Waterville Golf Links

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  • Architects:
  • Holes of Merit:
    11, 12, 16, 17
  • NCG Rank:
    23/100 in GB&I
  • Golf.com Rank:
    97/100 in the World


A 'fair' links is a favourite of American professionals. Many spend some time here before competing in The Open.

Payne Stewart was one such player who is also a former Honourary Captain of the club.

Waterville Golf Links

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No Laying Up's visit can be seen here

Golf Course Review

Waterville Golf Links is one of the premier links golf courses in the world. The golf course is built on classic links land surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean amongst impressive sand dunes. The golf club recently completed a clubhouse upgrade and has a distinctive Irish American feel which it comes by honestly!

Waterville Golf Links History

Golf was first played in the area in the 1880s when workers came from around the British Isles arrived to help build the transatlantic cable stations and brought the game with them. Formally organised in 1889 as the Waterville Athletic Club, the club played over a modest 9 hole course found on the eastern side of the current course.

Fast forward to the 1960 and Irish born American John A Mulcahy's dream of building the most testing golf links in the world gains momentum. Eddie Hackett is called upon to help Mr Mulcahy and Claude Harmon bring their dream to fruition and the new 18 hole links course was opened in 1973!

In the 1980s, the course was sold to a group of Irish Americans who developed the course into a resort. The other pursuit? Salmon and trout fishing!

More recently, Tom Fazio has enhanced the course further harmonising the two halves, making them a cohesive set of 18 as opposed to contrasting. The Eastern sector of the site was enhanced and made to match the Western sector of the site. The club named the 4 your endeavour 'The Fazio Project.'

Waterville Golf Links Overview

Situated in South West Ireland in County Kerry, the site is surrounded by water. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes are routed on the inland side of the site where the River Rinny and River Inny empty into a basin before the Atlantic. The sandy beach of Ballinskelligs Bay provides the waterfront property needed for the final three holes along with epic Atlantic Ocean views. In the distance, the spectacular Macgillycuddy's Reeks provide a breathtaking backdrop.

The routing makes the most of the waterfront property, using it early on the front nine and late on the back nine. A traditional par of 72, the course can be stretched to nearly 7400 yards. The original 9 hole course makes up portions of today's front nine with the back nine venturing into the previously untouched dunes.

The motto of the club is: "Where Champions Tread & Golfer Embrace Perfection." Nowhere else could this be more true.


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