It’s a rare occasion to be almost the only player on a golf course, but this happened to me on The European Club. I know the course since I’ve played it a number of times over the last 10 years. It’s one of my favorite courses in Ireland
It has only been around for about 20 years, but a lot has been achieved. You get a very warm welcome at the club and it’s a relaxed friendly atmosphere. It’s clear that that effort has been made not to damage the naturalness of the land, so that man can commune with the earth as it has been for hundreds of years.
A true Links is where the ball runs fast all year, where the bunkers are deep to at once prevent the sand blowing out of them on the sea breezes and test the nerve of the player, and where the primary elements of land, sea, air converge in riotous tumult – the links at The European Club is certainly a true test even for the very good golfer.
Fantastic sunny September morning with a light breeze coming from the ocean. Alone and the first player of the day on tee – great. Solid hit with the fairway club, but it ended up in one of the right hand fairway bunkers. 140 meters left to the green – 6 iron in my hand – good contact in the sand and landed the ball one meter short of the green – two put for a par. The first par was followed with bogey, par, bogey, bogey, par, par, bogey and par for a 39. There is an extra par 3 hole on both the first (7b) and second (12b) nine holes – lovely holes and I did a birdie on the first and a par on the second.
The 7th 449 yards (from white) par 4 is a real test. Keep the drive long and straight – avoid the river that flows along the entire right hand side and left is not that good either because you’ll end up in the marsh – straight is the name of the game. Long second shot which is most of the time right in to the wind from the ocean – keep it low and long. Making a par on this hole is excellent.
The heart of the links is holes seven through thirteen…six very substantial par 4’s (all over 400 yards) followed by a 596 yards par 5 – MAGNIFICENT.
12th and 13th are two splendid holes along the ocean – the more wind the tougher they are. Two bogeys for me, but it wasn’t the wind, just bad putting.
The links only have 2 par 5’s, the third and the thirteenth. The topography leads to this situation and it has this in common with such great British Open venues as Royal St Georges, Royal Birkdale, Turnberry and even the Old Course at St Andrews itself.
I lost a little momentum on the back nine and shot a 42 for a total of 81. I’m very happy with the result.
Yes, I was far away from the links record of 67 set by Tiger Woods in 2002, but…….
Don’t miss out on The European Club if you go to Ireland for golf – it’s a magnificent “young” links course and a fair challenge.
The European Club