Tralee Golf Club is located in the picturesque heart of County Kerry, in the south west of Ireland, sitting on the shores of Barrow Bay looking out over the white sandy coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.
The club dates back to 1896 when it was home to a 9 hole course, it was in 1984 that the current 18 hole course was designed by the renowned Arnold Palmer, it was in fact his first European design. It is an outstanding links course, par 72, measuring 6,975 yards. Since it opened the course has continually featured in all Top 10 Golf Courses in Ireland lists, an impressive achievement for such a relatively new course.
The course design and layout is superb and the surroundings are simply majestic and steeped with history. The course sits perfectly into the rugged terrain and rolling sand dunes and makes the most of its natural terrain, featuring unique cliff-top greens and tees, impressive dunes and fairways. Features of the course are
- fescue greens,
- undulating fairways,
- cavernous bunkers,
- some punishing rough
- and numerous blind spots.
Being a true links course the weather comes into play frequently and here you have to contend with strong coastal winds that are almost always prevalent. There is not a weak hole here, the opening nine are beautiful and play across fairly level links land, on an open clifftop layout. Then the course really comes alive, the back nine are first class, running through a mass of dramatic dunes that curve along the beach, overlooking the sea, and carry across ravines to plateau greens, to holes carved out of the dunes. There is an excellent mix of holes, tough par 4’s and great short holes too. A caddy is essential if it is your first time playing to help you navigate the course.
You will find a pristine course that is excellently maintained. The tricky greens are perfectly manicured, are fast and true, the fairways are fairly wide and perfect, the rough is punishing and the cavernous bunkers are well placed.
The stunning setting and views add to the overall experience, they are stunning, a true paradise for those willing to challenge what is widely hailed as one of the best links courses in the world. It is a challenging course but not overly difficult, it provides a stimulating and engaging round that is a pleasure to play, just don’t get distracted by the views. Tralee Golf Club was recently voted as one of the Top 10 Ocean courses in the world, an exceptional and well deserved award.