Lahinch is a world-ranked course and a world-class experience and this year will host the Irish Open in July. I have played the course four times now since 2005 and appreciate it more each time. The many player reviews posted on Top 100 are very consistent with adulation coming in from all who play. #30 in the world is a massive award and I do think that #11 in GB&I could be improved on, we’ll see at the next re-rank. It is difficult to fault the course in anyway at all with so many special holes – obvious early favourites include the iconic 4th and 5th holes both with totally blind shots (par-5 and par-3) but just brilliant. The 7th is very strong, played as a dogleg to the left with the green close to the beach – tip for the approach is to aim at the back of the green and ignore pin position – mess with the front of the green and you are in trouble. The par-3 8th, named ‘Crater’ is just tee and green, could be a short or long iron depending on the weather, not just on the day but that hour, the four seasons in one-day is all so common in this part of the world.
Strongest par-5 has to be the 12th – drive away from the coastline and then work your way around the edge of the course – a couple of bunkers 40 yards short of the green are there for a reason.
Strongest par-4, for me is the 14th – a hole called ‘Twins’ – at around 450 yards this is a big hole and the hole named references the two big dunes 60 yards short of the green on either side, meaning an eye of the needle shot to hit the dance-floor.
I love the elevated tee at ‘Old Tom’ – the 190-yard par-3 16th – downhill with four brilliant bunkers protecting.
The course ends on a high and a chance to score well – if the wind is behind, then this 500-yard hole gives an opportunity to score well – keep out of the 12 bunkers along the way though!
The Old course Lahinch is one of Ireland’s best courses and is a must play – good debate between this and the Old at Ballybunion as to gets top billing – current positions give it to Ballybunion – around the other way for me, just.
The clubhouse experience is first class too and the pleasure of enjoying a Guinness on the first floor whilst watching golfers battle with ‘autumn and winter’ whilst you are inside is surprising satisfying.
The DDF Irish Open will be fascinating viewing in July – just cannot wait to watch the top players here and especially how will they cope with the par-3 5th ‘Dell’ with a completely blind tee-shot (green in between two dunes).
The south-west of Ireland is as good a golf tour as any – special golf, great people and great memories.
Date: April 07, 2019