Set in mature parkland, Portarlington Golf Club in Portarlington, County Laois is well known as one of the friendliest clubs in the region. Not that the course itself is friendly. The closing holes are particularly tough: a 353-yard, par-4 No. 16 that features the river barrow; the signature No. 17, a par 3 with narrow fairways and a large green; and the 380-yard No. 18, where you have to thread the needle with a narrow gap off the tee shot. Amenities at Portarlington Golf Club include a full bar, catering facilities with a large balcony and a stocked pro shop.