Built on the site of the short-lived Skellig Bay golf course, which formerly occupied a spectacular 150-acre clifftop property just outside Waterville, 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 have been 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 will play 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.”