The European Club hasn?t been open all that long compared to the old Irish classics but it?s soon become a hit with anyone who’s had the chance to visit. It’s a links course in the true sense with awesome views over the sea. When you learn that one Tiger Woods holds the course record of 67, you’ll get some idea just how tough it is.

With the wind always blowing and some very long holes running through towering dunes, this is as intense as it gets on the golf course. Several holes have long carries off the tee to reach the fairway – thanks – and getting up in two on some of the holes is a serious achievement.

On one hole, the 12th, the green measures 127 yards from front to back (a good hit with a wedge or even a 9-iron for most golfers) so knowledge of the pin position is vital if you get it wrong you’ll need to take a full swing with the flatstick.

Designer and owner Pat Ruddy, one of Ireland’s best-known golf characters, even drove the earth-movers when they were building this course so it really was a case of hard graft. Three of the holes here have been included in the top 500 in the world – no other course has so many. That really tells you all you need to know.

Best Hole: The 8th (pictured) is a typical challenge. A tight fairway flanked by high dunes and a seriously slippery green.

Web: www.theeuropeanclub.com