More times than not, when you hear someone rattling off names of the golf courses they’ve played, or are planning to play, during an Ireland golf vacation, Lahinch is on the list. But why, exactly, is this course a perennial favorite?
Well, it doesn’t hurt that Lahinch is one of the most convenient courses to play when you’re on a southwestern Ireland golf vacation. It’s located only about 30 miles from Shannon Airport, which handles the bulk of air traffic to that region.
More than convenience, however, Lahinch simply has it all: a dreamscape of rough and tumble duneland, exhilarating views over Liscannor Bay, and a succession of varied and compelling holes that can test players of highest rank (Phil Mickelson once called it his favorite links course) while simultaneously gladdening the hearts of rank amateurs.
For example, the 401-yard 3rd hole, which requires a drive over a 30-foot high dune while avoiding a terrifying ravine lurking to swallow the mere suggestion of a pull; and the par-three fifth hole, called Dell, an Old Tom Morris original. Its green is tucked away in a little natural amphitheater between two imposing sandhills, one walling off the front of the green and the other back-stopping the rear. As the green is completely hidden from view from the tee, the hole can conjure up a variety of thoughts and emotions, including trust, hope, luck, triumph and despair, all in a mere 145 yards.
The course has other charming, quirks, too, not the least of which is its own version of a Doppler weather forecasting system…comprised of four or five goats. When they huddle at the clubhouse, it’s either raining or about to rain. If they remain out in the dunes, you can expect to stay dry.
You just don’t find things like that on most American golf courses and it’s a big reason why Lahinch is such a popular place to play on an Ireland golf vacation. So, if you’re looking for an old, authentic Irish golf experience, we suggest making it part of yours.
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