Faldo buys his island

Could be a new course for the major champion in County Mayo retreat

Bob Warters's picture
Mon, 3 Nov 2003

Faldo buys his island

Six time major champion Nick Faldo has bought his own island – and may create his own golf courses on it.

Bartragh Island, 360-acres of spectacular dunes on the Atlantic coast of County Mayo in the west of Ireland, nestles in Killala Bay, with only the River Moy separating it from the mainland.

Salmon thrive in the estuary and Faldo says he aims to show the locals how to play golf in return for a few tips on fishing - his favourite hobby.

He first visited Mayo in 1997 and was immediately captivated by the island and its dramatic setting and now believes there may be the potential for his company, Faldo Design, to create an exceptional links course on the island.

"Perhaps it could be the best and most unique in the world," says Faldo, who’s aware of the area’s ecological status.

"The golf links I envisage would be essentially ‘hand-crafted’, a return to how courses were created long ago; it is an incredible site and it would not be a case of building a course so much as ‘discovering’ it."

"It would be wonderful to restore the Bartragh House and our plans would be appropriately ‘low key’ and extremely sensitive to the environment.

"And they will only be finalised after we have consulted fully with Mayo County Council and other interested groups in Killala, Ballina and the surrounding area," says Faldo, who wants to create something for the local community to benefit from and enjoy.

"My personal dream is to come here often to relax with my family."

In the mid 1990s it was rumoured Faldo wanted to buy the course at Ballyliffin – but allegedly the locals turned down him down.