Ballyliffin (Old)

Ballyliffin (Old)

Ballyliffin (Old) Golf Club

Ballyliffin (Old) 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 Old Links is hardly that old, having only been opened five decades ago. However, as one of two courses at Ballyliffin, it took on the 'Old' name.

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 (Old) 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.

Due to issues with a contract renewal over the land that the original 9-hole lay-out was on, the club looked into purchasing more land away from its 9-hole course. Come 1970, they had successfully done so, and Eddie Hackett came in to design the new course, which would become the 'Old Links'.

The 18-hole lay-out was ready by 1973 with a brand new clubhouse then being built a decade later, to bring the course to a higher standard. The early 1990s saw the design andf construction of the Glashedy Links, which became the second course at Ballyliffin.

Both courses at Ballyliffin have played host to prestigious tournaments. The Old Links hosted the Irish Seniors Open in 2008, and has also hosted the Girls Irish Closed Championship and the R&A Home Internationals most recently.

The venue has been selected to host the Amateur Championship in 2024. The Old Links will play host to Final Qualifying, with the Championship being played on the Glashedy Links.

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

Out of the two courses at Ballyliffin, the Old Links is considerably shorter than the Glashedy. However, when you look at the scorecard and see that from the back tees, the Old Links still measures at 6,937 yards, you know you're in for a tough round!

The Old Links opens up with a trio of par-4s, each of which plays through the dunes and has a number of bunkers waiting for errant shots. The 3rd plays from an elevated tee to offer up some glorious views. The first change up comes at the 4th, a 558-yard par-5. Four fairway bunkers are ready for anything that isn't hit straight, while the upturned saucer green has run-off on three sides. 

The 5th is the first par-3, and plays much longer than its 179 yards on the card due to a severe rise in elevation. The green itself is set into the dunes, with mounds on either side of the green. Following a dog-leg right par-4, the 7th is the second par-3 on the front side of the Old Links, and it sits at the very south east of the property. The front nine closes with two tough par-4s, ending back at the clubhouse.

The 10th sees the back half of the Old Links open with a birdie opportunity. At just 341 yards from the tips, golfers could have a wedge into a long and narrow green. After another short-ish par-4, the 12th is a long par-3, measuring 217 yards. It plays slightly less being downhill, but it is a small landing area, especially from that distance.

That leads into the closing stretch, and boy, its a tough one! 13, 15 and 16 are all par-4s measuring at more than 435 yards, with the 15th stretching back to 480 from the back tees. The 14th is a par-5 at more than 560 yards with stunning views of the sea from the tee box. 17 is the final par-3 on the Old Links, which closes with the longest hole on the course. The 18th is 586 yards and is a true three-shotter. The slight dog-leg left features five bunkers and finishes right underneath the balcony of the clubhouse.

What are the Ballyliffin Old Course green fees?

For a standard visitor, the course costs €200/£171.62 to play, however for residents of Ireland with a valid Golf Ireland Membership, it costs only €80/£68.65 .

Where is Ballyliffin located?

Ballyliffin Golf Club is located in County Donegal, Ireland, situated on the Inishowen Peninsula. Ballyliffin Golf Club is known for its stunning coastal views and is one of Ireland's top golfing destinations.

The City of Derry Airport is the closest airport to Ballyliffin, located in Eglinton, just outside Derry. It's approximately a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Ballyliffin. The nearest train station to Ballyliffin, County Donegal, is in the town of Derry, which is located across the border in Northern Ireland. The train station in Derry is called "Londonderry Railway Station."

However, it's important to note that this station is still a considerable distance from Ballyliffin, and you would need to arrange additional transportation, such as a taxi or bus, to reach Ballyliffin from Derry.

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