The deep, natural harbour of Bantry Bay Golf Club is situated in the most southwesterly corner of Ireland, bounded by the Beara peninsula to the north and Muntervary headland to the south. At the top of the 22 mile-long bay, overlooking Whiddy Island, is the small town of Bantry.
Bantry Bay golf course lies along the coast from the town and although it is located beside the sea, it’s a parkland layout, sitting on cliff-tops overlooking the water. Eddie Hackett designed nine holes in 1975 then Christy O’Connor Jnr extended the course to a full 18-hole layout in 1997.
Fourteen holes overlook the sea with fantastic views to the Beara Mountains in the distance. Like a traditional links course, Bantry Bay has its share of tricky blind shots and the wind will play a large part in determining how difficult the test is on any given day.
The round begins with a par three, played to a green that has a pond to the front left of the putting surface. The next short hole is not until the 138-yard 9th where its exposure to the elements on an inclement day will present a severe challenge. The back nine features a very tough par four at the 12th hole – out of bounds on the left and a large bunker at the kink in the fairway means an errant tee shot will surely result in bogey or worse. The 18th hole is a 469-yard par five which offers the chance of a very satisfying birdie at the end of the round.