Expectation was high before playing Doonbeg and all was well after arrival and then moving to the 1st tee. The par-5 1st is as good an opening hole as I can think of (maybe Portstewart just sneaks it to be honest). After the 1st, for me there are too many holes that left me scratching my head - the boomerang shaped 2nd green is just comical and unnecessary. There are some good uses of the land but not enough, the holes around the turn stick in the memory for just being rather average as the dunes are not in play because of some local protection laws. The 12th hole, when I played was into the wind and after a decent drive I hit driver again low and straight which found it's way on to the green - could not have asked for more - except that the ball came to rest in the bunker in the middle of the green - just unnecessary and not fair. The 13th and 14th are great holes and also the 18th is a fine end to a course that left me asking why trick it up so much. The SW of Ireland offers so much in terms of golf courses but Doonbeg was disappointing (yes some of the course is 5-ball rating but as a collection of 18 holes, it is only a 3-ball, sorry).
Date: May 13, 2008