Ballyliffin Golf Club, Co Donegal
Two outstanding, contrasting links course and 36 wonderful holes make up Ballyliffin Golf Club. The Old Links undulates in the glory of its natural terrain, presenting an immensely enjoyable challenge to every golfer. Work recently undertaken by Nick Faldo and Faldo design on the Old Links has refined and improved this fantastic course. The new Glashedy Links is fashioned around the incredible dunes, and is already notorious for its peat riveted bunkers and its opening three challenging par fours. The expansive panoramic views of countryside, coastline and ocean savoured by these magnificent links course will not easily be forgotten.
The Glashedy layout is intertwined with the Old course, the holes weaving their way through the wild dunes. It’s a supremely challenging golf course which stretches out more than 7,200 yards, with nine brutal par fours in excess of 400 yards. You really do need to be on top of your game to play to handicap. The huge greens, with some frightening undulations, are well protected by bunkers; three putting can be alarmingly frequent.
The Old is a classic links, with fairways that pitch and roll through wild dunes. This is links golf at its most traditional, where the perfect drive will often find an awkward lie. If you are afflicted with a lack of balance, you will struggle, because you’ll rarely get a flat stance. There are many memorable holes on the Old course, but the 190-yard par three 5, called “The Tank”, will stick in the mind for a very long time. It’s an intimidating tee shot to an elevated plateau, almost stage-like green that is surrounded by dunes. The Glashedy course has recently upstaged the Old, but don’t make a trip to County Donegal without playing it. Both courses contrast and complement each other supremely well. But for the true links purist, the Old course is the one.
Old Links (par-71)
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