Lahinch (Old) - Clare - Ireland

Lahinch Golf Club,
Lahinch,
County Clare,
Ireland


  • +353 (0) 65 7081003


Lahinch is derived from the old Irish name Leithinsi, a half island. The village dates back to the 18th century and grew in popularity thanks to George I, who believed that eating periwinkles and sea-grass was healthy.

Golf at Lahinch dates back to 1892. Three local Limerick golfers laid out an 18-hole course, assisted by officers of the Scottish “Black Watch” regiment who were stationed in Limerick at that time. In 1894, Old Tom Morris was commissioned to make improvements to the layout and he made excellent use of the natural terrain, especially the giant sand dunes. Old Tom believed that Lahinch was the finest natural course that he had seen.

In the mid 1890s, the West Clare Railway made the town more accessible and consequently, people flocked to Lahinch to stay at the new Golf Links Hotel. The whole town lives and breathes golf. Bernard Darwin wrote the following in his book, The Golf Courses of the British Isles, published in 1910: “The greatest compliment I have heard paid to Lahinch came from a very fine amateur golfer, who told me that it might not be the best golf in the world, but was the golf he liked to play best. Lest this may be attributed to patriotic prejudice, I may add that he was an Englishman born and bred.”

In 1927, Dr Alister MacKenzie redesigned the course, relocating a number of holes closer to the bay. The redesign work took one year to complete and featured undulating triple tiered greens. MacKenzie was pleased with his work and said: “It will make the finest and most popular course that I, or I believe anyone else, ever constructed”.

Unfortunately, in 1935, the same time that MacKenzie was designing Augusta with Bobby Jones, the Lahinch committee decided that his greens were too tough for the average golfer. John Burke was granted the remit to flatten them out. Happily, in 1999, Martin Hawtree knowledgably reinstated MacKenzie’s characteristics, completing Lahinch’s restoration.

Lahinch is an enchanting place to play golf. It’s rugged, distinctive, unusually varied and immensely entertaining. This traditional out and back layout is situated next to the lovely beach of Liscannor Bay.

During the last week of July, Lahinch hosts the South of Ireland Championship, an annual occurrence since 1895. The “South” is a matchplay competition, which attracts many spectators and some great amateur golfers, although it is unlikely that anybody will beat John Burke’s record. The “King of Lahinch” was the South of Ireland champion 11 times between 1928 and 1946.

Views across the bay from the 3rd are uplifting. This 446-yard par four, has a blind drive to a hidden fairway and the approach to the green is obscured by a hill on the right. The 4th is a short par five named Klondyke. It's one of the most unusual holes in golf and an Old Tom speciality. The tee shot needs to find a narrow rippled fairway located in a valley between dunes. A blind second shot then has to negotiate Klondyke, a towering sand dune that straddles the fairway some 200 yards away from the green. It's certainly a quirky hole but it's also very memorable.

What's the best way to follow such an eccentric hole? Why, another highly peculiar one, naturally! Left untouched since Old Tom Morris first fashioned it over a century ago, Dell is the renowned blind par three 5th, its green nestling between towering sand hills that surround the narrow green on all sides. A stone on top of one of the dunes indicates the hole location from the tee so golfers are advised to factor in the wind direction, pick the right club for the yardage then take aim for the hidden flag.

The Old course at Lahinch is a gem, but take note of where the goats are. If they are sheltering near the clubhouse—take your umbrella—you are in for a wet round.

Lahinch Golf Club staged the Irish Open for the first time in 2019. The event was a treat for the pros, especially Spain's Jon Rahm who won the title by two shots. Englishman Robert Rock grabbed the headlines on Saturday after carding a record-breaking 60. Rock birdied the last six holes during round three and had a 35-foot putt for eagle on the last for a 59 but missed by inches.

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Reviews for Lahinch (Old)

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Description: Lahinch Golf Club is situated next to the lovely beach of Liscannor Bay. It's an enchanting place to play golf... rugged, distinctive, unusually varied and immensely entertaining. Rating: 9 out of 10 Reviews: 53
TaylorMade
Brock Lynch
I might agree with Old Tom and say that Lahinch is a most natural golf course to play. Even with the recent changes in the course, the holes were layed out in the a most flowing natural manner. I enjoyed playing Lahinch more than any in southwest Ireland because of the layout (great variety and use of the terrain) and the scenery (great ocean and beach views). You must play Lahinch if you are in southwest Ireland.
August 21, 2004
10 / 10
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steve stanislowski
Always a great course and following the recent changes made by Martin Hawtree it is possibly the best course in Ireland and UK - go play it if you don't believe me. It is a course that has everything, great variety of holes - no two holes are alike, no weak holes and each presenting a different challenge, unique holes e.g. Klondyke and Dell, some absolutely great holes e.g. par 4 6th would grace any golf course, they even have an extra spare par 3 that is better than most par 3's elsewhere, holes with and against the wind and others where the wind will be across, scenic holes beside the ocean atop one of the best tracts of dunesland. All good and knowledgeable golfers will appreciate this magnificent test of golf.
June 08, 2004
10 / 10
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John Cornish
Surely one of the top handful of courses in the UK and Ireland.Few courses can be said to have NO weak holes, but Lahinch is one of them. Lahinch keeps you captivated from beginning to end. Last time I played, some greens were in need of sunshine but the way the course winds its way through the dunes give a feeling of great exhilaration.Worthy of a higer ranking than given here and other publications. Some of the finest golf in the world. They have a par 3 hole that is not used despite it being to a standard far superior to the best hole on most courses. That's spoiled!Links golf at its finest - whatever the weather.
June 06, 2004
10 / 10
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