Golfing In Kerry, An Unbelievable Experience Of Golf At Its Best.



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If Golf had a heart; it would be in County Kerry. It beats loudest here looking out to the Atlantic Ocean, in the gorse with the lakes across the way, the mountains above and the hills far away. It is the only place on earth where the man above relaxes with a pleasant round of golf.


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Golfing in Kerry is an experience to be savoured and not forgotten.

County Kerry boasts some of the finest- and most challenging – golf courses in Ireland.

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From links courses to driving over lakes and rivers county Kerry has a golf course to challenge and torment the Tiger Woods amongst us and enable you to really enjoy the 19th hole.

Our first stop for a pleasant round is:

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Ring of Kerry Golf & Country Club




Famed for its spectacular scenery, its VIP playing guest list and the intoxicating hospitality of the Kerry people, the Ring of Kerry Golf and Country Club provides the perfect venue for any discerning golfer visiting Ireland’s South West.

This par 72-championship course, nestling between two mountain ranges and overlooking Kenmare Bay, has to be seen to be believed

Just 6Km from Kenmare, the gourmet capital of Ireland, and some 40 minutes from Killarney, this is a world-class course designed for players of all abilities and boasting superb views across the bay, with the Kerry Mountains providing a dramatic backdrop.

Testing holes abound around this spectacular course, one of the best reckoned to be the 6th on the outward nine, called “Ladies View.” On the homeward journey, notable holes include the two par threes and the par four 14th. Play it and see for yourself.



Already acclaimed by many players to be the finest new course in the country, the golf management course design and resort development company, Universal Golf Consulting Ltd, is investing heavily in the club to further enhance existing services and facilities.

The development incorporates a new practice area including a state of the art covered driving range, practice bunker and chipping/pitching green- and very thoughtful and welcomed provision of a “half-way house” offering refreshments!



Ballybunion Golf Club




Contact:

Ballybunion Golf Club

Ballybunion New +353 (0 68 27146

Ballybunion Old +353 (0)68 27146

Since golf is a state of mind over muscle and a great day on the links is exhilarating, it is in my view that memorable fairways tend not to be decorated with artificial lakes that are fun only to ducks and golf ball manufacturers.

Some of the best courses look natural, even though they may have been helped along by a skilful architect such as Colt, Hawtree or Mackenzie. And in the Emerald Isle, it is entirely appropriate that, back in 1906, a certain Mr Murphy built Ballybunion on the South West Coast of Ireland.

Ballybunion Golf Course is located on the north west coast of County Kerry, on a beautiful stretch of sand dunes overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There you will find two wonderfully challenging and unique links golf courses, the Old Course and the Cashen Course. Believe me, there are few greater adventures waiting to be tackled and not to play on this old course is a crime.

The Old Course exudes a majestic feel that simply cannot be compared to any other course on earth. With beautifully contoured fairways that tumble down through a blanket of grassy dunes, it's no wonder these challenging holes have been consistently rated among the top courses in the world.

The Old Course has mesmerized guests for decades, a tribute to its embodiment of the game's greatest traits. The 402-yard 11th hole is widely heralded as one of the finest par 4s in the world, while the long par-3 No. 15 is both remarkably scenic and treacherous.

The Trent Jones Cashen Course, located along the sweeping, undisturbed shoreline, offers breathtaking views throughout. There is a wild look to the place. Long grass covers the dunes that pitch and roll throughout the course.

The par-72, 6,306-yard course is one of the most challenging in Ireland. Bold and flirtatious, it requires acute precision off the tee and into the greens. Wildly undulating with breathtaking views throughout, the Cashen Course is consistently rated among the best modern layouts in Great Britain and Ireland by Golfweek.

Whatever your choice, every hole, every hazard and every shot is defined by nature's infinite presence.

In an American list of the worlds top 100 courses, Ballybunion is there at number “8” and the reason is simple: it probably represents the ultimate links on as wild a stretch as you will find.

The Atlantic waves crash into the shore and no golfer will ever feel closer to nature as he hunts his ball and flights it through crosswinds and breathtaking views.

This course is a star even in a part of Ireland that has wall-to-wall golf courses of the highest calibre. The experience of taking on this classic will be remembered as long as you live.

There are now two courses in Ballybunion, separated only by a 19th hole that has heard all the wondrous stories before, as well as hosting such great names as Tom Watson, five times winner of the Open.

Tom Watson can’t speak highly enough of the place and claims that before anyone builds a golf course, first they should play Ballybunion.

The Old Course exudes a majestic feel that simply cannot be compared to any other course on earth. With beautifully contoured fairways that tumble down through a blanket of grassy dunes, it's no wonder these challenging holes have been consistently rated among the top courses in the world.




Ballyheigue Castle Golf Club




Contact:

Ballyheigue County Kerry Ireland

Phone(s): +353 (0) 66 713 3555 Fax: +353 (0) 66 713 3934

Website: ballyheiguecastlegolfclub.com

Ballyheigue Castle Golf Club, which was opened in 1996, is situated situated in mature woodland, in middle of the North Kerry village of Ballyheigue and was designed and built around the ruins of the 18th century ruins of Ballyheigue Castle.

Overlooking the magnificent white sands of Ballyheigue Beach, with the Brandon Mountains in the distant background, it is laid out on 100 acres of beautiful rolling parkland. Challenging holes, ranging from 185 to 534yd, will satisfy the demands of the best golfers.

The first 9 holes were commissioned by Ballyheigue Development Association as part of a review and strategic development plan to lengthen their tourism season in the village, as well as providing a much needed local amenity.

The golf course has subsequently gone into private ownership and the membership has grown significantly.

Additional holes have been designed by Roger Jones and added to the golf course. In the near future it is proposed to carry out further work to complete the 18 hole golf course.

Prior to the opening of the golf course, during an inspection by the regional golfing union official, it was described as having 2 good holes and seven fantastic ones!

Ballyferriter Golf Club




Contact: 066 56255

Ballyferriter Golf Club is the most Westerly golf course in Europe and has a magnificent scenic location. It is a traditional links course with beautiful turf, many bunkers a stream that comes into play on 14 holes and , usually, a prevailing wind.

Castlegregory Golf Club




Contact: 066 39444

Castlegregory Golf Club is a links course sandwiched between the sea and a fresh water lake surrounded by mountains on two sides. The 3rd hole is visually superb with a 365 yard drive into the wind.

In 1896 an 18 hole course opened for the first time at a location half way between Dingle and Tralee. it later declined due to the long train journey from tralee.

The present club was founded in 1989. It is a 9 hole links course sited between a fresh water lake, lough Gill and the sea, Brandon Bay overlooked by Stradbally Mountain and Beenoskee.

Below is an independent assesment of the course:

Situated half way between Dingle and Tralee, this 9 hole golf course will satisfy the demands of Golfers of all handicaps.

The opening par 5 with the beautiful lake with swans on the right side gives you just a test of what's ahead, the lake coming into play on every shot for the opener as the green is a semi island.

The 2nd par 3 Green is situated on a hill some 180 yards away which you must get up to give yourself a chance of par or birdie, one of the other par 3's is also like this. If you don't make it, the wispy sand dune rough can be unforgiving, you may need to take a provisional.

On one of the holes you tee off adjacent to one of the most gorgeous stretches of beach in Europe overlooking Brandon Bay with crashing waves riddled with surfers during the summer.

In a sense its good that the course is only 9 holes at present as if you are visiting you get a chance to have another go and learn from the 1st 9 the careful tactics needed to have a reasonable round at this course.

The 9th for example is a par 3 all over water, the warning sign explains how the Toads must not be disturbed by retrieving your ball if it gets wet.

While in the area take a look at the Maharees peninsula, its many pubs and roadside restaurants / cafe's, plenty of guest house and Bed and Breakfasts to enable you to stay in this wonderful part of Ireland. Jonh Kennedy (j.kennedy@mcalpine-mace.com)

Great course! Very challenging. Fantastic views. Bring some extra balls! I probably enjoyed my golf more than the swans on the side of the first fairway! The probably still remember my slice. Rene Algera (rene@iolfree.ie) 02/02

Super course. A gentle par 5 opener (unless you are a slicer in which case the lake definitely comes into play). The par 3's are challenging and can be monstrous when played into wind.

The par 4's each have their own character and run among big dunes. The view from the 6th tee across the bay is superb. The 7th deserves its stroke index; you must take care to place your drive in exactly the right spot, and then you are left with a long approach over intervening dunes. Well worth a visit. Steve Hames, Hdcp 18 (HamesS@logica.com) 02/01

Beautiful course, full of character, spectacular and challenging Ray Waters r.waters@swansea.ac.uk 4/99

This course is great! It really helps if you can keep your ball in the fairway! Very nice location, by the sea. Dan Burke (danb@transatlan.com) 11/98.

Glenbeigh Golf Club DOOKS



Contact: 06668205

Glenbeigh Golf Club, otherwise known as “Dooks” is an old established course on the sea shore between the Kerry Mountains and Dingle Bay. Sand dunes are a Feature (the name Dooks is a derivation of the Gaelic word for sand bank). The course offers a fine challenge in a superb Ring of Kerry location.

Golf has been played at Dooks since 1889. It was introduced to the local aristocracy by officers from the Royal Horse Artillery attending compulsory training at the nearby Glenbeigh Artillery Range.

The golf course is set out on one of three stretches of sand dunes at the head of the Dingle Bay. In the fore ground are the sand-dunes peninsulas of Rossbeigh and Inch, and just a few miles away the whitewashed houses of Cromane Fishing Village provide an eye catching distraction.

South eastwards are the famed McGillicuddys Reeks. To the south-west are the lovely Cooms and hills of Glenbeigh and across the bay to the north are the Slieve Mish Mountains.

Traditional Clubhouse - bar, restaurant, ladies and gent changing rooms. Casual but neat dress requested.

Directions Just off the N70, between Killarney and Wateryille.

But I will not tell you what DOOKS is like to play on, let these happy golfers tell you themselves.

"It was a dreamlike experience, playing over the rolling hills and guessing often wrongly, which hollow would harbour a green" Peter Doberiner.

"Dooks is maybe the loveliest little golf club in the world. Certainly I have never been more totally surrounded by superb scenery than at Dooks" David Davies, The Guardian.

"Dooks is a rare gem. As such, it has a special place in the annals of links golf and must be preserved at all costs.

Its character typifies the true meaning of what this form of the game should represent.

It exists to give enjoyment and challenge without resorting to undue length." David Steele, Golf Course Architect.

Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, Killeen




Telephone:

+353 (0)64 6631034

Fax:

+353 (0)64 6633065

Email:

reservations@killarney-golf.com

Website: www.killarney-golf.com

Address: Killarney Golf And Fishing Club, Mahoney's Point, Killarney, Co Kerry, Republic of Ireland

Many travellers in Ireland lucky enough to play the Killeen Course at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club return with slightly under whelming reports about the inland, parkland-style course, perhaps because the experience there is akin to those of a great course they're used to playing back home rather than the thrilling Irish links.

But anything less than a fabulous review of the Killarney G&FC course is misguided. It provides a wonderful and demanding round and deserves a heaping helping of respect, even if the wind is whipping down from the nearby MacGillycuddy Reeks - the Emerald Isle's largest mountain range - rather than off the shores of the Atlantic Ocean or the Irish Sea.

It's hard to find a more stunning setting for golf anywhere in the world, so much so that the layout carries the nicknames of "heavens reflex" and the "nearest golf club to Heaven."

The backdrop of the course is Carrauntoohil, the highest mountain in Ireland, and a handful of its holes are played on and over Lough Leane, the largest freshwater lake in the southwest corner of the island nation.

Killarney is a private club - that like most Irish courses accepts outside tee times - which is set just west of its charming, namesake town in County Kerry.

The facility is unique in that it's considered the only true "lakeside" golf club in the country and, with that designation, has attributes of both seaside links and inland courses.

The Killeen Course is the flagship layout of the club's three layouts (the others are Mahoney’s Point and Lackabane) and is a true gem. Killeen has hosted five Irish Opens, most recently in 2009 and '10. It has also held many major and minor championships as well, including the 1996 Curtis Cup matches.

Golf at the Killarney G&FC dates back to 1893, but the Killeen course was fashioned in 1972 by Billy O'Sullivan and Fred Hawtree and was the second of the three layouts built at the club.

David Jones updated the course ahead of the 1991 Irish Open - won by Nick Faldo over Colin Montgomery, and in 2006 Killeen was again renovated, this time by Tom Mackenzie, who added new tees, bunkers and yardage.

During the redo, the greens on the holes skirting the lake were quickened and moved closer to the water, making Killeen imposing, yet highly enjoyable.

The Inland Holes are the Toughest

The Killeen Course plays to a par of 72 with a 35-37 routing; there's one par-5 on the front nine and just one par-3 on the back. It stretches 7,181 yards from the backset of four tees; be forewarned that the stroke-saver "yardage" book is in meters.

Despite its proximity to the mountains, Killeen occupies mostly flat ground with no more than 40 feet of roll on its entire expanse. The lake enters play on Nos. 1, 3 and 4. Then the routing turns inland before skirting the water again on the 10th, which plays straight towards the water.

These tree-lined fairways can seem confining (especially from the tips), but they are actually quite generous. Some of the holes adjacent to the lake are exposed to fickle winds and, when the lake is not in play, ponds and burns often are; water is a factor on 11 of the 18 holes.

The opener is a 378-yard par-4 with a slight dogleg-right fairway that hugs the lake and sports a 100-yard-long bunker between the short grass and the water. The lake and a marsh are worth noting on the testy 200-yard, par-3 third, whose tee box offers a commanding view of the water, mountains and a small island upon which a 17th Century monastery was built.

The stunning vistas continue at the 417-yard, par-4 fourth, which starts - from the rearmost tee - on a tiny promontory and extends over a marsh to very narrow, rightward-sloping fairway alongside the shores of the lake. A thick tree line down the left side provides no relief as the approach is to a multi-tiered green that juts into the lake, making this one of Killeen's toughest holes.

The 452-yard par-4, dogleg-right fifth turns sharply to a putting surface virtually hidden behind a cluster of trees and guarded by a large bunker right. A creek runs along the right side of the fairway to about 220 yards, and along the left at about the 270-yard mark is a large tree. If you can avoid these obstacles, you're still left with a second shot considered one of the most bestial in all of Ireland.

The 410-yard, par-4 eighth offers one of Killeen's most scenic tee shots. The elevated block is hidden back in the woods and the drive has to split a narrow chute through trees. The approach must avoid a creek that enters before the green from the left.

Killeen's best holes are found in a stretch beginning with the 485-yard, par-5 11th and extend to the 371-yard par-4 14th. No. 11 (played as a lengthy two-shotter at the Irish Open) is deceptively difficult; it's straight and wide and forgiving until reaching its elevated, three-tiered green, which is protected by a lone bunker at the front-right.

The 12th (a 447-yard par-4) is also wide and enticing, but players must beware of the dual deep bunkers on the left in the prime landing area and three more guarding the front flanks of the green.

Arguably the best hole on Killeen is the 500-yard, par-4 13th, where thick rough lines both sides of a runway-like fairway that is flat until it dips into a dale bearing a creek. From there, the hole shoots upward to a green surrounded by trees.

Players that drop a shot on the 13th have a chance to get it right back on the 386-yard, par-4 14th, which moves slightly downhill and rightward around "Turkey Oak," a 200-year-old tree that is the oldest on the course. From the landing area, the fairway rises modestly to an elevated and well-bunkered target.

The closer at Killeen is a 439-yard par-4 that moves slightly to the left from a landing area squeezed on the left by a wide creek and right by three bunkers. A pond impinges the left side of its raised green, further squeezed front-right by a deep bunker, all set in the shade of Killarney's stately clubhouse.

Admittedly, the experience at the Killeen Course does not compare with the one at famed Irish coastal links such as Ballybunion or Lahinch, nor does it try to. Instead, players here can enjoy inland golf at one of Europe's best and most noted venues.

For more info on Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, go to Killarney Golf Club.





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