Ballybunion Golf Club,
- +353 (0) 68 27146
2 miles S of Ballybunion
Contact in advance - not at weekends
Jo McKenna, Lionel Hewson, Tom Simpson & Molly Gourlay
Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Ballybunion (Old)
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Av. Reviewers Score:
Ballybunion old is my favourite links course (sorry St Andrews old). After the simple first you end up between the dunes, below the dunes and on top of the dunes as some tees and greens are shaved dune tops. The stretch along the bay is superb but either play like I did on a calm day or wait till it is!
Always in Irelands Top five list and very pleasant to play. Exceptionally well designed, it starts you off gently while you warm up to the challenge ahead which increases in difficulty as you progress through the course to a great finishing stretch. The scenery will charm you from holes seven onwards where the design blends in beautifully with the landscape. The back nine is tight and ‘Ballybunion rules’ should apply if your ball goes badly astray- which means no searching for lost balls- reload, move on, enjoy the journey. Great variety of shots to play to the par 3’s on the course of which there are five set in breathtaking sand dunes.
Ballybunion is the go to course in all of Ireland. It has been a while since I played here. It won’t be a while till I get back. The thing that awestruck me numerous times was the severe difficulty of the shot before me. I must of arrived with my A game previously. Several times I was of the mind frame that I can’t “gettharfromhar” and it was less than 100 yards. The severe wind from the start was a tad unnerving. 30 mph left to right off 1 with the cemetery looming right. They have made some nice changes to the playing ground. They are replacing all 18 greens for the first time in 50 years. Special views and vistas. Dramatic playing holes. Great condition. Holes 4/5/6 are weak but the rest is grand. It’s Ballybunion and it is only getting better…Getthar…Ha
Why is Ballybunion (Old) rated so highly on your list when courses lower down the rankings have achieved better reviewer scores ?I was hoping that the rankings would be authentic without editorial input or bias which is certainly in evidence in other lists.Whilst holes 8 onwards at Ballybunion are other worldly, logic would suggest that a course cannot be considered top 10 material when over a third of its holes are ordinary. Just because Tom Watson loves it .....!
July 28, 2014
Here at Top 100, there is a difference between ratings and rankings. However, we have in the past published a Britain & Ireland Top 100 ranking list based on reviewers’ ratings (golf balls) and the last time we did this was in 2009 – see Your Britain & Ireland Top 100. We may perform a re-run at some future point. The Ranking & Rating section details our process.
A selective course in a good shape, but to much traffic, no chance to get a hole on the putting green.Is an absolutely tourist course and the value for money is average.
Played Ballybunion Old this week. First six holes disappointing, being close to road, caravan park and a house, which came into play. Thereafter, one good quality hole after another, with 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 all excellent. Club house and staff tremendous. Tip for other players is to get out first thing. We tee'd off at 7am and had an easy round in 3 and a half hours. Successive groups of 4 balls arrived by the bus load, taking 6 hours and more to get round. The design of the course means that in the early stages, players tee off over the greens they have just finished, and tempers became frayed. Don't stay in the village hotels, very poor. Overall I think the course should be rated very good rather than excellent. Although rated in top 20 in the world, I believe Muirfield, Dornoch, Turnberry Royal Birkdale and Portmarnock to be better all round experiences.
6 handicap golfer - played in April 2013.have to agree with many of the commentators in that there are too many ordinary holes (compared to other similar courses in Ireland to have top spot). Liked the nuances of the 1st but the course did not get going until the 7th. Boy did it get going though. Absolutely loved the remainder of the golf course. The staff were a treat and very welcoming. I played Cashen in the afternoon and as a 36, it takes some beating. There is an aura about the place which makes it special and absolutely a must play destination (which you all know already)
We played BB in 2010 on a sun splashed day. It was my favorite course on the whole island. The first five holes are good, and I thought number 2 was a cracker. The routing is genius, bringing the golfer to the sea three separate times. The club itself is very welcoming. It was an especially enjoyable experience. The only downside is the price, but hey, it is what it is. I hope to return some day.
In light of the top-notch rankings of this course, we were somewhat disappointed. Clearly this course has a number of great holes, particularly on the Back 9. However, in my view not a 6 ball course for the following reasons: First 6 holes visually not great as they run alongside the street with a caravan park, overall atmosphere not very friendly, club house feels too big and out of sync with the course, driving range mats look like they are 20 years old,... The course itself is clearly close to a 6 ball but our overall experience was not that great, don't think we will go back. We clearly preferred Tralee and Lahinch.
Played the Old course last week. My opinion - there are some lovely views but the course is not special. The back 9 is better than the front 9. I much prefer Waterville, Old Head, Doonbeg and Ballyliffin (both courses). Too much time is spent looking for balls because you can't see the landing areas. No one calls any groups through so a round takes 5+ hours. I fully undesrtand why everyone wants to play it, but that's twice for me now and I doubt I'll be back.
May 28, 2012
Played the course last week. Our expectations were very high, having read about this course over the last 2 years. In fairness, it is a good links layout, with back 9 better. But I too would prefer Lahinch and Waterville. We were underwhelmed, but will be prepared to go back to try and unravel the mystery and aura that supposedly surrounds this golf course.