Old Course at Ballybunion Golf Club
A singular links, spectacular in every way.
There are courses you want to play — you undoubtedly have a list and it’s probably long. Then there are courses you must play; without experiencing them, your’re incomplete as a golfer. There are only a handful of these around the world, and Ballybunion is without question one of them. Why? It’s unsurpassed in it’s mix of fun, challenge, and majesty. Unique holes that skirt towering dunes and the awesome, crashing sea below. It’s hard, but it’s a rewarding punishment. If you had one round left in your life, you couldn’t do much better than to play it at Ballybunion.
Spectacular green sites and dramatic drives from tees set high above the beach make for a thrilling challenge especially with a strong wind blowing off the Atlantic. A lovely design with position being essential off the tee….Links golf simply doesn’t get much better (if at all) than this.Today's Golfer
The 11th is perhaps the most dramatic, most awesome, most frightening and most memorable hole in golf. The small tee clings to the top of a sand dune with a 50-foot drop to the beach and the Shannon Estuary below. The view is breathtaking: Off to the right, the coastline curves away and right before you are 449 yards of roller coaster fairway. You must skirt the cliff on the right to find a small piece of fairway between the sandhill and the sea. The approach shot is over a deep valley of fairway through a narrow gap between two more sand hills to a green the size of a large manhole cover. Not a single bunker was necessary to protect it.Links Magazine
Ballybunion has always been great, but it wasn’t until they relocated the clubhouse in 1971 to the southern end that it became thrilling. The move turned the old finish of anticlimactic back-to-back par 5s, into the fourth and fifth holes, and shifted the new closing holes to ones in spectacular dunes just north of the intersection of the Shannon River and the Atlantic Ocean.Golf Digest
The opening holes provide a relatively slow start to the round with little to hint at the drama to come. From the 7th, however, the course really takes off as you embark on a rollercoaster ride through the dunes. Some holes cling to the cliff-top while others elbow their way through the sandhills.Golf Monthly
What To Know
Yardage & Tees
When to Play
April through July are the driest months, while the warmest temperatures can be found May through October. Winds will be a little calmer during the summer. Any time the course is open is a fine time to play Ballybunion, with May-July giving you the best odds for nice weather.
Greens fees last verified January 2020. View them on ballybuniongolfclub.com
Visitor Tee Times
Rentals & Caddies
Clubs are available to rent for €45.
Electric pull carts are available for €15.
Other Things To Know
Year Built: 1893 (but the course has evolved significantly over the decades)
Architects: Tom Simpson had the largest impact in 1936, but the course has evolved before and after Tom’s work .
Course guide: Ballybunion has an online course guide here.
Playing ability: Men should have a handicap of 24 or
less (men) or 36 or less (ladies).