Tralee Golf Club, West Barrow, Tralee, County Kerry
Founded 1896. Links Course
Like Waterville, Ballybunion, Old Head and Lahinch, Tralee is the other member of the must-play selection of courses in the Southwest. Playing directly along the coast, Tralee is spectacular beyond belief and is probably second only to Old Head is the scenery department. Often commented upon for its brilliant back-nine, having played the front nine, you’ll wonder how that could possibly be the case. It just gets better throughout at Tralee.
Founded in 1896, the current Arnold Palmer design opened for play in 1984 and Palmer commented at the time “I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited to building a golf course”. Certainly the location and scenic splendour adds much to the experience at Tralee but the reality is that this is allied to a wonderful links golf course. The front nine holes are excellent but the back nine will both torture and amaze you in equal measures.
Offering so much superb scenery, interesting attractions and beautiful little towns and villages, it is impossible to find the time to take in everything in this region of Ireland. The main city is Cork and while in the area, visitors should be sure to include the likes of Blarney Casstle, Fota Wildlife Park, Cork City Jail Heritage Centre, Titanic Experience Cobh and Midleton Distillery.
Another location you are likely to find yourself is Kinsale, a beautiful harbour town south of Cork City and convenient for play at the Old Head Golf Links. Known as the gourmet capital of Ireland, Kinsale boasts many superb restaurants but you should also take in a Kinsale Harbour Cruise and visit the stunning Charles Fort just outside town.
Killarney is a particularly popular location for golfers and as a central base from which to play the great courses nearby, Killarney is hard to beat. Whether you have a full free day to take in the sights or a half day before or after golf, there is much to see, including the scenic Dingle Peninsula, Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms, Torc Waterfall, the Gap of Dunloe, Killarney National Park, Ross Castle and Kate Kearney’s Cottage.
A typical golfing itinerary in the Southwest would see you spend at least some time in the Clare area, from where you can play the likes of Lahinch & Doonbeg. Here again, there are many options. If you are travelling with family, a trip to the Aillwee Caves in Ballyvaughan is a great day out, while other locations of interest include the Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, the Burren Centre and Craggaunowen Living Past.