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Golf Australia Express : Issue2
Remaining relatively unknown until it hosted the Irish Championship in 1937, the Old Ballybunion course is considered by many to the best golf course in Ireland. As expected, nature’s awesome power is vividly on show here. Set among Ireland’s most formidable sand dunes and located on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean exposed to gale force onshore winds, Ballybunion is a supreme test of golf played on a landscape that is nothing short of spectacular. In 1998 former US president Bill Clinton paid a visit to Ballybunion and was reputed to have taken more mulligans there than you would have thought possible. Perhaps it was blowing hard that day, making it hard to score? [Ahem]. If ever the R&A needed a notable player to convince them to give Ballybunion a go, then surely five-time British Open winner Tom Watson’s the man. Writing for the course planner he said: “After playing Ballybunion for the first time, a man would think that the game of golf originated here. There is a wild look to the place, the long grass covering the dunes that pitch and roll throughout the course making it very intimidating... in short, it is a course on which many golf architects should live and play before they build golf courses. I consider it a true test of golf.” Enough said. BALLYBUNION GOLF CLUB (OLD) IRELAND