The ultimate Ireland golf trip

Courses and Travel

They said this tour of the north-west and west was impossible to do in a week but Dan Murphy proved otherwise



The first task upon clearing City airport and the tedious beginning–of-trip admin was to get ourselves to Ballyliffin, which involves negotiating Londonderry and then pointing due north.

We began our tilt on the Old course, which isn’t that old. It dates back to the 1970s, when Eddie Hackett, Charles Lawrie and Frank Pennink were responsible for transforming the existing 9-holer of modest reputation.

However, it wasn’t until Nick Faldo came here in the early 1990s and enjoyed himself so much that he asked to come back with his architect’s hat on that anyone paid much attention.

Their combined efforts have created a wonderfully simple and enjoyable course. If there is a criticism, you could say that there are too many mid-length dogleg par 4s in the middle of the round but individually they are all decent holes and that’s good enough for me. I love the finish, which combines a couple of scoreable par 5s with two of the hardest par 4s on the course.

I’d happily play here on a regular basis.

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