Built on the site of the short-lived Skellig Bay golf course, which formerly occupied a spectacular 150-acre clifftop property just four kilometres to the southeast of Waterville Golf Links, Hogs Head Golf Club was developed by American professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal, with the property acquired from local businessman Haulie O’Shea and London investor Robert Noonan in 2014.
Around eight thousand metres of stone walls were removed and the entire course capped with more than 100,000 tons of sand to enhance its firm and fast playing characteristics. Although it’s not a true links, it plays like one, especially when the wind gets up on its exposed headland location.
There are many pleasing design traits here, including a Biarritz green on the par five 6th and a tiny punchbowl green at the end of the long par four 9th. Best of all might be the pair of greens set along the coast at the par three 13th, where the alternate putting surface on the left can be used on bad weather days when it’s too difficult to play to the main green.
The architect, Robert Trent Jones II, is quoted as saying: “The owner’s vision is to create a championship calibre golf course equal to Ireland’s unsurpassed passion for the game of golf, a passion we wholeheartedly share. Our working motto has been, ‘built by friends, for friends, for fun’ and we know this course will deliver the fun.”
HH is a fine golf course with some excellent inland holes around the Finglas river (#3,#4,#5) and some breathtaking views throughout the back 9. I preferred the front 9 but others will definitely be taken by holes #12 & #13 that hug the cliffs. Holes #15 & #18 are also worthy of a mention. The course is kept in immaculate condition. It’s designed to be a fair and playable course and it is just that. Shooting a good score is very much possible even for the average golfer as long as the wind is moderate. It’s not cheap to play and hiring a caddy is compulsory so be prepared for that. All the staff were extremely friendly and the food and service in the clubhouse afterwards was excellent.
Very expensive and exclusive. Love my experience there in 2019 but would not go back unless I was staying near Waterville for the night. Great views but it is an Americanized resort course.