The Clubhouse

Ballybunion Old Course review

The Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club is Irish links at its best. Join us as we review the signature holes of this Robert Trent Jones masterpiece.

Billy Dunstall
Billy Dunstall
4 mins read
IrelandUK & IrelandBucket listLinks

Ballybunion's Old Course is one of the most famous links courses in Europe. It is a natural gem, a thing of rare beauty. No less a person than Tom Watson said of it: 'Nobody can call themselves a golfer until they have played at Ballybunion; you would think the game originated there'.

The 1st hole, which is 408 yards long, features out of bounds on the right. The ideal line is tight left, but pot bunkers await, while a sharply contoured green is protected by a further four bunkers.

Old Course, Ballybunion Golf Club

The 5th is a real test, a 560-yard par 5, with bunkers all over the hole, including two slap bang in the middle of the fairway and others left and right. Take a deep breath.

The 9th, a par 4 at 462 yards, features a narrow fairway and only one bunker, located in a dune 50 yards short of the green. A slope leads up to the putting surface - failure to hit the approach far enough will see the ball rolling back down off the slope.

The 12th is a par 3 measuring 214 yards, with the beach to the left. The green is elevated so the key is to take one club more than you think you need.

Old Course, Ballybunion Golf Club

The 15th is another beautiful hole, a par 3 that is 216 yards long. Again, the beach sits to the left. The tee-shot is played to a two-tier green protected by four bunkers. The 18th is a wonderful closing hole, measuring 382 yards, and featuring a huge fairway bunker. The second shot is played uphill to a long, narrow green protected by bunkers.

Feeling inspired?
Ballybunion's Old Course is a supreme test of golf. Be sure to plan a stop on your next Irish golf break.


Billy Dunstall avatar
Billy Dunstall

Senior UK Travel Consultant

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