Ballybunion (Old)

Ballybunion Old
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Ballybunion (Old)

  • Course Type

  • GOLF Top 100 World Rank (2023-24)

  • Year

  • Architects

    P. Murphy, 1893 / Tom Simpson, 1936
  • Par

  • Yardage


Course Overview

This Southwest Irish gem is wedged between huge sandhills and the Atlantic Ocean. “Nothing less than the finest seaside course I have ever seen,” said Hall of Fame writer Herbert Warren Wind. Echoed five-time Open champion Tom Watson, “It is one of the best and most beautiful tests of links golf anywhere.” Greenkeeper John Bambury embarked seven years ago to convert the poa greens to fine fescue and to re-establish the running game. His hard work has reached fruition. World-class holes abound, such as the 470-yard 11th, which cascades downhill to a green between two dunes, and the picture-perfect 210-yard 15th with an Atlantic backdrop. (Photo: Getty Images)

3 things to know

  • Hole everyone talks about

    No. 11, par-4, 473 yards: Known as “Watson’s” after golf legend Tom Watson, the 11th runs along the sea demanding an accurate tee shot avoiding dunes on both sides and trouble between the fairway and green.
  • Best non-golf amenity

    Get a room at The 19th Lodge to rest your head on the doorstep of one of the best links courses in Ireland.
  • Insider tip

    A round at the Old Course costs €350 (~$423), but you can get a round on both the Old Course and the Robert Trent Jones-designed Cashen Course for just €450 (~$544).