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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paul calverley
Sometimes it seems churlish to be critical of such a good course but having played Lahinch, Ballybunion & Waterville on the same trip I can only 'tell it how I see it'. The course is in a fantasic spot and we played it in perfect conditions but I found the front nine quite flat and less than challenging (even for a double figure handicapper) but the back 9 was carved out of the giant dunes and has some amazing holes. Unfortunately I thought the use of hughly elevated greens to be detrimental to the enjoyment of playing the course. The routing is visually stunning but playing blind approach after blind approach isn't really my idea of a true test of golf.
April 30, 2011
8 / 10
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Jim Taylor
July 13, 2015
Sounds like Gary Player talking about Royal County Down. Blind shots are almost always a feature of links golf as the goal is to utilize the existing topography. You move as little dirt as possible and route the courses through and over the existing dunes. To do otherwise is to do a disservice to links.
Jim Taylor
July 13, 2015
Sounds like Gary Player talking about Royal County Down. Blind shots are almost always a feature of links golf as the goal is to utilize the existing topography. You move as little dirt as possible and route the courses through and over the existing dunes. To do otherwise is to do a disservice to links. Perhaps this reviewer should stick to flat, unimaginative parkland courses,
James
Deserves a higher ranking
January 08, 2011
10 / 10
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Jim Taylor
Tralee was the biggest surprise on my trip to Ireland. It is the equal of Waterville and almost as good as Ballybunion. Palmer is right when he says God designed the back nine. It rivals the back nine at Ballybunion and the front nine at Dornoch in Scotland. The only negative was the staff. I found them unfriendly and not very helpful. Perhaps they were having a bad day during my visits on June 17 and June 21, 2010.
June 29, 2010
10 / 10
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martin
September 14, 2010
it's not that they're unfriendly, it's just kerry people in general are miserable
John Tilbrook
Tralee - Photo by John TilbrookTralee was the final Course to be played on our tour in July 2009 the 14th in 17 days! It was magnificent to play the par 3's from the Back Tees and I never saw a prettier course with sweeping ocean dune views and to be continually challenged every hole to see if I had anything left in the bag - was fantastic! Of course I played it again the next day - it just got better! John
April 15, 2010
10 / 10
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ckucey
Tralee is one of my favorites in Ireland. It has everything a golfer would expect of one of the best in the world. Everyone I know who comes back from a golf outing in Ireland ranks Tralee at the top of their list. Magnificent views, great conditioning,wonderful staff(especially Ducks) and a tough test of this great game.
March 17, 2010
10 / 10
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Pat O`Dea
For a very average golfer, playing Tralee was like walking with Kings. Captivating is the correct description for this remarkable layout and I eagerly await my next visit. I have played several of the other great Irish courses, but Tralee is the complete experience.
March 02, 2010
10 / 10
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Ed Fitzgerald
I have been playing courses in Ireland for the past 15 years . The first course I played was Tralee. It never disappoints. It is a real test of skill and one of the most magnificent sites in Ireland (or anywhere else for that matter). I make it a point to play Tralee every time I go to Ireland. I've told my son that I want my ashes scattered at the third green when the wind is blowing in from the sea.
March 02, 2010
10 / 10
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Roger Evans
I first played Tralee in 2006 and again in 2008. Each of those years I was fortunate enough to play the course twice. The essential difference I found with Tralee from other Irish courses is that it is a course of two halves. The first being a majestic sweep of the coast line with each hole designed with views of the bay and incorporating features that seaside courses have over inland courses. After the 10th hole one enters into typical Irish links holes ( think of Ballybunion, Lahinch, Royal County Down) that are typical in their design and presentation and the equal of the very best Ireland has to offer. The 12th I rate as the the most difficult and challenging hole in the courses I have played in Ireland. For an average golfer like myself Tralee gives one the best of two great Irish courses , something that I have yet to find in the Emerald Isle. The Club itself is relaxed and welcoming;altogether a compelling must see and play course.
February 28, 2010
10 / 10
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Neil Daley
Tralee Golf Club is not only a tremendous test of golf but it is the most scenic golf course that I have ever had the pleasure of playing. On every hole you can see the water whether it be Tralee Bay, Fenit Harbor or the Atlantic Ocean. There was a good reason why the movie Ryan's daughter was filmed along this coast !However, the golf course is not the only attraction here. The people are equally attractive. It is the most friendly place to play. The entire staff and membership makes you feel so at home. It is like you have known them for years. This attracted me so much that in 1996 I joined as an overseas lifetime member. It was one of the best decisions I made in life. You will not find a more hospitable and beautiful course anywhere else in the world !
February 27, 2010
10 / 10
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Jeff Kimbro
Played the course with a group of 8 friends in 2007 and we all loved it. Very forgiving off the tees on the front nine and a little tighter on the back. The difficulty lies in the approach shots. Wind can turn a fair course into an absolute beast as it did to us on the back nine. The course was in the best condition of any of the others that we played on the trip. It is very aesthetic to the eye as a number of ancient castles can be seen around the course. Absolutely loved the first par 5 on the course that has a stone wall as an aiming point, but can come into play if the drive is pulled left. The back nine is tremendous, playing in and around the sand dunes. The backnine par 3's played over gorges and required precise shots into the greens. The staff in the clubhouse was excellent and we had excellent caddies. If it was 100 years old, it would be in the top 20.
January 23, 2010
8 / 10
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