Ballyliffin (Glashedy)

Ballyliffin (Glashedy)

Ballyliffin (Glashedy) Golf Club

Ballyliffin (Glashedy) Golf Club | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

The town of Ballyliffin has a population of approximately 500 people. It is the northernmost golfing venue in the Republic of Ireland and features two world-renowned links courses - the Old and the Glashedy.
The Glashedy is the younger of the two courses at Ballyliffin, having been opened in 1995. Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock were the men behind the design, and it has already hosted several incredible events. 

Both the Old Links and the Glashedy Links offer up different challenges for golfers of all levels, with a range of tees to play from. A trip to Donegal would not be complete without a visit to play at Ballyliffin.

Visit Ballyliffin's website here.
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A Brief History of Ballyliffin (Glashedy) Golf Club

Golf had been played in the region for several decades prior to 1947, which was the year that Ballyliffin Golf Club was formed. The original lay-out saw a 9-hole course at Ballyliffin.

Following issues with the land contract, Ballyliffin moved down the road and the original 18-hole lay-out - now the Old Links - was built in the early 1970s. 
The Glashedy Links came to the fore in the early 1990s. 1991 saw the original proposal of a new course at Ballyliffin, with Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock being brought in to design the championship links course. Construction of the Glashedy Links took just two years, with the course being opened in 1995. 
Both courses at Ballyliffin have played host to prestigious tournaments. The Glashedy Links played host to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on the DP World Tour in 2017, which was won by Scotland's Russell Knox. 

The Ladies Irish Open, Boys Home Internationals and Irish Close Championship have all been played on the Glashedy. Balyliffin has been selected to host the Amateur Championship in 2024 with both courses in action. The Old Links will play host to Final Qualifying, with the Championship being played on the Glashedy Links.

Ballyliffin (Glashedy) Golf Club Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

When it opened, the Glashedy Links measured around 7,200 yards. Since then, holes have been lengthened and in its current guise, that distance has been taken up past the 7,500 yard mark from the championship tees. 

Every single par-4 measures at more than 400 yards from the tips and imagine playing the majority of those with the Atlantic breeze in your face as well. You know it's going to be a long and tough day, but in an incredible setting.

The course opens with three tough par-4s, the longest of which is more than 460 yards. The opening par-5 on the course is the 4th. Starting close to the boundary of the property, the hole changes direction twice on its way to a green fronted by a swale, and with bunker lying in wait on the right side.

Glashedy Rock, Ballyliffin’s answer to Turnberry’s Ailsa Craig, provides the stunning backdrop for the par-3 5th. Played downhill, to a long and narrow green, it is a tough shot from 190 yards away. Following another long par-4, the 7th appears and it is the most dramatic hole on the course. Teeing off from some 100 feet above the green, the shortest hole plays even shorter than its yardage of 172. A pond to the right of the green awaits anything blown by the wind, which can cause havoc on this glorious test.
Following two more long par-4s to close out the front side, the Glashedy turns at 10. New tees have been introduced recently, with the hole also over the 400-yard mark now. The 12th is a sharp dog-leg right with the driving line being over the dunes, depending on your carry distance. After the 571-yard par-5 13th, 14 sees the last par-3 on the course. It is exactly 200 yards from the back tees and plays slightly downhill to a shallow by wide green.

Of the last four holes, the shortest comes in at 436 yards, with three of the four measuring more than 450 yards. 15 and 16 are tough par-4s, before the penultimate hole on the course, the long par-5 17th. It fades round to the right, but from the tips, it would require two hefty blows to get anywhere near the green. The closing hole on the Glashedy brings you back to the clubhouse, where you will certainly be after a pint or two!

What is the dress code at Ballyliffin Golf Course?

Attire at Ballyliffin must be consistent with current accepted golf fashion.  
  • Smart casual. 
  • Tailored shorts and collared/mock neck shirts are allowed. 
  • Athletic wear, eg. football shirts, are not allowed. 

What are the green fees for the Glashedy Course?

For a standard visitor, it costs €220/£188.60 to play the Glashedy Course. For a resident of Ireland holding a valid Golf Ireland Membership, the price is discounted to €80/£68.51.

Visit Ballyliffin's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.