Review of the Month December 2017 - Ballyliffin (Old)

16 January 2018 Respond to this article

Review of the Month December 2017 - Ballyliffin (Old)

I have now been to Northwest Ireland to play golf three years in a row. Having played most links courses ranked in the Britain and Ireland Top 100 and many ranked just below, I think no other place offers a better combination of course quality and accessibility. Not even factoring in the drop dead gorgeous scenery.

Ballyliffin Old Course - Tank

I mean, where else can you look out the window and decide on the day – as a non-member – when on the same day you’d like to play two top links courses… and reasonably expect to play two rounds at your own pace, whether that is a fast 3-hour two-ball match or a game at a more leisurely pace?

With the Glashedy course chosen for the 2018 Irish Open, I think there is a risk that more people will favour that course at the expense of the Old links. They could not be more mistaken.

For me, it is the combination of the Old links and the Glashedy, and the fact that they are very different design-wise, yet equally matched, which makes the Ballyliffin experience.

Drive up to the clubhouse in the morning, have a chat in the pro shop to make sure you know when other groups are teeing off and then decide which course to play first. If the weather turns ugly (happens), just wait in the clubhouse until it blows over, then start/resume your round. You can play 9, 18, 27 or 36 holes, whatever takes your fancy.

Heaven.

So, what could possibly be better? Well, you cannot walk from your hotel room to the first tee. At Rosapenna, two hours away, but at equal distance from Dublin, you can. That would perhaps be the one reason to go elsewhere.

By EG Ohman

Review of the Month December 2017 selected by Editor-in-Chief, Keith Baxter – click to read more about Ballyliffin (Old).