Global Edition

More acclaim for Norman’s Doonbeg links

12.30am 13th January 2003 - Course Development

Doonbeg Golf Club has been honoured by the editors of Golf Digest as the “Best New International Course of 2002,” the latest in a torrent of critical praise since the Irish links opened six months ago.

“Doonbeg looks and plays like it has been there for a hundred years,” writes Ron Whitten, Golf Digest’s architecture editor, in the magazine’s February issue. “Fairways pitch and roll with every ridge and rumple of the earth. The green contours are also lay-of-the-land and the bunkers are hand-dug, some edged by tall layers of stacked sod, others by shaggy tufts of native grass. The result is a genuine Irish links of unexpected breaks, unanticipated results and undeniable thrills.”

Doonbeg was also lauded in the most recent issue of GolfWorld, whose editors named it number. 95 on its list of “the people, places and things that had the world of golf talking” in 2002. Doonbeg, which opened in July by hosting an exhibition between course designer Greg Norman and Irish Ryder Cup star Padraig Harrington, was the only new course cited by the magazine.

“Nothing in Greg Norman’s Augusta National-inspired design portfolio prepared us for his stunning effort in County Clare,” the magazine’s editors wrote. “Doonbeg matches the humps, hollows and howling wind of neighboring Lahinch and Ballybunion. Norman’s course layout is natural architecture in its purest form. Even the green contours seem mowed from existing terrain.”

Doonbeg Golf Club was created and is owned by Kiawah Development Partners of Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Since KDP acquired Kiawah Island in 1988, each course that the company has been involved with has earned a place on Golf Digest’s highly coveted “Best New” lists: Pete Dye’s Ocean Course was named “America’s Best New Resort Course,” while both of the Kiawah Island Club layouts, Tom Fazio’s River Course and Tom Watson’s Cassique, were among the magazine’s “America’s Best New Private” top 10. KDP co-sponsored the historic 1991 Ryder Cup Matches at The Ocean Course, and Golf Digest noted that Doonbeg is likewise “a dead-bang future Ryder Cup site.”

As with many traditional Irish links, Doonbeg Golf Club is a private club with some public play. Interest has been high for the international memberships with 220 paid members just six months after the grand opening. Non-member greens fees are €185. When complete, the site will contain luxury accommodation, a leisure centre (spa), and a village of golf cottages with a pub, restaurant, practice facility and golf shop. The first on-site accommodation is due to open in 2004.

For further information, please contact: Roddy Guiney, WHPR Tel: 00 353 (0) 1 669 0030 or 00 353 (0) 87 2523095

or Caroline Reynolds, Wilson Hartnell Public Relations Office: +353 1 669 0173 Fax: +353 1 669 0039 E-mail:

Doonbeg Golf Club

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