Carr Golf Travel Team’s Toughest Ireland Par 5s
Featuring a host of some of the most dramatic (and stunning!) links layouts in the world, the courses of Ireland are both thrilling and challenging. We asked our travel experts to compile a list of the most demanding par 5s that they have had the pleasure (or misfortune) of facing. Which do you think tops the list?
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Old Head Golf Links Hole No. 12
Regarded as one of the most intimidating holes in golf, the 12th at Old Head begins with a daunting tee shot over a clifftop to a blind landing area. The challenge doesn’t end there as the fairway dramatically narrows as it nears the green, making laying up shots difficult and almost impossible. Bunkers and intimidating high slopes guard the right side. Don’t miss left or your ball will be gobbled up in the turbulent sea below.Fun Fact: Old Head boasts one of the largest groups of professional caddies in Ireland with approximately 160 working throughout the season.
Tralee Golf Club Hole No. 11.
Reaching a whopping 595 yards from the tips, Tralee’s No. 11 is the longest on our list. Aptly named, “Palmer’s Peak” plays uphill on the highest part of the course and features a mesmerizing panoramic view of rock pinnacles, pounding surf and stretches of beachfront. Don’t let the picturesque vistas distract you as the blind second shot requires your full attention. A well-hit long iron or wood will set you up nicely for a simple pitch to the green.
Fun Fact: Tralee was Arnold Palmer’s first design in Europe.
Doonbeg Golf Club Hole No. 1
Focus is essential on the starting hole at Doonbeg Golf Club as it sets the tone for your round right off the bat. With its majestic clubhouse standing sentinel, the ocean lurking on the left, and out of bounds threatening the right side, accuracy is imperative. The prevailing wind from left to right provides an added challenge, although it can be used to your advantage if you’re feeling bold. Remarkably like the first hole at famed Portstewart in Northern Ireland, this stunning, well-protected green tempts longer hitters to try to carry the bunkers.
Fun Fact: Doonbeg has magnificent room rates available for September and October, making fall an ideal time to visit.
Doonbeg Golf Club Hole No. 13
Measuring a manageable 514 yards from the back tees, Doonbeg’s No. 13 may seem reachable in two, however, more often than not a stiff breeze is right in your face. Hitting the fairway off the tee is no easy feat and doesn’t guarantee you a simple second shot if pulled off successfully. With an undulating landing area, a flat lie is highly unlikely. The approach shot doesn’t get any easier as it entails hitting into the ferocious wind and onto an elevated green.
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