Golf In Ireland: Waterville Golf Links
Summers’ right around the corner, and there is no better way to start your summer than a golf trip with your buddies! Ireland is the host of many of the top golf courses in the world, including Waterville Golf Links, ranked the 83rd best course in the world by GOLF Magazine. Waterville Golf Links, located in South West Kerry, Ireland, sits between the Atlantic Ocean and arguably the most beautiful lake in Ireland, Lough Currane.
Golf meets Waterville
This hidden gem dates back to 1889, where a modest nine hole layout stretched along the cliffs and beaches of Waterville. This priceless piece of land would never have been discovered if it wasn’t for the British Empire and the introduction of technology. The introduction of the transatlantic cable relaying messages from North America and Europe was first time golf was introduced to the Waterville area. Once this picturesque land was discovered, hundreds of technicians and workers swarmed the area to claim this land that met the sea. It was not until 1973 that Irish born American, John Mulcahy, and the help of architect Eddie Hackett and close friend Claude Harmon (1948 Masters Champion) that Waterville turned into 18 breathtaking holes. John and his colleagues had a vision to create a links course that is visually appealing and challenges golfers of all levels. This links style course can accommodate all levels of players, from the world’s best by stretching over 7,300 yards to weekend warriors who enjoy playing from under 6,000 yards. The course has four separate tee markers to facilitate all level of golfers.
Time for a change
A change of ownership in 1987 was the mark of a new era at Waterville Golf Links. The combination of golf architect Tom Fazio’s four year renovation, the Waterville House fishery, and world class facilities has turned this golf club into one of the finest golf and fishing resorts in the world.
Tom Fazio, who has helped create Augusta National, Winged Foot, and Pine Valley stated, “Everything about Waterville is truly spectacular. The setting is one of the best I have seen for golf.”
Views across this 18 hole masterpiece include the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range and Ballinskelligs Bay, two of Ireland’s most people landscapes. It’s a true tale of two nines where the front nine is relatively flat while the back nine weaves up and down through tall sand dunes. Each hole has been given a name in memory of a special event or distinct feature on the hole. For example, the 16th hole is called “Round the Bend” because it follows the Atlantic ocean coastline, although it has been recently renamed in honor of a local pro making a rare hole in one!
According to Golf World UK, Waterville was named as the third best golf course in Ireland, close behind Royal Portrush and Royal County Down. Two courses that have held prestigious golf events, such as the Open Championship, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup, and Irish Open Amateur Championship. Over 40 of the world’s best golfers have challenged this link style course, dating back to the world famous Sam Snead. Tiger Woods, Mark O’Meara, and David Duval are just a few of the prestigious members at Waterville. The importance of being a member to these world class athletes sheds light on how prestigious Waterville facilities truly are. The addition of the Waterville House fishery, Health Facility, Fazio’s practice facilities, and 18 hole golf course has turned this modest 9 hole course into one of the best golf facilities in the world. If you are on this side of the pond, Waterville Golf Links is a must visit!
Whether you just picked up the game, are a weekend golfer, or striving to be a professional, Waterville Golf Links is a must play. The challenging “true links” layout, majestic views, and incredible facilities will leave you planning a trip back the moment you leave! Make sure to book your tee time well in advance because the summer months tend to book quickly. The golf course requires one to fully pay their green fee a month in advance, so make sure you plan your trip well in advance! Enjoy and play well!
4K flyover video provided courtesy of http://www.golfbirdie.ie/