Nick Faldo was in County Donegal last week to open the renovated Old Links course at Ballyliffin Golf Club, a project undertaken by his golf course design company, Faldo Design.
The six-time Major winner also took the opportunity to invite his elite group of young protà©gà©s for some intensive links golf training ahead of their forthcoming major amateur fixtures. Team Faldo were at Ballyliffin from the beginning of the week, working with Nick on the special and diverse skills required to play traditional links golf.
At the official opening, Nick spoke of his long ties with Ballyliffin and his pleasure in welcoming the public to enjoy his renovated version of the club’s classic Old Links. “I first visited Ballyliffin back in the early nineties and I’d only intended to play the front nine but I enjoyed it so much, that I just had to stay for the full eighteen,” he said.”My company, Faldo Design, and I have worked hard to help the Old Links realise its full potential.
“We have completely revised the course’s bunkering and added a variety of strategic challenges. I also believe that we have succeeded in emphasising the natural beauty that this course has always had in abundance. I would especially like to thank Ballyliffin Golf Club for their hospitality in hosting Team Faldo this week; I know that each one of them has benefited from their time here and enjoyed the unique atmosphere at this wonderful place.”
Rory McIlroy, Team Faldo member and current Irish Amateur Champion, commented, “I’d played the Old Links at Ballyliffin before Nick renovated the course; the changes that he’s made are quite subtle but demand some very inventive shots. From the back tees it’s much tougher now and I think the changes are fantastic. I’ve been out on the range with Nick and I played the course with him yesterday. He has been helping me focus on links golf, particularly my shots around the green and getting used to running the ball more. It’s been ideal preparation for the Irish Amateur Close Championship this week.”
Kiran Matharu, current English Ladies Amateur Champion and Team Faldo member, added, “I’ve got the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship coming up so it’s been good to play some genuine links golf ahead of the tournament. I played nine holes with Nick yesterday and we worked on the particular shot-making demands of a course like this, which has been extremely useful. It’s a great layout and I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
For Faldo Design, the completed renovation at Ballyliffin Golf Club forms part of a growing portfolio of truly global proportions. The company currently has projects on six continents in countries as far afield as China, Dubai, Portugal, Iceland and The Dominican Republic. Nick is fast gaining a reputation as one of the most distinctive and pioneering player designers in the industry.
Faldo Design www.nickfaldo.com