There are no shortage of regulars on GOLF’s Top 100 Courses in the World list — in fact, it’s nearly all regulars. But that’s not to say there’s no churn or fresh faces. This time ’round, seven newcomers made the cut, and in the coming days were going to introduce (or reintroduce!) you to each of them. We begin with No. 55 on the 2021-22 ranking: Tom Doak’s first design in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Links.
Ireland’s dunes have benefited from sand deposits over the millennia along its West Coast as exemplified by its fabled links in the Southwest, including Ballybunion, Lahinch and Waterville. Each enjoys some of the game’s most impressive landforms.
Set in the northwest county of Donegal, St. Patrick’s too will soon become a household name with golfers flocking here to experience the unbridled joy that comes from playing in and among big dunes with steady winds adding to the challenge.
The course looks like it has been there for a century, instead of having opened in 2021, which speaks volumes about the routing and the talented shapers that worked the land. Some of the interior green contours, like those found on 5, 10, 11 and 17, are as dazzling as the overall environment. Both golfers and architecture buffs should take note of the features that make the three longest par-4s (9, 11 and 16) so much fun to play.