Most who visit Ballybunion do so with a great deal of expectancy due to it's exhalted status. Driving out of the village towards the golf course only serves to enhance that expectancy as the land is as dramatic as you will find anywhere. Some of therefore disappointed by the opening holes but not me. A gentle first hole is not the greatest hole around but to me a gentle introduction is no bad thing. The challenge of holes 2-6 cannot be underestimated. Usually played in a cross wind you are tested by excellent bunkering, raised greens with run off areas and elevated tees. The disappointment here is the scenery (or lack of) against your expectation beforehand. However, the golfing challenge is huge without question. Put a ring of sand dunes around the 3rd green (instead of the caravan park backdrop) and people would suddenly rave about the hole. From hole 7 onwards the terrain and views are superb and so is the golf. Standing on tees at 11, 15 or 17 is an amazing experience and one not to be missed.Best of all spend the day and take on the even more dramatic Cashen Course too because virtually every hole requires a deep intake of breath as you stand on the tee.Majestic!
Date: November 14, 2005