Ballyliffin Golf Club in Ireland has opened a new nine-hole par-three course designed by Pat Ruddy.
Situated on the former site of the seventh and eighth holes on the Old Course, construction of the 1,085-yard Pollan Links course, whose holes range between 90 and 146 yards, began last autumn and was completed four months ago. Work was carried out by the club’s greenkeeping team under the supervision of Ruddy and Patsy Doherty, Ballyliffin’s greens convenor.
Fine fescue greens turf was brought in by Emerald Lawns, while all other construction material and turf was sourced on site. The irrigation system was installed by Toro and was supplied by Irish firm TS Pumps.
“Our intention was to offer a facility to complement our two championship links and present a stimulating and challenging short course for members and visitors alike,” said John Farren, general manager at Ballyliffin.
“We see the course catering for the demand from holidaymakers, beginners getting into golf, our busy youth academy, and our older members who may find the two championship links too challenging in their later years. There is great excitement amongst all the members, many of whom look forward to honing their short game skills on the Pollan Links.
Farren added: “The routing is designed to incorporate much of the natural features of the terrain’s dunescape. while at the same time considering safety implications with the proximity to the clubhouse and 18th fairway of the Old Links. Avoiding low lying areas susceptible to standing water in winter has also been considered.”
Ruddy has been involved with Ballyliffin since the 1990s when he and Tom Craddock designed the Glashedy Links, which opened in 1995 and hosted the 2018 Irish Open. He has also worked on many holes on the Old Links, which were adapted while constructing the Glashedy.
“The Pollan Links is just that – a true links – as it sits into the calm end of the great Ballyliffin dunes and designed to provide the club player with an opportunity to sharpen 70 per cent – a lot more for high handicappers – of their entire golf game,” said Ruddy. “Care has been taken to vary the directions of the holes to bring into play all the variations of wind and light as well as presenting a rapidly changing and entrancing kaleidoscopic view of the mountains and of the main links, beckoning the player onwards.”