Doonbeg certainly seems to split people's opinions and I am not entirely sure what to make of it. I have played it twice, before and after the latest renovations by Hawtree et al. but I am if anything less impressed by it now. There is no doubt this is a good course, but it's competing at the very top bit of the Irish golf menu and I think if I had a choice I would much rather play a second round at Lahinch or Ballybunion rather than Doonbeg.
As has been mentioned by others the greens were s-h-o-c-k-i-n-g-l-y bad this summer, I can't really give any justification to the state of them in middle of June - they were the worst I played all year.
Apart from the poor greens, the course is also very tough once you are off the fairways, violating MacKenzie;s principle that "There should be a complete absence of the annoyance and irritation caused by the necessity of searching for lost balls". Our group spent a lot of time looking for lost balls, and this was in stark contrast to Lahinch the following day when at least you could find your ball and make a reasonable slash at it.
The 14th hole which was one of the most spectacular holes I have seen was lost in the storms and its replacement is good but not on same level.
There are a few very exciting holes here, but its difficult to remember them as vividly as at Lahinch or Ballybunion. The review may seem negative but it's more to justify the 5-ball rating, as this is a very good course, but nowhere near top 100 in world.
Date: November 05, 2017