Old Head - Cork - Ireland

Old Head Golf Links,
Kinsale,
Cork,
Ireland


  • +353 (0) 21 477 8444

  • John Dwyer

  • Ron Kirby, Joe Carr

  • Danny Brassil


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Old Head

A number of people were involved in the creation of Old Head Golf Links: Dr Joe Carr, Paddy Merrigan, Ron Kirby, the late Eddie Hackett, Liam Higgins and Haulie O'Shea. The course opened for play in 1997 and it's laid out on a narrow headland, jutting out for two miles into the Atlantic Ocean.

Old Head Golf Links has to be one of the world’s most exhilarating sites upon which golf is played. You feel as though you are on the edge of the world here at Old Head and if you suffer from vertigo, some of the tees might present a problem. Three hundred feet up, looking over the edge of the cliff, you will notice seagulls gliding below you. Atlantic waves crash onto the rocks, booming and echoing as they smash into the cave tunnels. It certainly takes your breath away.

Take some extra golf balls; you may well lose a few unless you are really on top of your game. There is little margin for error along the edges of the holes bordering the cliff-tops. The signs should be adhered to; they warn you off looking for balls for obvious reasons! Take note of the marker posts, or should we say “Stones of Accord” (the club’s logo) – they give you the right line for your tee shot.

Old Head really is a very special place indeed. The peninsular tells a lamentable tale, perhaps mourning the loss of life (many vessels sank in this vicinity). The Lusitania went down here too, in 1915, not because of the rocks, but courtesy of a German torpedo. Or perhaps it’s the spirits seeking peace from golf balls peppering their ancient burial ground at the approach to the 10th hole.

There are many memorable holes at Old Head, none more so than the 17th, called “Lighthouse”. It's a long par five requiring a bold second shot to the right-hand side of the fairway, anything left will leave a blind approach to the green that is nestled in a punchbowl on the edge of the cliffs. The 18th is a dramatic closing hole that should be played from the high back tee for maximum drama. Our favourite hole, is the do-or-die par five 12th – it’s one of the most outrageous holes in golf – whatever you do with your tee shot, don’t bite-off more than you can chew.

Anyway, we recommend that you dig deep and pay the green fee at least once. It’s unlikely you will play a more dramatic course anywhere in the world.
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Description: Laid out on a narrow headland, jutting out for two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, Old Head Golf Links has to be one of the world’s most exhilarating golf courses... Rating: 8.8 out of 10 Reviews: 41
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Richard Smith
I have mixed feelings about Old Head. It is certainly one of the most magnificent places to play golf that I have ever had the privelage to enjoy. The views are magnicent and the drop offs down to the ocean are stunning. However, I constantly had the feeling that if the views were different, and we took the golf holes at their face value without the visual effects, that the course would not be rated quite so highly. As others have pointed out, Old Head is not a links in the traditional sense and in fact reminds me of one those courses in Myrtle Beach that pretends to be a links course. Of course the setting here is so magnificent that this deficiency is overlooked, but to be honest the course can't compare to a traditional links like Waterville, Lahinch or Ballybunion (Old). That being said, I would not pass up the opportunity to play here. This is a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should enjoy. I'm glad I had the opportunity to play, but I doubt I will ever go back.
November 20, 2005
8 / 10
Old Head
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Mike Apparicio
December 08, 2006
If that is your opinion of the course I have to respect it, as you are entitled to it. However, I am quite happy that you won't be going back, as that would allow someone else to experience the pure exhilaration of playing this magnificent golf course
Steve Smith
The caddies say that Tiger Woods took 3 wood, 6 iron and pitch to the "signature hole" 12th. My colleague (Handicap 1) managed rescue club, 5 iron and 2 putts. Wonderful setting, in a very friendly part of Ireland. Stay in Kinsale, close to Cork Airport and give yourself a treat.
October 24, 2005
8 / 10
Old Head
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How this course is not in the top 10 I do not know.Let's get the boring things over with first -1) Yes, I know, it is not a traditional links with hard bouncy fairways and pot hole bunkers2) Yes, I know, it is slightly more expensive than anywhere else in the region.However, this is the most spectacular golfing experience you probably ever had. All I have to say is words cannot do it justice and seeing is believing. This course starts with a straight forward 1st hole to get you in the groove. From then on in the holes are truly breathtaking. I will never forget the feeling of walking from the 1st green and approacing the 2nd tee. The views are truley awesome. As with any course some holes are stronger than others but hole number 12 is truly remarkable. Hole number 17 is just as strong and the tee shot on 18 from the black tees is again awesome.In amongst all these holes are delightful and tricky par 3's that are literally run along the cliff face!!When I was there the course was in immaculate condition and has a very nice club house and caddies to matchI was lucky that the weather was good and I can see how this experience could be ruined by the weather. But, it is a risk definitely worth taking
October 11, 2005
10 / 10
Old Head
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Shaun
First played Old Head a year after it opened and condition was poor. Lucky enough to play earlier this month and how things have improved. Cliff holes are simply jaw dropping, 17th is one of the toughest Par 5's I have ever played. Awesome golf course that must be played, just do it and forget the cost.
June 08, 2005
10 / 10
Old Head
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Andy Featherstone

Everyone should have the opportunity to play this course - quite simply a delight to play. I genuinely feel privilaged to have played here it's a shame the 250€ will mean many other won't - still, at least the greens will always be good! Lighthouses, cliff faces, oceans, castle ruins - it's like something out of a computer game, but the experience is real. The 250€ goes a very long way.

May 06, 2005
8 / 10
Old Head
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Jon Crofts

I played the course on 29th September in a South West force 4 which made life interesting. Dont be fooled by the straightforward 1st hole as then it's off to the cliff edge for the 2nd & 3rd. Visually stunning throughout with views across the rugged coastline of West Cork, for me the best hole on the course is the 12th, the most intimidating tee shot in golf?Worth every cent of the €250 I paid, book direct with the club to get the lowest rates.

October 04, 2004
8 / 10
Old Head
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Graham Etherington
This absolute stunner is still my number one. Yes, it's a bit pricy but it is un-parralled for class, scenery and all round enjoyment. Just one look at the visitors book will tell you that. Pebble Beach and Cypress Point members stating that "our course is nothing like this". There are TWELVE holes were the sea comes into play and at the end of the round you will not find a better sea view from any clubhouse in the Kingdom. Stump up the £180.00 and go play it. Value for money 10/10.
September 20, 2004
10 / 10
Old Head
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John Murray
April 22, 2007
Not sure what Kingdom you are referring to here. Must be mixing Ireland up with another country.
Jim Campbell
November 02, 2007
He means the Kingdom of Kerry
Mark Jeffery
The course was only recently opened when we played it, there was no clubhouse and certain areas of the course were still bedding in but this aside we had an excellent two rounds of golf, and because it was only just opened we only paid 75 Irish punts for the day which included a lift in the head greenkeepers car to the nearest pub for lunch! The day was bright and totally still, unusual for that area of Southern Ireland! The course is a mixed bag of amazing holes, lovely holes and a few weaker holes but all in all a great course in an amazing location. Much use is made of the cliff line with a number of holes requiring tee-shots or approaches over or very close to a 200 foot drop! Is it worth the huge price that the owners now demand? For the spectacle yes, for the course I'm not so sure, but for the experience alone it should be considered.
September 10, 2004
6 / 10
Old Head
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robert helms
This is the most spectacularly beautiful course I have ever played. As a test of golf, it is relatively straightforward if there is no wind and quite challenging if there is. We played it for 4 days running and the conditions were very different each day. Despite the expense, this is a worthwhile course.
August 07, 2004
8 / 10
Old Head
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stuart speechly
A visual golfing feast bar none. Ridiculously expensive but worth remortgaging for just one round. The course itself is not that challenging for a low handicapper unless the wind is blasting. The sheer beauty of the course is very hard to match and each turn presents something special for all golfers.
June 01, 2004
8 / 10
Old Head
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