Dingle Golf Club - Par 72 - 6,696 Yards
Dingle Golf Club is a links course of some merit on the far western edge of the Dingle peninsula. Located near the remote village of Ballyferriter, Dingle is a stunning location and has views across the ocean with the Blasket Islands in the foreground.
The course itself has been likened by its co-designer Christy O'Connor Jnr. to St. Andrews and many visiting golfers comment on its municipal and simplistic feel. There is however nothing municipal ort simplistic about the quality of the course.
The first, with some unfortunate architecture to the immediate right, is a testing opener. The drive must carry over 180 yards to the fairway and avoid the out-of-bounds that lurks on the right. A line of bunkers awaits on the left. The first encounter with the two streams that snake their way though the course is on the approach -and with less than 10 yards between the water and the green it may be advisable to lay-up short. At 401 yards this certainly dispenses with any preconceived notions that Ceann Sibeal is a second rate course.
The second is a terrific par-3, 227-yards and virtually unreachable on a windy day. There are 3 bunkers short and more around the green and the ideal shot is to try and run the ball between the two foreground bunkers.
The 3rd is a par-4 that plays back towards the clubhouse before the daunting 4th with OOB all the way alojng the right side. A semi-blind approach is played to a narrow green. Another 200+ yard par-3 follows again with OOB on the right and a large water hazard well to the left of the green. The 6th playes towards the east at the southern end of the course and is a generous par-5, though OOB again threatens on the right.
The outward half finishes with three par-4's, an excellent dogleg, a short hole that presents the best birdie opportunity on the front, and a very difficult 449 yarder played uphill that will most likely take the shot back!
The 10th hole is another long par-3 at 197 yards and also plays slightly uphill. The kindney shaped green has trouble on the left and bunkers on the right. This is the highest part of the course and the 11th is a terrific par-5 that tumble downhill. The stream is reachable with any following wind so club selection from the tee is important. The 12th is a very well guarded par-3 and is the shortest on the course at 162 yards.
The 13th presents a dilemma on the tee when the wind is light or helping. A pr-5, this hole doglegs around a wall that is OOB. A stream bisects the fairway at the dogleg. The dogleg can be cut but will require a carry of just over 200 yards across the OOB area. A safer option is to play towards the clubhouse short of the stream - probaly not with a driver. The hole then turns uphill and the stream also bisects the fairway just short of the green.
Two downhill par-4's follow with the 15th being the pick of them both, a long hole of 410-yards with the green tucked into a corner bounded by the OOB wall.
The stream again comes into play from the tee at the par-4 sixteenth and the uphill approach is played to a green protected at the back by bunkers. Accuracy is required! At the 17th, one of the toghest par-4s on the course, the stream again threatens a long tee-shot and a line of bunkers protects the approach to this narrow green.
The final hole is a par-5 of 504 yards that rewards accuracy rather than length. The second shot is threatened by a strip of rough that contains three bunkers. The most sloping green on the course also has three bunkers to the right and a hidden pot bunker short left.
Dingle golf course, while possibly not as exhilirating as its more famous Kerry cousins, is an excellent links. The green fee that is over 50% less, together with the spectacular location that is the Dingle peninsula, make a trip to this remote corner of Ireland well worthwhile.
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