Mount Falcon Island, Ireland

Mount Falcon Island, Ireland

Despite coming to the Mount Falcon Estate resort to escape the rigors of the Tour, Tiger Woods and Mark O’Meara were anything but subdued once they sat down to dinner. Barely eating, they vigorously debated the “pound for pound” fighting prowess of Atlantic salmon compared with Steelhead trout.

An idyllic 100-acre enclave close to western Ireland’s serene River Moy legendary for angling, the Falcon was the ideal historic manor house to stir such fervent banter. A baronial, wooden-beamed structure once used primarily as a nobleman’s “country pursuits” refuge, the Falcon provides guests with two miles of private fishing on both banks of the Moy, falconry, a golf driving range, a lounge stocked with Cuban cigars and a dozen championship golf courses within a one-hour drive of the property.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the thrill of the Estate. Woods and O’Meara were in high spirits as they left the farm-to-table The Kitchen Garden Restaurant. Woods jumped onto O’Meara’s shoulders, and acting like two young boys, they frolicked outside the 32-room country house, tumbling down the expansive lawn.

“Woods, John Cook, Scott McCarron, Nick Faldo, U2 band members, Joe Biden, they’ve all come here to switch off their minds, to have fun in this relatively undiscovered part of Ireland,” exalts the Falcon’s owner Alan Maloney. “Here jewel links courses are half the price of famous southwest [Irish] courses, and our having 15,000 salmon in the Moy is exceptional.”

Situated in a woodlands flecked with walking trails near the rugged ocean cliffs along the Wild Atlantic Way, this countryside haven is only a 1 ½ hour drive from Shannon Airport.

Once known as The Castle, one of the premier fishing and shooting lodges in Ireland, the 1876-built Falcon still honors that noble history by pampering guests with luxury lodges, two spacious suites, and a variety of rejuvenating, highly fulfilling activities. You can walk with a hawk on a gloved fist through the estate’s owl-studded woodlands or wander the the restaurant’s three-acre garden, with its array of purple asparagus, cucamelon, edible flowers and beehives. A tour offers insights into the farm-to-table phenomenon, and is the perfect prelude to dining amid the nooks and crannies of The Castle’s original kitchen.

The Falcon also provides supreme golf. If tangling with gusty winds, tall sea grasses and fear-inducing carries over cliffs is your idea of pleasure, you’ll love to play here. On the beachside, Rosses Point Sligo is dotted with raised greens, burns, towering dunes and engulfing bunkers. Carne is beset by raging winds. Enniscrone affords sweeping views of the ocean.

Yet relief is never far here. The therapeutic spa and 17-meter indoor heated pool is one sort of cure-all. The intimate, wooden-beamed Boathole Bar, enlivened by typical Irish good cheer, offers its own elixirs. In this peaceful, fireplace-glowing sanctuary, premium whiskeys and Montecristos punctuate a day’s explorations, allowing imaginations to soar majestically and unfettered like a falcon.