Tralee - Kerry - Ireland

Tralee Golf Club,
West Barrow,
Ardfert,
Tralee,
Co. Kerry,
Ireland


  • +353 (0) 66 713 6379

  • Golf Club Website

  • 16 miles N of Killarney

  • Handicap certificate required – contact in advance

“I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course," said Arnold Palmer. Tralee Golf Club was his first Irish endeavour and it opened in 1984; it’s a rugged and exhilarating creation. Now, let’s be honest, Kerry is a very special county, the ‘Lake District’ of Ireland, an unspoilt, quiet and romantic place. Surely anybody could design a golf course in these surroundings? Well, first of all we might need to remind ourselves that Palmer wasn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill golfer and when he turned his attention to design, he always wanted to choreograph a links course in Ireland. When the opportunity arose, he wasn’t going to mess it up, was he?

Palmer (and his associate, the late Ed Seay) designed a course that will stimulate the senses every bit as much as the enchanting and breathtaking scenery. According to folklore, Palmer created the first nine and Mother Nature did the rest. The front nine at Tralee Golf Club plays across fairly level links land, but the majority of the holes hug the coastline and the ground is elevated, affording magnificent views from the cliff top across Tralee Bay to the Atlantic Ocean beyond. The back nine plays through mountainous dunes with fearsome carries across ravines to plateau greens.

The combination and variety of the holes make the entire experience captivating and exciting. There are only a few courses that grab your attention from the first tee shot, keeping hold of it until the very last putt drops. The links at Tralee is one of those few captivating courses.

There are so many great holes that it is almost impossible to single one out, although the 3rd, called “The Castle”, is considered to be the signature hole, a par three measuring almost 200 yards from the back tees. Scenically, it is glorious and reminiscent of the 7th at Pebble Beach. Take a line on the ruined castle which stands sentry to the left and behind the green – anything hit to the right of this green will be eaten by the rocks and the sea.

The 17th is called “Ryan’s Daughter” because the landscape was dramatically filmed in the award-winning movie and the hole will stick in the memory for a very long time; an elevated tee shot on this 355-yard par four must carry across a ravine to a craggy fairway, leaving an approach shot to a tiny raised tabletop green.

We always say that the measure of a good golf course is that the holes stay in the memory forever. There are so many memorable holes at Tralee, so much so that you might need to throw away some lesser memories to make room for the experience that is Tralee. But not everyone is a fan.

In The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, Tom Doak remarked: “The course suffers from the same general problem as Ballybunion New – spectacular scenery at the expense of good golf – although the terrain itself isn’t as dramatic or as integral to the course. The “signature” holes, the par-3 3rd and 13th and the par-4 12th and 17th, are probably the worst on the course, although there are some dull inland holes as well. Some love the course, but I think some good land was wasted here.”

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Reviews for Tralee

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Description: At Tralee Golf Club, Palmer has designed a golf course that will stimulate the senses every bit as much as the enchanting and breathtaking scenery. Rating: 8.8 out of 10 Reviews: 52
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Doug Roberts
Tralee is just a gem. Having played here several times in the past 20 years, I find it just keeps getting better. Kudos to the club for the changes to the 6th hole. The increased revetting of the fairway bunkers, especially on 9 and 18. Many write about the magnificent back nine but the front has improved very nicely and the new practice grounds are great. This is a course which plays well for everyone. Predominantly, You should find your ball, except when you know you shouldn’t. It starts with a good hole that isn’t claustrophobic in feeling. 2 is as grand a par 5 as anywhere and 3 is also a great par 3. The signature hole 12 is as dyabolical a par 4 as anywhere and 13 is just tantalizing par 3….15/16/17 are the backbone of the Tralee pedigree. Just a great course and a must play if in SW Ireland.
October 08, 2015
10 / 10
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Dominic
I played Dooks (along with Tralee, Waterville and Ballybunnion) in mid April this year. It was a fantastic trip, but Tralee would be the first course I go and play again. It was awesome. Yes the back nine may beat the front, but don't let that make you think the front 9 isn't good - it is. It's tough, picturesque and very satisfying. The back nine however is one of the biggest joys I've ever had on a golf course. The easiest way to describe is full size crazy golf. Wonderful blind shots (get a caddy or read your course guide!), incredible elevation changes, superb views and gave me a grin from ear to ear for the entire stretch. Do Not Miss this course.
May 13, 2015
10 / 10
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Lackas
A real beautiful course in very good conditions with a beautiful landscape. The people there are very polite and helpful. Its a selective course, especially if its windy and stormy;-).
June 02, 2014
8 / 10
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sean grant
Golf World has Tralee ranked as the 20th best course in Ireland. This is nonsense! It's definitely in the top 5 and it's in my top 1!! I played Tralee on 8th and 9th July in blistering heat and very little wind. Very unusual for a links course but the rough was brutal to make up for the lack of wind. My lasting memory of Tralee will be the superb views from virtually every hole. There are huge beautiful beaches and the colour of the sea just beautiful. The course has many stunning holes that hug the coast line. There are some cracking holes in the front nine as well as the back nine. Be prepared for lots of intimidating tee shots and approach shots and you're in for an torrid time if you don't bring your game with you. I have played links golf all over Ireland and Scotland and am very keen on the European, Royal Co Down, Kingsbarns and Nairn but I think Tralee might be my favourite. It's just got it all!!
July 13, 2013
10 / 10
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David Oliver
6 handicap golfer - played Tralee 23 April 2013. I had heard that it was a course of 2 9s, with the front 9 suffering in comparison to the back 9. Whilst this is undoubtedly true, there are some top quality holes on the front 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 8th.The back 9 however is epic starting with the 10th which off the tips is a powerful, strategic par 4. The 11th is a little out of character and one which is probably more of a link between 10 and 12. The 12th asks huge questions on the second shot but is a great hole. The remainder coming in is as good as it gets in links golf with stunning dunescapes and excellent design.
June 25, 2013
8 / 10
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Jeff
Played Tralee in mid May 2013 and was blown away by its beauty and layout. The Front nine as described, hugs the shoreline with the par 5 #2 dogleg and par 3 #3 providing a tough test early. The back nine was off the charts with every hole carved out of the Dunes. The par 3 #13 is a stunning hole as is the par 4 #17. Also had a chance to play Lahinch and Ballyliffon on the trip, and to rate them is a bit trivial as they are all top notch. I'd have to put Tralee at the top of the list though - it's 1st class; and to paraphrase my playing parter from the US (who had played Pebble twice) "Pebble Beach has nothing over on Tralee". Don't miss the chance to play it if you're on the Emerald Isle.
June 08, 2013
10 / 10
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Erwin Ooms
Just a day back in Holland from a four day Tralee Golf Course - Photo by reviewertrip to the South West of Ireland. Tralee as highlight. We had a beautiful day with sunshine and wind blowing till 40 kmph. For us 11-32 handicappers tough, but a fair test. Every bad shot was wiped out by the stunning views and quality of the course. A must play course!
May 26, 2013
10 / 10
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Hendrik Hilgert
Outstanding course in a unique setting. The views are phantastic given the location at the tip of the peninsula, lots of impressive and memorable holes, very friendly staff, great clubhouse with terrific views across the course, the bay and the sea. Front 9 quite forgiving, but interesting and fun to play. Back 9 includes some pretty dramatic holes, can be quite tough given the huge dunes and the thick rough, but fair. We played Lahinch, Ballybunion, Doonbeg and Tralee last week and Tralee came out as a close second for us, just a touch behind Lahinch but ahead of Ballybunion and Doonbeg.
May 31, 2012
10 / 10
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Maarten
I fell in love with Tralee . There isn't a weak hole at all and I can't think of a course with more ocean holes. The stretch from 11-17 is just magical. the twelfth is the hardest hole I've ever set foot on and however I managed to struck a great drive twice, I have bogeyed it and double bogeyed it when the wind stormed in my face. All in all I will never forget Tralee and for me it has the edge against both the courses at Ballybunion. the Old Course there is no. 2 in my top 5. The green fee of 180 euros is a lot of money, but you can come back for a free complimentary round which is a great deal.
July 08, 2011
10 / 10
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Ebrahim Vahed
May 28, 2012
Played on May 22nd, 2012, after Lahinch. I think this is a wonderful golf course with 2 contrasting nines. The first is a hillside links that is a test especially if the wind is up. The second is a spectacular dune links with awesome holes. Tough but fair. Wonderful and friendly staff. Excellent clubhouse with great views and good food. Well worth the visit. I could play this course every day and would not tire of it. Great caddie, Sean. Good luck with your holidaying job caddying in Chicago
Peter O'Donnell
Tralee is absolutely stunning and a real test, particularly the back 9. We played on an incredibly windy day which made the course even more challenging. The greens were excellent and the rest of the course in superb condition – better than Waterville or Ballybunion. The staff were very welcoming and helpful – the starter helping us with the line of our drives on many of the holes. This is a magnificent golf course.
June 09, 2011
10 / 10
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