Ballybunion Golf Club
Sandhill Road,
Ballybunion, Kerry
Tel : +353 (0) 68 27146 Fax : +353 (0) 68 27387

Hailed for its excellent links courses, Ballybunion is recognised for its fine development of the natural terrain. With large sand dunes and an Atlantic backdrop, Ballybunion offers the golfer an exciting round of golf in a scenically beautiful location.

Practice bunkers and putting green. Tuition. Practice bunkers and putting green. Club and caddie hire available. Full clubhouse available (expensive). President Clinton recently played Ballybunion on his recent historic visit to Ireland (1998). For more details be sure to read the golfer reviews below.

Directions
3 km south of Ballybunion


Course Details

Course Name: Cashen Holes: 18 Yardage: 6477 SSS: 70
Although overshadowed by the Old Course, the Cashen course designed by Robert Trent Jones is also a world class course. Narrow fairways , small greens and large dunes characterise the course.

For an appreciation and independent view of this course please see golfer reviews.

press here for Ballybunion Golf Club course reviews
Course Name: Old Course Holes: 18 Yardage: 6542 SSS: 72
Consistently rated as one of the worlds greatest golf courses, the Old Course offers the ultimate links golfing challenge. Difficult to play in the wind but always rewarding not least because of the scenery.

For an appreciation and independent view of this course please see golfer reviews.

press here for Ballybunion Golf Club course reviews



Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • RE: RE: Europe Golf courses reviews E. Paul Lian Scottsdale, AZ USA 05/01

    Sean Stack wrote on: Dec 7, 2011

    This is in respnce to the republican from Madison Wisconsin. I would kindly ask you to leave your partisan politics over there in the good ole usa. Do you honestly believe that srub ie bush never cheated at golf. What a weak and pathetic statement to make. In my mind republicans are all the same, in essence they are whats left of the british. By the how is that recall thingy going in wi.

    Reply

  • i am a member of ballybunnion golf club

    pat mccarthy wrote on: May 28, 2011

    i am a member of ballybunnion golf club now for 5 i got in when i was ten i am now currently off 5 in all the time i have been there the course hav never been in bad repair or the staff been horrible and dont be giving bad reviews just about the price of the pro-shop the stuff in there is the best you can get and it has the ballybunnion logo on it.

    Reply

  • RE: RE: Shame-on-you

    Paul Toth wrote on: Oct 12, 2010

    As a middle age American who has traveled in northern europe a number of times, I've grown weary of seeing bus loads of compatriot, mean-white-guys, in their REI uniforms, being dumped out for their 5 minutes of culture and a bigmac.... example: shame-on-you. Shame-on-you knows the value of a sub-prime golf package, but knows nothing of Irish history. Please, shame-on-you, feel free to catch the next bus to Irvine....... California and stay there.
    As for me, give me an 80' statue of William Jefferson Cassidy-Clinton, a Clinton era stock portfolio and Padrig Harrington's short game.

    Reply

  • SAND

    Heston Von Der Eycke wrote on: Feb 9, 2010

    I played your beautiful couse in last year. I think i played out of all sand pits and bunkers. I played out of them many times again and again withouty end. Since returning from Ireland to Germany all i can think about is all the sand. I go to my dreams at night with thoughts of the Kerry sand pits and I awaken each very morning the same way. i stopped our family holiday to to the beach because it scares me so very too much when i see the beach i am in my mind back in one of your bunker pits hitting my shot 23 and crying like a little girl child. My wife is no longer with me and with her are our children. She says i now am a broken man, she says i was broken by the sand, she says that day in kerry it broke my heart. It took everything. now all i have is this machine and these nightmares
    H Von der Eycke
    Munich

    Reply

  • RE: Europe Golf courses reviews E. Paul Lian Scottsdale, AZ USA 05/01

    wrote on: Oct 27, 2003

    Mr. Lian needs to lighten up and mind his own business. Being a Republican from Madison, Wisconsin, USA I am no fan of Bill Clinton for a variety of reasons, but he needs to understand that the Irish revere Mr. Clinton because of the Northern Ireland peace deal he brokered. Furthermore, Mr. Clinton played the course and visited the town.
    The old course and the new course at Ballybunion are spectacular. They are kept in beautiful condition and the views and shot values are spectacular. If you can get on at the old course, by all means do it. (You'll need to make reservations at least 6 months in advance.) If you can't get on the old course you should still be able to get on the Cashen course, but call ahead anyway because of competitions etc.
    John Gillis
    >I had often heard and read rave reviews about Ballybunion for most of my adult life. It was on my 'must play ' list when I visited your beautiful country in June of 2000. As I drove in to your city center area, from a distance, I saw a large statue I found somewhat odd, in that it appeared to be something from Disneyland. As I got closer, much to my amazement.... and ultimately my disgust.... was the 40' 'Bill Clinton ' character, hitting a golf ball. I had several reactions, all of them negative. First, don't you have 'one of your own' to honour? Second, why would you 'honour ' a person who purportedly cheats on his golf score? Thirdly, this guy does not represent the good aspects of golf. Quite frankly, I was so upset, I simply drove out to Ballybunion, cased the joint.... and left. Ballybunion needs to get back to what made itself GREAT.... forget the 'American' style condos and all of the other changes you are currently making. Be proud of what you have...don't try and copy the American approach. It doesn't add anything .... only detracts.... from one of the world's premier golfing destinations. Shame on you.
    >

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Brian Castellani 6/02

    Brian Castellani wrote on: May 31, 2002

    Last summer, I traveled to Ireland to play golf at Trelee, Limerick, and Ballybunion. After playing Trelee in 30-40 mile an hour winds, I was pleasantly surprised to tee off on the Cashen Course at Ballybunion under still conditions. I loved this course. The 10th hole was clearly the best on the course and, of course, I made a double bogey on it! I have played Shinnecok Hills, Bethpage Black, The Monster at the Concorde, and the National Golf Links of America and would have to say that the Cashen course is as good as any of those. Next time I go to Ireland I hope to play the Old Course. By the way, Limerick CC is not a very good course in my opinion. There are a few good holes on the back nine but only about 4 out of 18. Trelee, in the wind, is about the most difficult test of golf you will find!

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Jim Parsons Atlanta 10/01

    Jim Parsons Atlanta wrote on: Sep 30, 2001

    Undoubtably the finest all-around challenge I've ever experienced...and I played in the sun in late-June '01, with little wind. Shorts and a short sleeved shirt! I can only imagine how difficult (and exciting) this track becomes when the weather comes into play. I plan to find out next year!
    Keep it in play, and TRUST your caddie! His advice may not look to make sense, but follow it and you will be rewarded! As a 15 handicapper, I managed a 93....and am still smiling ear to ear!
    Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful...and the highlight of this year's trip!
    One more thing...regarding the comments about the expensive pro/gift shop. Did you go for the golf, or to buy a shirt to impress your friends?

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews John F. Reidy, Houston, Texas 09/01

    John F. Reidy, Houston, Texas wrote on: Aug 31, 2001

    Myself and a friend played the Old Course at Ballybunion twice in mid August, 2001. It was our favourite course of our trip. Our first round was played in rain and 40-mph winds and we shot 92 and 93. Our 2nd rounds the next day were played on a beautiful but fairly windy day, I shot 78 and my friend shot 80. We are both 5 handicaps. The course is tough, fun and beautiful. We played from the regular tees, which are only about 6250 yards; the back tees appear to be only 6750 yards. Due to the wind and the nature of the course, it plays much longer than the yardage. Consequently, you Americans that play from the back tees at home all the time, as do I, will be sufficiently tested by the regular tees at this course. The rough is murder, the greens, fairways and tees were perfect! We feel very lucky to have been permitted to play this great golf course. Also, take a caddy and hit the clubs he hands you, we recommend either Lez and/or Tim.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Mark and Sharon Sullivan, Chicago IL. 06/01

    Mark and Sharon Sullivan, Chicago IL. wrote on: May 31, 2001

    My wife and I toured 1,800 miles of Ireland's finest coasts in two weeks in 1999. Ballybunion was a highlight of the trip. We played the Old Course in July- sunny and hot for a few holes, rainy and chilly by 18. The weather enhanced the experience for us. After losing a few well-struck balls on the front, I knew I should have hired a caddie. TAKE A CADDIE!!
    One of the men in our group did and his caddie was very helpful (his eyes AND suggestions saved strokes). I have never in my life put complete faith in a caddie (and I was a caddie) as I did that day. I went out in 45 without his help, and came in 40 with it. Get this, on the 15th (212yd par 3)- James (the caddie) tells me to start the ball out toward the ocean, left of the mound that obscures the left half of the green (wind was across and in at 30MPH). I say OK, pull out a 2 iron and flush it right where he told me to hit it. As I look up it appears as though it's headed for the
    beach, the caddie screamed, in his classic 12 year old brogue, 'Perfect!!' I thought he was nuts. The ball peaked, and started back inland before it disappeared over a large mound as it made its descent (the 15th green is partially obscured from the tee by the mound I've described here). About ten seconds later (it seemed like ten minutes), I see the ball slowly roll by the stick on a perpendicular path from the one it started on in the tee box. It missed going in by a foot and stopped about ten feet from the cup.
    I will never forget the view of the beach the mound and the ball reappearing like that. It was golf nirvana. Or maybe it would have been had I sunk the ten footer. Other great memories include getting up and down on number 11, the hole you often see on the Slazenger commercials that Tom Watson claims is the best par 4 in golf. What a day. It was two years ago and I still remember it clearly. The beer at the end tasted good too. We'll be back!!

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews E. Paul Lian Scottsdale, AZ USA 05/01

    E. Paul Lian Scottsdale, AZ USA wrote on: Apr 30, 2001

    I had often heard and read rave reviews about Ballybunion for most of my adult life. It was on my 'must play ' list when I visited your beautiful country in June of 2000. As I drove in to your city center area, from a distance, I saw a large statue I found somewhat odd, in that it appeared to be something from Disneyland. As I got closer, much to my amazement.... and ultimately my disgust.... was the 40' 'Bill Clinton ' character, hitting a golf ball. I had several reactions, all of them negative. First, don't you have 'one of your own' to honour? Second, why would you 'honour ' a person who purportedly cheats on his golf score? Thirdly, this guy does not represent the good aspects of golf. Quite frankly, I was so upset, I simply drove out to Ballybunion, cased the joint.... and left. Ballybunion needs to get back to what made itself GREAT.... forget the 'American' style condos and all of the other changes you are currently making. Be proud of what you have...don't try and copy the American approach. It doesn't add anything .... only detracts.... from one of the world's premier golfing destinations. Shame on you.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews C Mark Wilson 02/01

    C Mark Wilson wrote on: Jan 31, 2001

    Played the old course in the middle of '00 - started off with three birdies in the first 5 holes and wondered what the fuss is about - then I found out! Holes 7 through 18 give some of the most daunting yet rewarding shots in the book - missed the fairway on the 11th from the tee by about a yard and walked off with a good 6. Fair? Possibly not. A challenge? Most definitely. Breathtaking? Undeniably. Hit the ball long and straight and you'll find it easy - stray just a touch and look out.
    Not the best links course I've played, County Down is much better, as is Carnoustie - but for location, scenery and fun golf it takes some beating!

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Karen Hubbard 01/01

    Karen Hubbard wrote on: Dec 31, 2000

    I've had the good fortune to have played the Old Course at Ballybunion on three occasions. My first opportunity came in 1989 and it remains the highlight of my golf life.
    I went on to play there in 1991 and 1992, as well. There is no finer challenge to golfers of all abilities than The Old Course at Ballybunion. This course will require you to play all the clubs in your bag, and play them well. It will also challenge you to play a wide variety of shots under ever changing conditions. Ballybunion is the ultimate in links golf course and the ultimate in golfing experiences.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Declan O Connell

    Declan O Connell wrote on: Nov 30, 2000

    It's true what they say about only ever missing something when it's gone. I'm a member of Ballybunion, and have taken it for granted for years that I am playing one of the world's great courses. Now, I am temporarily exiled in England, and I miss the old place; the majesty of the towering sandhills, the subtlety of the greens, the enormity of the view across the Estuary as you stand on the 11th tee, making you feel so small in the scheme of things. I won't take it for granted again.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Gerry Ennis 11/99

    Gerry Ennis wrote on: Oct 31, 1999

    I play off single figures and I must say that I first played Ballyb in the early 70's and having played most of the big courses in Ireland , in my opinion there is none to compare to the Old Course.
    In calm conditions you can flatter yourself but if the wind blows forget it - add weights to your shoes and try and keep the ball away from the graveyard on the first etc.
    My only concern is that there are now too many people playing Ballyb and now that The Irish Open is scheduled for Summer 2000, coupled with the annual visits of Woods, Watson etc on their way to the British Open, I have this fear that commerce could permanently the course.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Jean KEHREN 11/99

    Jean KEHREN wrote on: Oct 31, 1999

    Since I have started in golf, I have played more than one hundred courses all over
    Europe. I have been to Ballybunion three times ( 91, 93, 97) . For me the Old course
    ranks in my personnal Top ten as NUMBER 1.
    I hope I can be back again next year.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Mathieu Mangion 10/99

    Mathieu Mangion wrote on: Sep 30, 1999

    I learned to play golf on Ballybunion New and it is one of the best course I have ever played in my whole life. It is true that it can be unfair at times but it is only when you want to play against the course. I mean when you play the course as it is meant to be played, it is so enjoyable you can't forget this experience. And in the wind, it surely is one of the most magnificent courses in the world.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews John Manning 07/99

    John Manning wrote on: Jun 30, 1999

    I just returned from a trip to Ballybunion and I found the Old course up to all the rave reviews! I wish I could say the same for the Cashen course- though picturesque it is a bit unfair, I say this because there are no bailout areas on the course and with the wind blowing 30 mph you need them. I play to a 5 handicap here in Westchester County, NY and would highly recommend the Old course as the one to play. I would recommend that low handicappers (perhaps 12 and under) play this course for the 'experience' but in no way choose it over such others as Lahinch, Ballybunion-Old, Tralee, Waterville, Old Head...

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Gerald J Buckley 07/99

    Gerald J Buckley wrote on: Jun 30, 1999

    I am disappointed to report that a fine old Irish course, heralded throughout the world, has fallen into a sad state of disrepair. I send this report reluctantly, because I am a lover of Ireland, its people and its legendary love of golf - but - the course is now overplayed, overpriced and overrated;
    Papers blow about, ball washers destroyed.
    Don't let this course sink back into obscurity!
    respectfully and regretfully yours,

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Barry Mullins 06/99

    Barry Mullins wrote on: May 31, 1999

    The wind was moderate and we had a few rain squalls to contend with. The holes on the Atlantic side are surreal and can distract concentration with their beauty. Shot 89 with hired clubs ( fairly ordinary) so was reasonably happy. The clothes for sale are outrageously priced - be warned.
    Member, Liverpool Golf Club Sydney Australia

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews T Payne 03/99

    T Payne wrote on: Feb 28, 1999

    It has been 4 years since I played here and I really enjoyed it. The wind was horrific at times as was the rain and sleet. Of course at other times, the weather was great. The course is beautiful and should be played by any golfer that gets the chance. What a great experience. By the way, I lost a pair of black gloves there that day so if anyone has found them, please let me know!!!

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Terry Dillow 01/99

    Terry Dillow wrote on: Dec 31, 1998

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Old Course at Ballybunion is the best in Ireland, and certainly one of best in the world. On the west coast, only Lahinch comes close.
    We played in the wind and rain of a soft' day, but nothing Mother Nature could dish out took away from the experience. Each hole is unique, some good and some spectacular, but all a test of your skills.
    There is no substitute for a senior caddie here as club choice is difficult and the occasional errant shot requires their experienced eyes to find your ball amid the dunes and tall grass. Shoot your handicap here the first time around and you should be proud as a peacock. I did, and I was. Bring your Gore-Tex and your best swing.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews 12/98

    wrote on: Nov 30, 1998

    I spent one of the most enjoyable weekends at Ballybunnion (and Killarney)
    recently. The welcome our party was shown was tremendous and the golf was
    excellent. I can recommend Ballybunnion to be included in any golf trip you
    have arranged in Ireland.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Jerry Horwood 11/98

    Jerry Horwood wrote on: Oct 31, 1998

    Leave your clubs in the car and walk around it. The toughest test of golf this side of Atlanta greens. I don't care what handicap you've got, firing blind over dune after dune is a total lottery (both New and Old course). And if there's wind......
    Visit Ballybunion by all means, but make sure you play Traleeas well!

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews John Muuss 7/98

    John Muuss wrote on: Jun 30, 1998

    One of the greatest golf courses I have ever played.. It leaves you speechless...all serious golfers should play this course once in there lives (at least once)...this was a real honour.(I play the home of the 2002 US Open, Bethpage, Black)

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Robert D. Moore 7/98

    Robert D. Moore wrote on: Jun 30, 1998

    Played 'The Old Course' in June of '97. Strong winds off the water but an absolutely beautiful course. I recommend hiring a Sr. Caddy. 35mph winds and only lost one (1) ball. Hard to score well the first time you play this course as you are looking at all of the beautiful vista once you turn at #6. Bring a camera! Reservations a must, I booked in Jan, for a June round.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Rick Nowosad 7/98

    Rick Nowosad wrote on: Jun 30, 1998

    I have played Ballybunion twice - once in '93 and then again in June of '97. It is a fine course, no question, but it is a bit over-rated. Holes 1-6 are nothing special, #16 is goofy and I don't believe you should have hidden shots to the green on #18. A fine golf experience indeed, but I consider Ballybunion old to be the #6 course I've played in Ireland. Ballybunion is verrrry difficult in windy conditions due to the extremely small greens.
    It is an excellent example of Jones' work in utilizing the terrain to good advantage and a worthwhile play if you're there, but lower your score expectations a bunch!! Finally, nowhere in the British Isles is merchandise more dear than at the Ballybunion clubhouse.
    My wife observed that she could get a fairly normal cotton golf shirt for an intersting price. This was for sleeveless leading her to wonder as we departed how much a shirt with sleeves might cost. If you are travelling the West coast or are in the Killarney area, the old course should be played and I will again if I have the opportunity but better courses and challenges are available for cheaper.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Marc Balson (7/98

    Marc Balson wrote on: Nov 30, 1997

    Ballybunion, the Old Course is not overrated. It is the kind of course that is to be savoured and digested slowly. Its beauty and subtlety grow with each hole you play. It grudgingly yields par to a game that mixes good course management and a more than average skill level . The rich rewards it presents are not necessarily measured by your shot count, but rather by its pristine beauty and a magnificent test of skill and mental endurance.
    I have played all over the world at some of the finest courses in the U.S, Scotland, and Ireland. Ballybunion Golf Club, the Old Course takes a back seat to none. At least once a year I return to Ireland to meet the challenges of Olde Head, Waterville, Lahinch, Tralee, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Royal Dublin, and Portmarnoch. They are all magnificent courses.
    However, only one course looms majestic over all the others, and that is the Old Course at Ballybunion. Incidentally, Robert Trent Jones designed the Cashen Course(Ballybunion New) in 1984. The Old course does not have an original course architect. It has been modified here and there over the years by Tom Simpson, Molly Gourlay, William McCarthy and Tom Watson.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Ron Felton - 7/98

    Ron Felton wrote on: Nov 30, 1997

    Played the Old Course last August (97) in a driving rainstorm but it is still the best course I have ever played. Will be going back next year to play it again.

    Reply

  • Europe Golf courses reviews Don Thackerdthacker - 7/98

    Don Thackerdthacker wrote on: Nov 30, 1997

    Played the Old at 7am in September 1997. Very crowded, overcast and windy.That said, this is one of the greatest golfing experiences of my life. Holes 7 11 15 and 17 will change you forever. Some of the greatest tee shots in the world. The second shot on #11 will make you believe in God!

    Reply

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