Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Best 18 holes in Ireland

Liam Kelly in today's Irish Independent did a small piece on the best 18 holes in Ireland - as taken from Hooked.

[Photo: Druid's Glen and the famous 13th. Finding the fairway is a beautiful thing... cutting the corner and finding the fairway is even better]

I won't deny that it's an interesting combination of holes that has no room for Royal Portrush's famous par three 14th (Calamity) or Druid's Glen magnificent and terrifying par four 13th, but I was creating a par of 72, in the correct order, with four par threes and fives, and a good mix of parkland and landscape. Oh, and only one hole from any course, otherwise some courses would have two or three holes on the list - like Tralee, Adare, Druid's, Ballybunion, Narin & Portnoo.

[Photo: Waterville's par five 11th - one of the only places on the course where you're protected from the wind]

It proved a remarkably difficult task. I had to add and then swap holes around to get what I wanted. As a result there are a few 'weak' holes - the par five 13th at Naas most obviously. That's not to say it's a weak hole, but there are several par fives out there that would be better: the 4th at Concra Wood, the 18th at Adare, the 16th at the K Club, the 11th (Tranquility) at Waterville, the 16th at Lough Erne... but it was all about getting the right fit, and that's what I did.

[Photo: Narin & Portnoo's 9th hole. You don't get closer to the ocean anywhere in Ireland]

Over the next weeks I'll be blogging about each 'best hole', why I picked it and what other holes were in the running.

The best 1st hole is in Northern Ireland, and it's not the famous opener at Portstewart.

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