TRUMP INTERNATIONAL IRELAND - Doonbeg GC - Doonbeg is a new links on some of Ireland’s most attractive dunes, with a highly acclaimed design by Greg Norman. In the winter of 2015 it was drastically altered by Martin Hawtree after a series of storms damaged the coastline, with the changes have been described as a significant improvement. Recently rebranded “Trump International Ireland”, Doonbeg plays along 1.5 miles of beach and dunes and is a “camera must” course because of the many gorgeous views. The ocean is visible from the green, fairway, or tee of 16 of the 18 holes. The par 72 layout features a single loop of nine holes out and nine back and it plays 6,800 yards from the back tees. The crescent beach view is excellent, and make sure to pick the right set of tees due to some forced carries off several tees. Some carts are available, but a caddie must drive the cart because of sensitive environmental areas.
DOOKS GOLF CLUB - Dooks is a traditional links course with a unique character that must be seen to be believed. A classic links course and considered one of the great “sleeper courses” in Ireland! Close to Killarney, Dooks is an an excellent golf option while in Kerry and golf has been played here since 1889. The par 70 golf course is set out on one of three stretches of sand-dunes at the head of the bay. It plays much longer than the scorecard suggests! And so, for the golfer who is seeking a beautiful and tranquil environment to enjoy good golf, Dooks presents a convincing case. Hole number 13 best illustrates the charm and magic of Dooks, because it is a throwback to the time when golf began. A good course with carts available, make sure to give it a whirl while in County Kerry.
Waterville Golf Club - This is an outstanding links, overlooking Ballinskegs Bay, and was once proclaimed “the most heavenly hell on earth”. Sometimes Waterville is ranked in the world top 100, and always it’s ranked in the top 2 or 3 courses by visitors on a southwest Ireland golf holiday. At Waterville, the earth, sky, mountains, ocean and the ever-present teasing winds combine to excite the senses. Golf in Waterville owes its beginnings to a foreign influence. It gained initial impetus from the laying of the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable and then the workers who came to Waterville in the 1800’s. With so many men stationed in such a remote location, it was inevitable that their minds would turn to sport and recreation. Golf was undoubtedly featured on the agenda from the 1800’s forward. The course features a nice statue in tribute to former Captain Payne Stewart, and the course was tuned up by Tom Fazio in 2005, to much world acclaim. Tiger Woods has often practiced for the British Open at Waterville. Access to Waterville is by means of the scenic Ring of Kerry route (half way around) making it a spectacular sightseeing day. Some carts are available or plenty of caddies.
OLD HEAD OF KINSALE GOLF CLUB - Near the fairytale village of Kinsale is a new links built on the cliffs with 14 out of 18 ocean holes. “Spectacular beyond belief” is how the site of Old Head GC has been described and the course is easily the most remarkable golf project in Europe in the last twenty years. In fairness, it has 6 great holes, 6 average holes, and 6 others. Therefore, the course is better just than average but sitting on world class real estate. But what a setting!!! Situated 45 minutes from Cork Airport, the course sits on a tiny peninsula, almost completely surrounded by water and alongside the old lighthouse and castle ruins. The Erainn Celtic people worshipped this area, dating back before Christ, and built a castle on this magnificent jetty of land. A camera is a must here and non-golfers would enjoy the walk too! A magnificent new clubhouse was built, discreet on the outside but gorgeous on the inside, with the interior decorated in fossil antiques. On the cover of Links Magazine, some years ago, Old Head was described as the ‘most extraordinary golf course on earth.’ Remember to bring your camera!