Journal Entry #59
On the west coast of Ireland you will find the little town of Lahinch in County Clare. Here you will also find the Lahinch Golf Club, the second oldest on the island. The golf course was marked out on April 9, 1892 and the first match played on April 15th. It is credited as being founded by the Merchant Princes of Limerick with the help of the Black Watch Regiment. That is as much history as you are going to get, because you are probably more interested in the course itself as it is today.
There are actually two courses, the old and the new. This article is about the old. The old course does not have a driving range, but the new course does. Of course if you use it you have to go out and pick up all the balls you hit. Come to think of it, none of the courses had either power riding carts or driving ranges. Us Americans are spoiled. In Ireland plan on walking the courses. You can pull a handcart if you like and those are referred to as trolleys.
LAHINCH TOWN IN COUNTY CLARE
LAHINCH GOLF CLUB
CLUB PRO SHOP
My first experience when I arrived at the club was to meet with Alan Rearden. He manages the club and my discussion with him was very informative and interesting. My thanks to him for his generosity.
ALAN REARDEN, SECRETARY & GM OF THE LAHINCH GOLF CLUB
Now about the course. Lahinch is exactly what I expected of a traditional Irish golf course. Like any golf course, if you keep your ball in the fairway you are likely to score well. The fairways here range from mostly very narrow to a few where you can actually hit a modest fade or draw. Considering that the rough ranges from about a foot high of grass and heather to waist deep, you will have quite a challenge if your ball strays. On more than one hole I simply picked up and took an eight. While Lahinch is a links course, you can even call it a target course because placement is critical everywhere.
The greens are excellent and very large. Many are well protected, as are the fairways, with foxhole bunkers. Those bunkers are frequently deep and steep. Since the Atlantic Ocean directly borders the west side of the course, the strategy of breaking towards the sea comes into play. Those ocean views are breathtaking. The only down side of my day at the Lahinch Golf Club was that the sun was not in the mood to come out this day. At least it did not rain and the wind was not a factor, which I understand is unusual.
One thing for sure, your first time out you really need to hire a caddy; otherwise I guarantee you will get lost and in some cases end up playing to the wrong green.
To follow are some of my favorite holes and photos of the day. For a more comprehensive course review and slide show click on COURSE REVIEWS
THE 472 YARD NUMBER FOUR TAKES A LONG STRAIGHT DRIVE TO STAY IN PLAY
Tom Morris designed this hole in the early 1900s and it remains the same to this day. When we teed off I noticed a small rugged hill directly in the path of the fairway. I also noticed a guy up on top with a flag to wave golfers on with their blind approach shots to the green. The hill was steep and I managed to plant a couple of shots into it. A conservative approach would be to play around the hill for a bogie. Another startling reality comes when you walk around the hill. You will find golfers teeing off across the approach fairway on another hole. The guy with the flag has his job cut out for him. It's traffic management.
GOLFERS, GOLFERS EVERYWHERE LOOKING FOR LOST BALLS
156 YARD PAR THREE NUMBER ELEVEN IS PICTURESQUE
NO ROOM FOR ERROR ON 156 YARD THREE PAR NUMBER EIGHT
TAKING A WELL DESERVED BREAK
JOHN & MARILYNN
BAMBI AND BRIAN
|OUR FOURSOME ENJOYED THE DAY|
You can email John K. Darling, Founder at GolfGuy@SeniorFriendlyGolf.com.