Waterville - Kerry - Ireland

Waterville Golf Links,
Waterville,
County Kerry,
Ireland


  • +353 66 947 4102


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Waterville

The town of Waterville is a famous angling centre, located on a strip of land that separates the Atlantic Ocean from one of the most beautiful lakes in Ireland, Lough Currane. The name Waterville, or An CoireÁn (Little Whirlpool), is the premier coastal tourist centre of South West Kerry. Every year, Charlie Chaplin came to Waterville with his family, and they have named the annual two-day AM-AM after him. The AM-AM has been held since 1984, a two-day golfing extravaganza involving teams from all over Ireland. It also involves a certain amount of merriment!

Golf at Waterville started around 1889 with a modest 9-hole course, laid out on the eastern section of the present course. In the 1950s, the club folded until Jack Mulcahy (an Irish American) bought the links in the late 1960s. Mulcahy commissioned Claude Harmon, his friend and the 1948 Masters champion and Eddie Hackett, Ireland’s most prolific architect, to design a new course. In 1973, the “beautiful monster” course at Waterville opened for play. Tom Fazio was subsequently commissioned to update the course.

Waterville plays on a promontory surrounded by the sea. It’s a stunning, remote location with views to the northeast of the Macgillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range and to the southwest across the beautiful Ballinskelligs Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The fairways are gently undulating, the front nine plays across relatively flat ground whilst the back nine weaves its way through avenues of tall dunes. The view from the elevated 17th tee, an excellent par 3 called “Mulcahy’s Peak” after the founder Jack Mulcahy, is simply breathtaking.

There are few courses that can boast such a fine collection of unique and great golf holes. Waterville has three outstanding par threes and three excellent par fives, the par fours are pretty good too. The 11th is a heavenly short par five with a rippling fairway protected on both flanks by towering dunes. The 366-yard par four 16th was once called “Round the Bend” because it follows the natural curvature of the Atlantic coastline. It was here that Liam Higgins, the local pro, had a hole-in-one on his way to setting a course record of 65. Fittingly, the hole is now called “Liam’s Ace”.

The remote location of the Waterville links has precluded it from hosting any big competitions, but many famous golfers find their way here and they all leave with the feeling that Waterville is a very special place.

Payne Stewart was due to be Honorary Captain of Waterville in 2000. Tragically, in October 1999 he died when his private jet crashed in South Dakota. A bronze statue pays tribute to him and his affiliation with Waterville.

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Reviews for Waterville

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Description: Waterville Golf Links plays on a promontory surrounded by the sea. It’s a stunning, remote location... Rating: 8.4 out of 10 Reviews: 38
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kelly conway
I am compelled to write a review of this course because it is so overrated in these ratings. The layout is nothing special...until you get to 16,17, 18 which are special. In addition when I played the conditioning was awful. Yet the annoying thing I have to say is how "Americanized" (btw - I am an American) this place is: statue of Payne Stewart; carts; etc.). This I can get at Pinehurst. I do not expect it at a "world class" links course. I would not go back. Kelly Conway
December 18, 2005
2 / 10
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michael rowley
August 14, 2007
carts and a statue of Payne Stewart are superficial - the course is superb
nick
April 01, 2008
is this guy for real, to belittle waterville is golfing ignorance, it is one of the finest links courses on the planet and maybe our american friend should appreciate what real links golf is, the only reason the course has become american friendly is to cater for mr conway and his friends
Billy
Having just returned from a visit to Southwest Ireland, I can safely say that Waterville was the highlight of our trip, which included both courses at Ballybunion, Tralee, Lahinch and Dooks. This was the first time for me at Waterville and I realise that I cannot compare the old layout with the post 3rd phase of the Fazio changes (which I have been keeping an eye on via the Waterville website). The thing that I like the most is that Waterville is in balance as a course (unlike Ballybunion Old and Tralee). The opening hole is quite ordinary and simply gets you away and then things get better and better. The yardage chart wasn't much help because bunkers have come and gone and it was quite confusing getting accurate distances. Granted, we were lucky with the weather, which was sunny and warm with a light winds. When I come back to this neck of the woods (and I will), I will head for Waterville first and probably stay here. Billy.
October 06, 2005
10 / 10
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David Worley
I have played 126 top courses in the UK and Ireland. I have absolutely no doubt that Waterville is THE most over rated course I have ever played -July 2003. Even in mid summer parts of the course were very very wet. 5 or 6 good holes - the rest are very ordinary as was the condition of the course.Would not get in my top 60.David Worley.
October 05, 2005
4 / 10
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ally
April 29, 2008
Hi,stunned to hear that - one of my favourites. Play all over the world and would have WV in my top 10 easy, probably top 5.Was it breezy? Are you a hacker?Ally
David Worley
February 25, 2015
Just noticed my July 2003 review of Waterville in which I was clearly underwhelmed. Not knowing anything about recent 'problems' I think it is only fair that I comment as per my book 'Another Journey through the Links' - "The Waterville I played in 2006 was brilliant - immeasurably improved upon from my visit in 2003 when apparently renovation works had just started and it was in poor condition." The Tom Fazio changes have also been beneficial.
Andy
Wow – what a golf course. This is the real deal and it is where Tiger and his pals practice before the Open Championship each year. I have been fortunate enough to play many links courses over the last few years, over 30 including big names at Portrush, Portmarnock, Ballyliffin, St Georges plus many more …. Waterville is the best of the lot and now becomes my favourite course that I have played. Everything here is spot on, the variety, the quality, the twists and turns, the history and this is just the most fantastic place to play golf. Fav holes, 3rd, 11th and the final four – just the ultimate course. AN.
September 24, 2005
10 / 10
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Hugh
Undeniably a great course but outclassed by Ballybunion, Lahinch and Old Head. It’s exceptionally tough with some top class holes and it’s also fair without tricks. Play here for the stunning location alone and enjoy the warm and friendly Irish welcome.
April 12, 2005
8 / 10
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Robert Palmer
Played this in 2000 and it's a long tough course, but in a great location. I found the front 9 to be quite undistinguished for links golf but the back 9 is superb with the Par 5 18th skirting the Atlantic. Well worth a visit.
April 11, 2005
8 / 10
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Brock Lynch
Waterville is a tough links golf course that requires accurate driving. The course was in great shape and the staff was very friendly. You should add this course to your itinerary when golfing in southwest Ireland.
August 22, 2004
8 / 10
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Hugh
Tough...long...tight...enough said! Not to be missed though.
June 14, 2004
8 / 10
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