not making it past the reds on your drive. The fairway is wide, but sloping left to right – decent drives often end up in the first cut on the right without a shot to the green. Hit it long and you may reach the plateau or even the downslope to attack the green or hit your second beyond the dip and you have a nice shot into the deceptive green for a challenging putt. Don’t be disappointed about a bogey!
Par 4, 263m / SI 17 for gents, 247m / SI 14 for ladies
While the green is reachable for long hitters, be wayward to the left and your ball is flirting with the river and deep rough that runs along the hole. Accuracy off the tee pays off thanks to punishing high trees. The ladies have a beautiful view of an old cattle bridge, but an even tighter tee shot. Avoid the bunker to find another gently sloping green for a good chance for a birdie.
Par 3, 158m / SI 13 for gents, SI 10 for ladies
Trust your shot and don’t let the river play mind games with you – as long as you are straight-ish and airborne. Slice it and the river is still there for your ball, hit it left and it may stay up in the trees. Bunkers left and right of the green are punishing if you can’t fly an iron into it. Once you get to putting, it is straightforward.
Par 5, 464m / SI 11 for gents, 384m / SI 8 for ladies
Slight dogleg right with trees strategically positioned to punish a slice of the tee and a drop into woodlands on the left. Most golfers are well served aiming at the bunker or just to the right of it. The undulated fairway slopes left, watch that bounce! Attack the green from the right and don’t be surprised if your putt is not doing what you thought it should.
Par 4, 390m / SI 3 for gents, 255m / SI 18 for ladies
Hitting it straight off the tee is only sensible for golfers who hit it 200m or longer. Otherwise, aim to the left top of the hill where the ladies tee is or see your ball roll down into the valley on the right. As it is uphill, no shame in being level with the ladies box. Once you pass the top, the fairway is wide – for ladies, a tee shot within iron range of the green is manageable. The real challenge is the approach to the elevated green that slopes in all directions – overhit it at your own peril. You may face a tricky putt both in terms of length and break.
Par 5, 453m / SI 9 for gents, 387m / SI 4 for ladies
Hit it straight off the tee – it may not go as far as you like due to the upslope your ball is likely to hit, stopping any roll. Once you are up there, the fairway is wavy but flat for a bit. The green is reachable for most from the end of the plateau. If you can’t go for it, mind the trees on the right. From the dip, you can’t see the green, trust your approach and aim for the front or expect a search and another shot up to the pin. This green is the most challenging of all and a true test of your putting.
Par 3, 129m / SI 15 for gents, SI 16 for ladies
Hit your ball over the same dip you’ve just navigated on the 7th to a 2 tiered green protected by bunkers on the left and right. Don’t be long either and beware of the out of bounds on the left. The hole plays slightly longer and otherwise offers a respite.
Par 4, 371m / SI 7 for gents, 333m / SI 2 for ladies
Take a moment to enjoy the view from the top of the hill – the Sperrins in the background and the club house in front of you. All you need to do is hit it straight. Long hitters will find themselves in front of the river with an easy approach to the green. A good drive takes you to the plateau – lay up for a good bogey or take on the challenge. Yet again, the green is not as straightforward as it looks.
Having played all the fairways and greens, the back 9 may be easier?
Par 4, 265m / SI 14 for gents, 310m / SI 3 for ladies
It may be shorter for the gents, but now the river and the tree really come into play.
The ladies now play the tee shot the gents had to start.
Par 4, 373m / SI 2 for gents, Par 5, 373m / SI 11 for ladies
With the tee box to the right, bring yourself to aim at the hollow as all the trouble is on the right.
Par 4, 247m / SI 18 for gents, 263m / SI 17 for ladies
The tees are swapped – ladies have an easier shot, gents now have to navigate a narrow gap.
Par 3, 178m / SI 4 for gents, 134m / SI 15 for ladies
For gents, this is not an easy hole – no shame in hitting a wood. Ladies move forward, which helps.
Par 5, 464m / SI 10 for gents, 409m / SI 5 for ladies
Off the whites, this is the same as the 5th; off the reds, it is much longer.
Par 5, 464m / SI 16 for gents, 390m / SI 7 for ladies
The tee is further back, definitely putting the slope to the right in play. The ladies are now off essentially the 6th tee for gents. The second shot is key – bring it beyond the downslope and the green is reachable in regulation. Long hitters have a chance for an eagle.
Par 4, 315m / SI 8 for gents and SI 1 for ladies
The tee box is now at the foot of the slope – straight and enough loft will do and bring you far down the fairway. Ladies do well with a bogey here!
Par 3, 141m / SI 12 for gents, SI 13 for ladies
Only 12m more – remember your first attempt, take a bit more club and you’re good.
Par 4, 371m / SI 6 for gents, Par 5, 363m / SI 9 for ladies
Same as before for gents, ladies now get to enjoy the same tee of “one of the most beautiful finishing holes anywhere” (consensus among our members and many visitors). Keep it straight and out of the river and you finish on a high, wanting to come back.