nr Kinsale, Co. Cork
18 holes. Clifftop course. Undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb.
Coastal cliffs and rural countryside.
A collaborative design involving Ron Kirby, Paddy Merrigan, Liam Higgins, Eddie Hackett and Dr. Joe Carr.
48 km S of Cork
Old Head Golf Links: If golf was simply about scenery and location, Old Head would surely top all the rating lists. It occupies a unique and jaw-dropping location.
The course sits atop 300-foot cliffs that plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on all sides. When it opened for play in 1997 it caused quite a stir ... not least among the thousands of tourists and local ramblers who were thenceforth barred from visiting this iconic headland on the Cork coastline. Now The Old Head is the sole preserve of golfers ... and only those who can stump-up the significant green fee to play here.
Beyond great scenery, golf courses need to be playable. And this is where the Old Head lays down its biggest challenge, especially when the wind blows, as is often the case. The layout is necessarily characterised by good-width rolling fairways, complemented by excellent bunkering and large expansive greens. The par of 72 includes five par-5s and five par-3s, with six teeing options on each hole. Nine of the holes play directly along the cliffs' edge, with precipitous drops on one side or the other.
Principal among Old Head's challenge is flighting your ball into the wind, and keeping it from taking a 300-foot plunge into the Atlantic. If you strike lucky you'll face a moderate breeze. At other times, it's likely to be a case of hang on to your hat! Some golf experiences are not about counting your score (or the cost of playing), but rather marvelling at a unique golfing adventure. Old Head offers one such thrill ride.
MOST MEMORABLE HOLES: The opening stretch of four holes that stretch up to the lighthouse are unforgettable, while the par-5 12th also presents another jaw-dropping spectacle. The stunning par-4 18th plays from the lighthouse back to the clubhouse, usually with wind assisting.
Stay & Play at Old Head: luxury onsite accommodation available, see Where2Stay section below.
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends possible. Course closed during winter (usually Nov thru' March).
Must book in advance. Handicap required
Credit cards accepted. Contact club for full details, discounts, day tickets, Stay&Play packages, etc. [Last updated: 2018].
Old Head is intended as a walking course and players are encouraged to walk with caddies. Caddies available at all times. Golf carts (fitted with GPS) are also available for hire.
The brainchild of John and Patrick O’Connor, Old Head has developed into one of the most recognised and sought after golf experiences anywhere in the world - a sanctuary for those seeking the finest in personalised service.
The Old Head Caddie Programme is one of the most extensive and professional worldwide, with approximately 160 caddies working at the Club during the season.
2019 Golf World rating: 65th best course in Britain & Ireland; 20th best in Ireland.
Kinsale, County Cork P17 CX88.
+353 (0) 21 477 8444Visit website
Occupying a stunning and unique headland reaching out over two miles into the Atlantic Ocean, the Old Head of Kinsale is home to one of the world's most spectacular golf courses, as well as 15 luxury suites, a world-class Spa and a five-star restaurant. Although Old Head's website currently mentions the suites are "member-only", they can be booked (subject to availability) by non-members.
Cork; Fota Island (35 km).
Pearse St, Kinsale, Co. Cork.
+353 (0)21 477 4075Visit website
Located in the centre of Kinsale alongside many famous bars and restaurants, each room in the Old Bank House is a blend of Georgian splendour and modern comfort, with many period pieces and original art.
Old Head of Kinsale; Cork; Fota Island (35 km).
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