Forming part of a magnificent 300 acre estate, including 50 acres of lakes, the highly acclaimed 18-hole championship course is sensitively wrapped around the lakes and the Drumlins of the County Cavan landscape. The course presents a wonderful challenge and the devilishly tricky greens present a searching examination of accurate approach play, which adds to the enjoyment factor.
Not surprisingly the complex has always proved very popular with visiting golf groups from all over Ireland, the UK and Europe and many return on a regular basis to sample the renowned hospitality.
The Slieve Russell has hosted some major Irish PGA Tournaments. These include The Irish PGA Championship in 1996 and also the Quinn Insurance PGA Charity Pro-Am, which has been held since 1997 and has now become an annual event and boasts one of the highest prize funds in Europe.
The natural Drumlin Valley landscape of West Cavan provided the course architect, Paddy Merrigan, with a blank canvas on which to create a masterpiece. The course has been designed with certain boldness and sureness of instinct, these elements combined with the foresight of the proprietor, Sean Quinn, has resulted in the development of a truly fine parkland course.
Christy O'Connor Snr. wrote "One of my criteria in judging a golf course is that you get pleasure from it each time you play it. I played the Slieve Russell many times and each time; I can't wait to get back. I can honestly say that there are no weak holes on it, off the back stakes, there are many that will test the best, while all the greens are a tribute to the green keeper."
O’Connor rates the second hole (434 yards) with the water coming into play, as a great driving hole, and believes that the back nine have some of the finest holes in Ireland, where water plays an intricate part on holes 11, 12, 13 and 16.The greens have been rated by some as the most impressive element of the design where difficult putting surfaces present a searching examination of accurate play.
The crucial quality of the course lies in the fact that its design is strategic rather than punitive. The intention is not to penalise the golfer who strays off the straight and narrow but to encourage attacking shots by rewarding their success and punishing failure.
Typical Cavan terrain of small fields, scrub ditches and poorly drained soil degenerating into a boggy swamp have been transformed into an 18 hole layout of stunning quality, both from a visual and playing perspective.