Thursday, December 18, 2014

Top Ten Photos of Irish Golf Courses (2015)

The Island clubhouse over the 18th green.
I've taken some 4,000 photographs of Irish golf courses this year. Mad, really, when I could have been spending all that time golfing. Still, golf photography has its own rewards and taking a shot that shows off a course/hole in all its glory is incredibly satisfying.

Here are my ten favourite shots from this year, in alphabetical order. If you click on the name of the club, it will link you through to a full set of photos on Flickr.

1. Ballyliffin (Glashedy)
The beautiful par three 5th, with Glashedy Rock prominent in the bay. The kind of hole you want to play over and over.

Ballyliffin Links

2. Carne (Hackett)
Views over the par five 18th and clubhouse
It has a double rainbow... what more do you need?

Carne Links

3. Carne (Kilmore)
The approach to the shelf-like par four 8th green on the new Kilmore nine. It's a daunting shot and the green is no picnic.

Carne Links

4. County Sligo
Views down the magnificent par four 17th and across the plain, which is host to eight holes.

County Sligo Links

5. Enniscrone
The approach to the short par four 13th. It's a hole that almost defies belief and the shapes of the land are clearly evident in this early morning shot.

Enniscrone Links

6. Galgorm Castle
The 3rd green with pond around it. The sort of sunrise a photographer will freeze for...

Galgorm Castle Golf

7. The Island
This was, quite literally, a snap - proving that luck plays a huge part in photography. After photographing the clubhouse (the purpose of my visit - see top shot), the 4th green was a 30 second walk away and the afternoon sun just lit the hole perfectly.

The Island Golf Club

8. Macreddin
Beautiful morning light creates warm colours and shadows over the par five 8th green at this gem of a course in the heart of County Wicklow.

Macreddin Golf Club

9. Malone
View of the par three signature 15th hole, from the 18th fairway. Northern Ireland's premier parkland (just outside Belfast) and it's not hard to see why.

Malone Golf Club

10. Royal County Down
A spectacular course, whenever you visit, whatever hole you play. This was from high in the dunes, looking back up the 3rd hole to the Mourne Mountains. The brown earth in the foreground is the new 9th hole and green on the Annesley Links.

Royal County Down

And there you have it. There were dozens of other contenders (Bunclody, Galway Bay, Birr...), but these sum up the beauty of Ireland and Irish golf rather well... don't you think!

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