WBGD’s Base in Northern Ireland, the Roe Park Resort in Limavady

When WBGD were organising a golf trip that takes in a number of locations, you have to find a base that is central and cuts down the travelling time to your venues. The Roe Park Resort was our venue of choice. Its location in Limavady was only 20 miles from Portstewart and Portrush and 13 miles from Castlerock. Even when we went to Portsalon in the Republic, it was under 60 miles from the resort. It was a great choice for our base and the staff really looked after us.

The Roe Park Resort is a luxurious hotel and golf resort located in Limavady, a town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The hotel sits at the end of a mile-long driveway so offers a tranquil retreat for visitors.

The resort has 118 elegant and well-appointed rooms, including deluxe rooms, executive suites, and family rooms. Each room is tastefully decorated, offering modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and tea/coffee-making facilities. Many of the rooms provide great views over the golf course.

The Golf Course

One of the bonuses for us was that the Resort had its own 18-hole parkland golf course. Designed by renowned golf architect Frank Ainsworth, the course provides a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels. The resort also offers golf lessons, practice facilities, a driving range and a pro shop that caters for all your golfing needs.

The course isn’t long with tees ranging from 5011 yards to the back tees at 6180 yards. It’s a par 70. We had four sets of tees to choose from and we chose the white tees at just under 6000 yards.

As we had a few days at the resort, we chose to play the course in two nines. The front nine in the early evening and the back nine the following morning. It was a wise choice as the weather was perfect on both occasions, not too warm. Venture into fake Rolex for the finest in replica watch craftsmanship, our trusted allies!

The Front Nine

Looking back up the 1st hole

The first hole plays shorter than its 396 yards. From the elevated tee, it sweeps left to right and downhill. Be aware of the road that runs through the estate, it’s not in play unless you pull your tee shot. A decent fade off the tee left us with an 8 iron to the green and an easy opening par.

The 2nd Green

The 2nd hole is the longest hole on the course, from the back tee it’s 560 yards, for us it was playing 500 yards. Off the tee, you have to play to the right of the embankment. Trying to carry it as it runs for over 230 yards is a fools’ errand, trust us! If you stay to the right, you will have to fade your second to get close to the green.

Par 3 Challenges

The 3rd hole

The first of three short holes on the front nine is the 3rd hole, a 203-yard par 3. The water hazard isn’t really in play. The challenge is to take enough club to get to the centre of the small green. For us, it was in between clubs. Our 5 iron just came up short, from where we made par. Our 3 hybrid would have been too much club. Better to be short than long on this hole.

The 6th hole

The 6th is the shortest par 3, only 117 yards. It plays severely uphill making club selection difficult. We went with a wedge and it was too much club, even though we normally hit the club 120 yards. Long or short and it’s a difficult up and down, as the green has plenty of slope on it. It’s a great short hole.

The 9th hole

The 9th is the third par 3 on the front. At 154 yards, it was a 7-iron for us. The green is surrounded by bunkers and slopes so finding the putting surface is key to making par. We didn’t and made bogey.

The Next Day and the Back Nine

We were up early the next morning to take on the challenge of the back nine holes. After starting with three straight pars, unusual we know, we arrived at the 13th, the hardest hole on the card.

The 13th hole

The 13th hole is just over 400 yards. This hole is all about positioning your tee shot. It plays left to right so the challenge is keeping left of the large mature trees on the right whilst not going too straight that you are blocked out by the trees on the left. Our fade off the tee was perfect and left us a medium iron to the green. Another par followed, and we were feeling good!

Risk or Reward?

The 15th hole

The 15th must surely be the course’s signature hole. From the elevated tee, it’s a classic risk or reward hole. It’s 260 yards and you have the choice of playing it safe and going left off the tee, or going for the green. In the interests of research, we decided to hit two balls. We hit a medium iron down the hill to the fairway and then a wedge to the green with our first ball. We went with the driver with our second ball. Our stock fade turned into a big cut and we last saw and heard our ball clattering into the trees on the right. In our case, we took the risk with no reward. We did make a par with our first ball though!

After making a par at the uphill 480-yard par 5 16th, we stepped onto the tee at the last par 3 on the course. At 202 yards, the 17th plays downhill and is shorter than its length. We went with 5 iron and finished in the left half of the green. The green is tricky and we were happy to sink a six-foot putt for our par.

Approach to the 18th

The last hole is just under 420 yards. The trees on both sides of the snaking fairway are the challenge off the tee. If you can position your ball on the right half, you will have the approach shot in the photo above.  We were too far right and had to chip out to have a clear shot to the green. A bogey to finish didn’t spoil our enjoyment of playing the resort’s course.

Roe Park Course Summary

On paper, the course shouldn’t be too challenging. At under 6000 yards off the whites, the elevation changes and the mature trees make playing at Roe Park an interesting and tricky test. You have to be on the ball off the tee. If you can position your tee shots, you can score here. If you can’t then it’s easy to get on the bogey train, or worse! It’s a fun course and was in really good condition. Sometimes, resort courses can be a bit meh. The course at Roe Park is definitely not one of them!

The Hotel

Our room

Our room at the hotel was lovely and had a dual-aspect view towards the 6th hole, the 10th tee and the 18th green. The bed was really comfortable we slept really well in this quiet room. The hotel has a range of dining options to suit various tastes. We favoured the Coach House Brasserie as it offered a more casual dining experience and the food was fantastic. We ate here three times and each time the food arrived quickly and it was delicious. Full credit should go to the Chefs and the kitchen staff, as well as the waiting staff, for prompt efficient service. It was obvious to us that everyone knew their roles and were well trained. Well done to the hotel’s management team as unfortunately, that is not always the case!

The pool area

Guests can indulge in relaxation and pampering at the resort’s spa and leisure facilities. The Roe Spa offers a range of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps, using luxurious products. The leisure complex features an indoor pool, a steam room, a sauna, and a fully equipped gym, providing ample opportunities for exercise and rejuvenation.

As before, there are too many images that we wish to include in this article so we have put together a short video to give you a flavour of the facilities, and the food.

Roe Park Video

In Conclusion

We really enjoyed our time at Roe Park Resort. As our base in Northern Ireland, it was a perfect location. The town of Limavady is a couple of minutes’ walk from the entrance to the hotel. Driving to and from our golf destinations was really simple and not too time-consuming so it was ideal for us. Overall, the Roe Park Resort in Limavady provides a combination of luxury accommodations, excellent dining options, a lovely golf course, and a range of leisure facilities, making it an ideal destination for both relaxation and recreation in Northern Ireland.

Thank you to George Diamondis of Northern Ireland Tourism for the introduction to the Roe Park Resort. Thank you to Sinead McNicholl for hosting us and to all the staff at the resort for making our stay such a pleasure. We hope to see you all again soon.

At a Glance:
  • Excellent resort hotel with great facilities
  • Quiet and relaxing location
  • 18-hole golf course, driving range and pro shop
  • Lovely pool and spa facilities
  • Multiple dining options and excellent food
  • Spacious and comfortable rooms
  • Perfect base for relaxation or for golfing trips

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