Tommy Halpin played extensively on the European Tour (even during winter seasons in places like Nigeria and Kenya) until 1976, ten years after he had turned professional. Tommy then spent a profitable number of years on the Irish circuit prior to the design of his first course, Lady Hill at Bodenstown in 1987. He went on to create Woodlands and Swords in the 1990s before embarking on his best design yet, here at Millicent Golf Club in 2001.
The course occupies a 150-acre site and greens have been constructed to USGA specification. The front nine is routed anti-clockwise around the perimeter of the property – holes 5 to 7 are bounded on the right by the River Liffey – and they enclose the back nine within. Many consider the gravel based fairways and sand layered greens at Millicent to be the best drained in the province, allowing play even after the heaviest of rainfalls.
A round on this delightful parkland course begins with a pair of par fives, both of which have out of bounds down the right hand side of the fairways. The 5th seems an easy short par four when examining the scorecard yardage beforehand but on the tee, golfers will be only too aware of the danger that lurks in the pond to the right of the landing area!
The signature hole at Millicent Golf Club is sandwiched between two mighty par fives at holes 16 and 18 – and those holes supply quite a sting in the tail to the round as they are designated stroke index 1 and 3! The 198-yard, par three, 17th splits them and it is played over a pond to a small putting surface with big bunkers at the back to catch those who over club to avoid water at the front of the green.
November 16, 2010