Fabulous Food and a Fantastic Faldo Design at Lough Erne Resort

After our quick sojourn into the Republic at Portsalon, our next destination was County Fermanagh, back in Northern Ireland and the Lough Erne Resort. We had heard great things about Lough Erne and we were excited not only to play but also to stay at the resort.

The Resort

Lough Erne Resort is a luxurious 5-star golf resort located in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. It is situated on a 600-acre peninsula on the shores of Lough Erne, a beautiful lake in the heart of the Fermanagh Lakelands. The resort has a stunning 120-bedroom hotel, two championship golf courses, a luxury spa, and a range of other amenities that cater to golfers and non-golfers alike.

The Golf Courses

The resort’s golf courses are the main attraction for most visitors. Designed by golfing legend Sir Nick Faldo, the courses are set in a stunning landscape of rolling hills, woodlands, and water hazards. The Faldo Course, the flagship course at the resort, is a challenging and demanding 18-hole layout. It requires accuracy, strategy, and skill. It has been ranked as one of the best golf courses in Ireland and the UK and has hosted numerous prestigious golf tournaments over the years.

The Castle Hume Course is the resort’s second course, and it is a more forgiving layout that is suited for golfers of all levels. The course is set in a beautiful parkland landscape and features stunning views of Lough Erne and the surrounding countryside. The course is also home to a state-of-the-art Golf Academy, which provides expert coaching, custom club-fitting, and practice facilities.

Other Amenities

In addition to golf, the resort offers a wide range of other activities for guests to enjoy. These include fishing, water sports, cycling, walking, and sightseeing. The resort’s luxury Thai spa is also a popular attraction, offering a range of treatments and therapies that help guests to relax and unwind. Patek Philippe enthusiasts in search of economical choices: Incredible deals on fake Patek Philippe watches await!

The resort’s dining options are equally impressive, with a range of restaurants and bars that cater to every taste and preference. The Catalina Restaurant is the resort’s fine dining option, serving up an exquisite menu of locally sourced and seasonally inspired dishes. The Loughside Bar & Grill is a more casual option, offering a relaxed and informal atmosphere and a menu of classic dishes with a modern twist.

The Faldo Course

Unfortunately, we only had time to play one of the courses so we chose the Faldo Course. It’s a par 72 and you have five sets of tees to choose from. The yardages range from 7071 yards to 4880 yards. we chose to play from the blue tees at 6612 yards.

The 3rd hole

The first two holes on the course are shortish par 4’s, the longest being 354 yards. The first par 3 is the 3rd, which for us was playing 158 yards. As it was warm and the breeze helping, we hit the green with an 8 iron. Two putts later we had registered our second par, after bogeying the first hole.

Disaster Hole

The 5th hole

The 5th hole was our disaster hole. We always seem to have at least one a round and this was it at Lough Erne. On the card, it said it was only 166 yards and the breeze was into and out the left. Our GPS had it as 190 yards to the back right pin so for us that’s a 3 hybrid. All I can say is that both came up short in the water and both were decent hits. No Tin Cup moment for us here, two in the water was enough and we played on…..

Nearest the pin

On the course, they have blue stakes in the fairway to signify what your line is off the tee. There are two reasons for showing you the photo above. One is to show you the first time we actually hit it on line and the second is to show you the 285-yard approach we still had on the 6th hole, after a great tee shot. We managed a par on this 535-yard par 5.

A Drivable Par 4? Eh, NO!

The 7th hole

Unless you are Rory McIlroy, who was the first person the drive the green on the 389-yard dogleg par 4, you aim left and play safe. We hit a 3 wood just short of the bunkers then an 8 iron onto the green which has the water in the background. It’s a lovely hole if you take the sensible route. P.S. There is a water hazard all the way down the right that you can’t see off the tee.

Your approach to the 9th

The 9th hole is a three-shot hole all day every day. At 586 yards, there is no chance, unless you are the aforementioned Mr McIlroy, that you are ever reaching this in two. We hit a great drive, then a solid 6 iron short of the water hazard, then another 6 iron into the green which sits above you. We were absolutely delighted to walk off with a 5.

The Back Nine

Our approach to the 10th Green

The 10th is a beautiful short par 4 of only 315 yards with a fairway that slopes left to right. I am sure that some have tried to drive the green which would be the ultimate risk or reward. However, there is more than one way to make an eagle. We hit 3 wood off the tee and were left with a downhill ball below the feet lie. It was 115 yards to a back pin and a sweet wedge to the middle of the green kept on rolling into the cup! No one was more surprised than we were. A great start to the back nine!

A Couple of Cracking Par 5’s

The 14th hole

The 14th is an intimidating par 5 at 580 yards. From the tee, it’s uphill to the top of the ridge then downhill to the green. Our 3 wood didn’t make it up to the top so after a quick walk up to see where we were going, we hit another 3 wood, then a 5 iron to the green. A long hole with water on the right and bunkers on the left for your third shot.

The 16th hole

The 16th is a great hole. From an elevated tee, you look down the fairway which sweeps left to right then back to the left again. We hit the driver off the tee, followed by a sensible 6 iron short of the water, then a 9 iron to the green framed by bunkers. You can go for it in two if you get a good drive away but there is water on the right. We played it sensibly and made an easy par.

Water Everywhere

The 17th hole

The 17th is another beautiful hole. A short par 4 of 322 yards the is no future if you miss the fairway right as you can see. A 3 wood on the line of the middle of the bunkers left us with a gap wedge to another green that sits in the water.

The 18th hole

The Faldo Course finishes with a par 3 of 198 yards. You have to carry the ball at least 165 yards to get over the reeds. We hit the 3 hybrid that didn’t carry the water on the 5th into the centre of the green and two-putted for par. We were delighted with our back nine of 36, one over, mainly due to that two on the 10th.

Faldo Course Summary

The Faldo Course is excellent and was in great condition. It’s an American-style resort course but it’s no pushover. The course is laid out over the rolling countryside and it’s a long walk so we would recommend taking a buggy. There are a number of beautifully framed holes on the course, whether that be with the extensive bunkering, tree-lined fairways or the holes on the lake. It’s a visual treat as well as a challenging golf course.

Five Star all The Way

The hotel is simply wonderful. On arrival, you get the feeling that you are being welcomed into one of the UK’s top hotels. Everything about the hotel, the setting, the ambience inside, and the smiling and welcoming staff is perfect.

Our Four Poster Bed

The rooms are furnished in a traditional, almost old-fashioned style but beautifully put together with modern touches. The bathrooms are thoroughly modern and have wonderful rainfall showers, which was much needed after a round in the glorious weather we experienced.

Drinks at Sunset

Our Balcony

Our room had a fabulous balcony which overlooked the 18th green and it was just wonderful sitting on it having a gin and tonic or two after dinner while the sun was setting. It was truly a memorable evening in a stunning location.

Dining at the Catalina Restaurant

Dining in the restaurant is also a fabulous experience. Catalina aeroplanes were based on the lough during World War 2, hence the name. The Restaurant has been voted Northern Ireland’s restaurant of the year and was the first 3 AA Rosette hotel restaurant in the province. The food on offer was stunning.

From the Amuse Bouche of smoked salmon tart with a Bushmills whisky and Armagh Apple Juice, to the treacle bread and Irish butter, it was of the highest quality. We had the Seared Irish Hake followed by the Raspberry Souffle. Both were tremendous, some of the best food we have been privileged to have eaten.

The Seared Irish Hake

Pudding Heaven

The Raspberry Souffle

Although there are other dining experiences onsite, we suggest eating at least one evening at the Catalina. It’s white-glove service with a staff member explaining what each dish is and how it’s been prepared. It all adds to a wonderful experience.

Lough Erne Summary

Overall, staying and playing golf at Lough Erne Resort is an unforgettable experience. The combination of world-class golf, luxurious accommodation, and stunning scenery make it an ideal destination for golfers and non-golfers alike. Whether you are looking for a relaxing getaway, a romantic break, or an action-packed holiday, Lough Erne Resort has everything you need to make your stay a memorable one.

We highly recommend adding Lough Erne Resort to your golfing trip to Ireland, whether that be with a group or with your partner and friends.

At a Glance:
  • 5-star luxury resort with beautiful rooms and lodges
  • Fantastic food in the Catalina Restaurant
  • Wonderful and extensive non-golf activities
  • Friendly and welcoming staff
  • 36 holes with a practice area
  • Well-appointed Pro Shop
  • Just under a two-hour drive from Belfast City Centre

Jim Callaghan has been a Category One Golfer for over 45 years. Recently retired from Club Management, he now walks the fairways of some of the best golf courses in the UK, Ireland and Europe and writes about the experience of playing and staying at them for worldsbestgolfdestinations.com

Now in his 60’s, he is still carrying his bag, although maybe not for much longer!

If you would like Jim to write about your venue, email him at [email protected] or call him on 0044 (0) 78522 88732