Tralee Golf Club - 5th September 2011 - The Links
Tralee Golf Club - 5th September 2011

“Created by God, Designed by Arnold Palmer”

It is Tralee Golf Club’s fourth permanent course since the club was first established in 1896. The high average rainfall plagued each of the club’s three courses in the town of Tralee. They were almost unplayable during the winter, so it was decided to ask Arnold Palmer to design a course in Barrow in 1980.

The main consideration was that the area provided the sandy, links texture that would allow for golf all year round. The scenery and the history surrounding the course were an added bonus.

“I have never come across a piece of land so ideally suited for the building of a golf course. I designed the first nine, but surely God designed the back nine. I am happy we have one of the worlds’ great links here” – Arnold Palmer

The weather was good to me, light breeze and just a little rain on a few holes. My playing partners were Patsy and Mary. Two lovely senior ladies that were preparing for the regional final against Tralee. One of them has an extremely unusual stance and swing - can’t figure out how she can hit the ball, but it works fairly well for her. No footage allowed.

I don’t think I’ve come across a golf course where the front and back nine are so different as at Tralee Golf Club. The front nine are very flat along the ocean.

Good holes, but nothing special except for demanding 3rd hole - “Castle Hole”. A demanding 198 yards par 3 with the ocean along the entire right hand side. You need to carry the shot over the ocean rocks and depending on the wind, this can play from a short iron up to everything you have!! It’ll test your nerve and skill.

The back nine is outstanding and I would go to Tralee any day to only play the back nine. Stunning holes among the sand dunes and amazing views of the ocean.

All nine holes are excellent, but for me the 12th, 13th, 16th and 17th are the highlights:

12th Hole – 440 yards par 4

A good drive down the middle is a must. The second shot is nerve wrecking and must carry all the way up to the green, to avoid the deep gully in front and on the left of the green. Any ball short leaves a very difficult third shot. A spectacular hole that needs two good shots to get on. Made a bogy.

13th Hole – 159 yards par 3

An intimidating par 3 from the tee as the ball must carry all the way. It’s also slightly uphill so take enough club. Whatever you do, don’t be short – very deep gully in front of the green. A shot slightly over hit into the sand dune behind the green may come back on the green, but it may also get stuck in the thick grass. Very close to making a birdie, but par is OK.

16th Hole – 199 yards par 3

A dramatic par 3 set against the Atlantic Ocean. The target is small and the club selection is crucial to reach the putting surface, as any ball will fall back down the slope in front of the green. If you avoid the bunker on the left the slope may kick the ball onto the green. Made a par.

17th Hole – 377 yards par 4

This demanding hole is spectacular from the championship tee. There are three fairway bunkers that must be avoided, so a good positional shot to the left half of the fairway leaves the best line to attack the green. Made a par.


I really played solid golf today. The driver could have been better, irons were very good, pitching also very good and putting was OK. I’m very happy with 40 Out and 39 In for a total of 79 (gross).

It’s one of the best back nine I ever played and it’s a privilege to have played them. I’ll be back again to take on the magnificent back nine.




A drive that comes belting out of the sweet spot and soars straight and long down the fairway gives arguably, the greatest satisfaction in golf. For a short moment you are a king among men.


Tralee Golf Club