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 has 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 from other courses to make room for the experience that is 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: 8.9 out of 10 Reviews: 50
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Fred Hammer
I found Tralee to be underrated. Golf Digest did not list it in their top 20 for Ireland, but did list courses like Carlow and Dromoland Castle, which aren't in the same league as Tralee. The main argument against it is that the nines are uneven, and while it is true that very few courses in the world can match the spectacular stretch of holes 11-17, I thouroughly enjoyed the more conventional front nine as well. The whole place is beautiful, it was in the best shape of any course in the Southwest when I played it recently, and the staff and caddies - who were members and were having a great time themselves - made for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I had it ahead of Ballybunion, behind Lahinch, and about even with Waterville.
October 18, 2005
8 / 10
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D F CONNOLLY
April 20, 2007
I cannot leave this correspondent away with his initial comment -"that Carlow is not in the same league as Tralee". This comment obviously stems from a severe lack of knowledge - Tralee is a different animal - Sea side as opposed to inland parkland. Carlow is, without doubt, one of the jems of Irish Courses. I can only quote an old departed friend in his description of Carlow - the late Pat Mulcaire !! - when he said that "Carlow golf course demanded mastery of every club in the bag". His opinion I would value.
Adrian Gaspar
Currently ranked 74? Wow, if there are 73 better courses in the UK and Ireland, I can't wait to play more of them. Admittedly it doesn't match Turnberry or RCD in my affections but I think the back 9 must be close to as good a nine holes of golf you will get. Well worth a visit, although it does have the feel of a purely commercial enterprise.
October 03, 2005
8 / 10
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Keith Baxter

For me, Tralee will be an unforgettable experience, I have only played the course once, but it was in a howling gale and it was brutally tough... so tough that the balls were blowing off some of the greens. It was virtually unplayable. That said, Tralee holds your interest all the way round. The first nine holes have stunning views, but they're not quite the real thing. The front nine reminded me of the Devlin course at St Andrews Bay, especially with the stone walls and cliff side setting. The back nine on the other hand is simply superb links golf and has become my favourite back nine in all golf, pushing Hillside into 2nd place. The unfortunate thing about Tralee is that the two nines don't fit together very well. If I owned the course (and had lots of money and the land) I'd build two more nines, one in the dunes and another along the cliffs making two joined up courses. Tralee would then be a comparable 36-hole complex to Ballybunion. Loved the "ready to go" breakfast rolls at the turn...

October 03, 2005
7 / 10
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Andy
January 09, 2010
To avoid any confusion, the Devlin at St Andrews Bay has been renamed Kittocks.
Conor Lawlor
This course was good, not excellent but good. I have played a few times before and my past experiences have been similar. Holes 12,13,14 are a great mix, the 13th was where I got my birdie. My overall thought was that Arnie is catching the general club player where they do not need to be. I have heard that green fees may stop in favour of just member invites only.
July 08, 2005
4 / 10
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Paddy Mc Elligott
Without doubt, a top 5 course in Ireland. Some of the best holes you’ll ever play are to be found here: 2, 3, 8, 10, 12, 16, 17, 18. The course is tough, but solid golf is rewarded. Add to this the spectacular setting and you have a classic. We all know of courses where reputation far exceeds reality. If I was to pick 5 “must play” courses on any visit to Ireland, I would have to include Tralee, along with Ballybunion, Lahinch, Portmarnock and Mount Juliet.
May 12, 2005
10 / 10
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Cédric
Fabulous back nine! As enjoyable as Ballybunion, Waterville and Doonbeg which we played during the same trip. Great hospitality too...and student discounts! I will return on a sunny day...definitely!
February 18, 2005
10 / 10
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Brock Lynch
Tralee is a good links golf course set in a most spectacular setting. The scenery is a whisker below Pebble Beach with tremendous views of the ocean and beach below. There are some good holes @ Tralee especially #2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 17. Be sure to put Tralee on your list when traveling to southwest Ireland.
August 21, 2004
8 / 10
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Hugh
What a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The holes are varied and the views are simply wonderful. Excellent greens and a friendly place to boot...marvellous holiday golf.
June 13, 2004
6 / 10
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stuart speechly
Played at the end of Autumn so we were only privy to 14 holes but what a lovely detour. Beautiful views accompany a very challenging round of golf, especially with the wind up. Mr Palmer appears to have made the best use of a very natural piece of land adding a lovely dash of green placement to keep all golfers on their toes. And so, so beautiful is the beach that runs along the edge of the course. Irish golfers rate this course, which for me says something.
May 31, 2004
8 / 10
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Steve Smith
Perhaps the least prominent of the SW Ireland Courses, but probably my favourite. Sometimes opinions are coloured by factors such a weather, form on the day etc. I played this with two strangers, brothers from St.George's Hill, we all played well, the Guinness was good, and we bowled the Aussies out for just over a 100 in the First Test(which we went on to win, alas not the Series.)
May 26, 2004
8 / 10
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