Ballybunion Golf Club
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Ballybunion, 11, Ireland
The location of the two links courses here may be remote (Ireland's west coast), but its fame and respect are not.
The Old Course here is the most famous, opened in 1893 pretty much as God left the terrain, although the English architect Tom Simpson did some "finishing work" to the course in 1936. Robert Trent Jones Sr.'s Cashen Course (ca. 1982) is, according to the club, more spectacular, brutal, and unforgiving. During the winter of 2015-16, all 18 greens here will be mapped, t... [more]
Average Hole Difficulty
aglazier - 7/1/11
Old Course: On the #2 hole I hit a drive of only about 220 yards (not good considering how much roll you get on the links style courses.
The second shot on #2 is considered the toughest shot on the golf course. I had an approach shot of 180 yards straight UP, UP, UP the hill through two gigantic dunes to a green surrounded by bunkers. I stiffed a hybrid to a back right pin location to about 8 feet. Almost had a birdie on the #1 handicap hole except that the putt never broke left.
I was playing great until about 7th hole where the course switched direction and headed straight back into a heavy wind (25-35 mph?) for what seemed like the rest of the round.
This was the most dramatic of all the links courses I played in terms of the size of the dunes and the influence the wind has on the shots. #7 and number #11 in particular with the ocean on the right were insane with a stiff wind in the face.
For both courses, I was disappointed in the quality of the greens. They were only in average condition. When I play courses with green fees this expensive in the States, the greens are perfect.
Cashen Course: Despite what the critics and locals say, the Cashen Course is every bit as good as the Old Course, it just doesn't have its history. The shots are even more dramatic since there is more elevation change.
It is unbelievable that I hit every fairway but one on this tight, narrow course. The course was a lot like Lost Canyons but with tall fescue grass paralleling each hole.
Great course, but I can see how some people would call it unfair and contrived. Had a birdie on the toughest par 5 and made par on the second toughest par 5. Sweet birdie on the signature 16th too.
Greens were fairly slow, but tons of unjulation. Conditions weren't as good as I would have expected them to be considering the green fee.
cboeing - 8/29/09
murphy22 - 6/23/09
pcgracey - 4/27/09
Best Score: 77
Old / White