The European Club Course Review - Sleepered bunkers abound, there are sea views on almost every hole of this new classic links
The European Club Course Review
Green Fee Range: €100-€200
Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,720 Yards
Visitor Times: Any day but not before 10:30 on Sundays
Larger greens at holes 5 and 15 to afford more exciting pin positions and sweeping vistas over the dunes and the Irish Sea – in summer 2016, the club mowed down to 2-inches about 10 acres of semi-rough and rough, the intention to make the course “perhaps the friendliest links of them all for the NORMAL golfer. Fewer lost balls, shorter searches but still plenty of strategy as that nice lie may include an ‘interesting’ line to the flag!”
The leap from golf writer to fabled golf course designer may seem a big one, but few who have played The European Club at Brittas Bay on the Wicklow coast would dispute that Irishman Pat Ruddy has made that transition in style.
Ruddy spotted the potential for a course in this south-east corner of Ireland during a helicopter reconnaissance mission around the coast to hunt down the ideal spot for a classic 20th-century links.
Having pinpointed this spot in 1987, Ruddy went on to see his dream become reality when the links opened for play in 1993.
This is classic linksland, complete with towering dunes, spectacular sea views and more than a healthy smattering of pot bunkers with sleepered faces, which make them stand out from the links crowd.
There are more quirky touches, too, that just make things a little bit different. For example, the two ‘bonus’ par 3s at 7a and 12a, which you’re more than welcome to incorporate into any round, or the extraordinary 12th green, which at over 125 yards long takes the scope for misclubbing into a whole new realm.
The long, testing 7th, flanked by reeds and imposing dunes, has achieved worldwide renown, while the par-3 14th, with its well-bunkered plateau green sheltering in the dunes, is another head-turner.
Ruddy’s original aims may have been to build his own links playground, but golfers everywhere should be eternally grateful that the project turned into so much more than that.
The European Club Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict
A wonderfully mature and appealing course that will ask many questions