GAM Travel - International

 Southwest Ireland: June 23-30, 2019

Web Sites:

Old Head Golf Links www.oldhead.com
Tralee Golf Club www.traleegolfclub.com
Waterville Golf Links www.watervillegolflinks.ie
Ballybunion Golf Club www.ballybuniongolfclub.ie
Dooks Golf Links www.dooks.com
   
 
In terms of scenic beauty there's little that can beat the outlook of Ireland's southwest coast. Along this glorious coastline you will discover spectacular cliffs, high peaks and desolately beautiful headlands. What's more this shoreline offers rich Irish charm and tradition i.e. music, song, storytelling and world renowned Irish hospitality.
 
Old Head Golf Links
You may have walked the fairways of Augusta, maneuvered around the cliffs of Pebble Beach or witnessed the history of the Old Course at St. Andrews but rest assured that you have never seen a golf course as overwhelmingly striking as the Old Head of Kinsale. The 220 acre site of five par 3's, five par 5's and eight par 4's is configured as two returning loops of nine holes. Eight of the holes play directly along the cliff tops, providing an exhilarating test of golf and concentration. On a fine day, the Old Head can actually accommodate a fairly low return but the vagaries of the Atlantic winds ensure that the course offers a different challenge every day. Joe Carr, Irelands Most Famous Amateur Golfer, once commented "The Old Head will in my estimation rate with the great golf courses of the world. Its location, its scenic reality and spectacular terrain remind me of Cypress Point and Pebble Beach. I see Old Head as a golfer's paradise and it has the potential of being the eighth wonder of the world, in golfing terms." Strong words but accurate indeed.
 
Tralee Golf Club
Representing the first European design of Arnold Palmer, Tralee Golf Club in southwestern Ireland is one of the most spectacularly beautiful golf courses you will ever encounter. And while beauty often masks certain deficiencies in a golf course, that is certainly not the case with Tralee. Having completed his masterpiece, Palmer commented: "I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course. I am happy that we have one of the world's great links here". Tralee is one of those courses where it is difficult to concentrate on your game due to the breathtaking nature of the scenery but you will nevertheless note that the course offers countless superb holes. Best on the front nine include the doglegging par five 2nd hole, which measures over 590 yards from the championship tees and plays directly along the Atlantic Ocean to the right; and the relatively short par four 8th hole, which again requires a brave tee shot skirting with a watery grave on the left and requiring a pinpoint approach to a target sloping wickedly from right to left. Brace yourself for one of the finest homeward stretches in golf. Each hole from the 10th to the 18th provides an unforgettable experience. When playing your second shot to the 12th green, you will quickly realize why it's rated the most difficult on the course. Assuming you have hit a good drive, a huge depression from which there is no escape lurks to the left, while there is literally nowhere to land your ball other than on the green. The short par three 13th over what is best described as "trouble" is all about trusting your club selection, while the longer par three 16th requires a well struck mid to long iron from an elevated tee to a green cleverly protected by bunkers and perched directly beside the Atlantic Ocean.
 
Waterville Golf Links
Since opening in 1973, Waterville has enjoyed great popularity and has hosted some of the world's leading professionals from Faldo and Floyd to Stewart, O'Meara and Woods, all of whom have been captivated by the course. Raymond Floyd subsequently wrote of his experience: "this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen it has some of the finest links holes I have ever played". In September of 1994, Waterville's favourite son, John A. Mulcahy, passed away and as requested, his ashes were buried on the famous "Mulcahy's Peak", the par three 17th at Waterville. The front nine holes, which were designed to contrast with the more rugged and exposed closing stretch, begin with the chillingly named "Last Easy", a fairly ironic name given the fact that it's not really that simple. Then again, given the quality of the remaining 17 holes, it probably deserves its title. Each hole at Waterville is a wonderful experience, with the 2nd and 3rd holes, both par fours, being particularly impressive. And while the par three, 17th is probably Waterville's feature hole, most would agree with Gary Player when he described the 11th as "the most beautiful and satisfying par five of them all". Running 500 yards through a narrow passage of huge dunes, this hole fully deserves its name "Tranquility". The late Henry Cotton, three times British Open Champion, probably said it best when he commented: "Waterville has to be one of the greatest golf courses ever built. If it were located in Britain, it would undoubtedly be a venue for the British Open. I have never seen a more consistent succession of really strong and beautiful golf holes than here."
 
Ballybunion Golf Club - Old Course
The Old Course at Ballybunion is a true seaside links, virtually treeless with a distinct lack of man made influences. There is certainly a wild look to the course, making it appear intimidating, yet the truth is that the course is eminently fair. The contours on the fairways and greens are what make Ballybunion a great golf course. The golfer is required to play accurate approach shots to the greens, usually to a small target with not a lot of space to miss left or right. Considering the profound influence that Ballybunion has made on Tom Watson, it is perhaps fitting to end with his thoughts "It's a course you will always enjoy and never tire of playing...In short, Ballybunion is a course on which many golf architects should live and play before they build a golf course. I consider it a true test of golf."
 
Dooks Golf Links
Truly a hidden gem, the course is situated in a corner of Dingle Bay. Golf has been played in Dooks since 1889 which makes it one of the ten oldest golf links in Ireland.  For the golfer who is seeking a beautiful and tranquil environment to enjoy great golf, Dooks present a convincing case. Dooks is not as exposed as some Irish courses and features an amazing variety of gorse, heather and wild flowers, the ‘gentle’ wind is never far away and the narrow sandy fairways and well contoured greens offer you a real taste of traditional links golf at its very best. In 2002, renowned architect, Martin Hawtree implemented a redesign of the course which was completed in 2006. The new Hawtree design put Dooks in the forefront of Links Golf and its reputation for excellent golf in a magical setting with a renowned friendly atmosphere is the envy of golf clubs worldwide and remains to this day one of Ireland’s leading golf links. Following a round of golf, one’s day is made better with a visit to the Natterjack Pub, truly one of the finest available.


This site has been optimized for use with the latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome.
Using unsupported browsers or browser versions, or disabling browser features, such as Javascript or cookies, may reduce site functionality or performance.