Ballyliffin was, until quite recently, something of a well-kept secret and is Ireland’s most northerly links – situated close to Malin Head on Donegal’s Inishowen Peninsula.
The courses, and there are two – the Old Links and the new Glashedy Links – are set in classic duneland surrounded by rolling hills on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
The Old Links is a classically old fashioned course which oozes charm and character. The fairways are rippled like crumpled duvets and their ends sit emerald greens full of subtle, and not so subtle borrows.
The Glashedy Links was designed by Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock and opened to critical acclaim in 1995. Nick Faldo has described the Glashedy as the most natural course he had ever seen ? and he?s cast his eye over a few.
Like the Old Links the holes on the Glashedy are framed by towering dunes and play towards large rolling greens protected by terrifying bunkers. The signature hole on this 18 is perhaps the 572 yard, par five 13th which evokes comparisons with Ballybunion and Turnberry.
Best hole: The par three 5th, or ‘The Tank’, as it is known on the Old Links. The green enjoys a stage-like setting perched between two large sandhills and only the perfectly judged tee-shot will find the putting surface.
Address: Irishowen, Ballyliffin, Donegal
Tel: 074 9376 119
Green fees: Old 45 Euros weekdays, weekends 50 Euros. Glashedy 60 Euros weekdays, weekends 70 Euros.
Restrictions: Subject to availability