Early in the morning, we teed off on the Glashedy. The opening holes are short-to mid length par 4’s and all great holes. Positioning off the tee is of great importance and the greens are well protected. The second hole is the loveliest of the three. The fourth hole changes the direction heading towards the sea. From the new backtee, the views are breathtaking and the landingarea seems small. For us mere mortals however, this hole is the first birdiechance of the day , as a good drive leaves an approach within shooting range. You will have to clear a large swale in front of the green, or lay up. I found these awkward shots to play very difficult at Ballyliffin. The greens are firm and fast and the contours of the green as well as the wind can have a great deal of influence on the flight and roll on your ball. The fifth is a lovely little false punchbowl par three en the seventh is where it really starts to get serious. Good luck with the club selection!
Having played my fair share of Ruddycourses, I found the Glashedy surprisingly fair and playable. That does not mean it is an easy course, but it is a feature of the truly great linkscourses: Combining spectacular land with characteristics of a mature championshipcourse. Tough to make a par, easy to make bogey. Sandy Hills for example,in my opinion lacked that feeling. (And yes I played really bad ok?)
The Glashedy’s backnine is equally good if not better than the front. 11 is great and 12 is one of the best par 5’s I’ve encountered. It’s not long. I had a 4 iron left but it has to be struck perfectly to have a chance to get to the tabletopgreen, that slopes from back to front. Add a severely right to left sloping fairway that pulls every ball to the deep valley down left of the green, or to the nasty green side bunker just above that. I’m sure a lot of golfers left this hole frustrated, thinking how on earth they could have turned this birdie opportunity in a bogey or even worse. Then look back over the fairway and be overwhelmed with the beauty of the wild Atlantic and mystic Glashedy Rock . Off to the clubhouse for a quick lunch and off we go on the Old Course! MO
Date: September 06, 2017