22 Doonbeg

Architect: Norman
Stats: 6,367 yds, par 72, SSS 71
GF: €90-€170
Visitor information: Course is open to the public on all days
W: doonbeggolfclub.com
2008 Ranking: 26 (Up 4)
Improvements since 2008 Rankings:
Course: In spring 2010 the native rough was cut back and a number of the tees enlarged
Clubhouse: None

Doonbeg’s dramatic setting and series of mind-boggling holes among mountainous dunes on the County Clare coast are responsible for its rapid rise up the rankings. Those dunes hug the beautiful crescent-shaped Doughmore Bay, and talking points include a bunker in the middle of the 12th green and the tiny but treacherous par-3 14th.

Panellists’ comments: “A sumptuous course presented in pristine condition”; “Arguably the finest opening hole in golf”

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