Tralee Golf Club is located on some glorious coastline in County Kerry, just 16 miles north of Killarney.
The course was designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, and opened for play in 1984.
I believe Tralee is one of the most underrated courses in Ireland!
Palmer must have pinched himself when he first viewed the terrain he was to use: the coastline is magnificent!
Ryan's Daughter was filmed on the beach adjacent to the course, and it's impressive.
The course itself is really a tale of two nines. The front nine is less undulating, with a number of holes hugging the cliffs, whereas the back nine heads into some of the largest dunes I have seen in golf. The course can be quite challenging, even without any 'weather', and the back nine introduces some daunting carries between dunes to plateau greens. I could imagine a stiff wind would create havoc on some of these holes...
While the back nine is potentially crazier, and enormous fun, the front nine is more like a traditional links along the cliffs complemented by gorgeous sea views.
Notable holes include:
- the par 5 second hole which arcs along the cliffs all the way from tee to green
- the par 3 third- a longish shot to a green set on a point, with coast behind and all the way down the right hand side of the hole. It's called 'The Castle' because of the ruin standing behind the green, and it is a stunning hole...
- the dramatic and brutal par 4 twelfth hole- a long par 4 with a long carry to an elevated green. It is a unique hole!
- the short par 3 thirteenth hole: the tee shot needs to carry a deep hollow in the dunes to a green set on a dune ledge.
- the classic par 3 sixteenth hole which overlooks the magnificent coastline
- the short par 4 seventeenth hole with plateau green- you need to think your way through this hole and when a decision is made you need to be accurate..
I have been fortunate to play Tralee a number of times, and each time we have been blessed with light winds and sunny skies. In these conditions it is pure fun to play. But I can imagine strong winds could make some holes quite difficult.
Nevertheless it is a course that you just cannot miss. We rate it a Travelling Golfer 'must play!'
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