Ballybunion (Old) – DG IRELAND 2021 – Editor, Kevin Markham
Sitting majestically on the Co. Kerry coastline, Ballybunion offers 36 holes of intrigue and brilliance. The Old course is revered but it wasn’t until Tom Watson’s rapturous endorsement rang around the world that the links became a bucket-list destination. Ballybunion has been basking in that glory ever since. And with good reason. Every shot on these hallowed fairways and sublime, new greens (2016) is links golf in its purest form. This is as natural a course as you could hope to find. Greens sit on high plateaus and in dells, fairways cascade between heaving shoulders and dunes squeeze greens like over-zealous bodyguards.
Ballybunion builds from a (relatively) calm start and then just explodes on the back nine to produce drama at every turn: few golfers will forget holes such as 11, 15 and 17… world beaters, every one.
Favourite Hole: The par four 11th gets the global plaudits but the 17th hits from the high dunes down towards the sea. It’s majestic.
What’s in the Bag? Links golf abilities are vital but it’s overcoming the five par threes that will define
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