Ballybunion Golf Club – Ireland’s fabled 36-hole golf links – announces recent enhancements to further benefit playability and aesthetics of its Old Course and Cashen Course.
As part of a multi-year project, respected golf course architecture firm Hawtree Limited fashioned several modifications this past winter to greens, tees, bunkers and playing corridors while maintaining the integrity of both iconic designs.
On the Old Course, rated among the world’s Top 20 by GOLF Magazine, work included:
- Altering tees on the second and fourth holes so they nestle into dunes and blend with the natural surrounds
- Removing “relic” bunkers just off No. 4 tee and adding a new bunker to the modern landing area
- Building a forward tee on No. 7 to join the White and Blue tees atop a dramatic cliff
- Decreasing the size of three bunkers on No. 8 and converting them from sod-faced to more of a grass-faced style for greater course-wide uniformity
“We are very cognizant of our duty to retain the Old Course’s classic routing and unique ambiance,” says Vari McGreevy, General Manager of Ballybunion Golf Club. “These skillfully executed tweaks make golfers’ journeys all the more memorable.”
Changes to the Robert Trent Jones-designed Cashen Course involved:
- Planting fescue grass around No. 1 tee box to evoke a greater links feel and re-grassing the backs of fairway bunkers which had become parkland-like over time
- Adding mounds and grasses behind the first green and along the first and second fairways to further promote a one-with-nature aura
- Enlarging the first, second and 15th greens to create additional hole locations
- Repositioning No. 2 green to the edge of the Cashen Estuary to amplify scenic views
- Lengthening the par-5 15th hole and widening the last 100 yards to augment strategic options
- Expanding the par-3 16th tee to uphold turf health
“The Cashen Course is more popular than ever with our international members and guests,” says McGreevy. “The updates enrich playing experiences and remain true to the layout’s original, rugged spirit.”
Meandering through fescue-covered dunes along County Kerry’s rugged Atlantic coastline, Ballybunion presents the quintessential Irish golf experience.
The Old Course
Ranked consistently in the world’s top 20 courses by GOLF Magazine, the par-71, 6,802-yard Old Course radiates majesty and charm. Beautifully contoured fairways fuse with a blanket of grassy dunes to fashion a classic test of links golf. The Old Course has mesmerized guests for decades, a tribute to its embodiment of the game’s greatest traits. The 402-yard No. 11 hole is widely heralded as one of the finest par 4s in the world, while the long par-3 15th is both remarkably scenic and treacherous.
The Cashen Course
Opened in 1984, the Cashen Course was designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones. Situated on an even more dramatic parcel than its sister layout, 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 Britainand Irelandby Golfweek.
Ballybunion Golf Club www.ballybuniongolfclub.ie