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FGC024_p62-65_Old Head/sm-aw

30/11/07

10:40

Page 62

Can you keep your

HEAD? No trip to one of the Meccas of links golf - southwest Ireland - could possibly be complete with out taking on one of the most ambitious golf courses ever built.

Above left: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit Above right: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit Left: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit Right: The course is nearly surrounded by sea

The site of Old Head Golf Links is virtually an island off the tip of Kinsale, and the dramatic topography and proximity to the ocean makes it, without doubt, one of, if not the, most striking golf courses in the world. If Lahinch is Ireland's St Andrews then this is Ireland’s Pebble Beach. Ideally located just 30-minutes from Cork International Airport, Old Head offers the ultimate experience in golf with a seamless blend of Irish hospitality. The Clubhouse, with its refined and relaxed ambience, now includes 15 luxurious suites which complement the magnificent beauty and setting of Old Head Golf Links. The Old Head seaview suites feature a blend of opulence and comfort. Offering magnificent balcony views, all suites are adorned in a style that

evokes a feeling of pure indulgence, stunningly furnished and spaciously created. The stylishly appointed Presidential Suite features a separate living room, and master bedroom. The spacious marble bathroom ensures that guests will enjoy the finest comforts and the ultimate in relaxation. The exquisite suite surveys the historical lighthouse and 18th green with breathtaking views of the Irish sea. The ultimate in pampering and rejuvenation the Old Head Thermal Suite/Spa offers a place for members and residents to unwind and restore. Surrounded by gentle interiors the Thermal Suite/Spa provides the perfect escape from the stresses and strains of modern living. Old Head also offers a range of beauty care and therapeutic treatments

The lighthouse is a useful marker when the sea mist rolls in!

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The Finest Golf – Volume 3 Issue 2

The Finest Golf – Volume 3 Issue 2

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FGC024_p62-65_Old Head/sm-aw

30/11/07

10:41

Page 64

for ladies and gentlemen. These treatments are available to members Actually it’s not situated on an island but is precariously perched on a and residents and are by prior appointment. And there’s now The Old 220-acre promontory shaped like a swollen thumb jutting out to sea. It Head Gym, which provides superior life fitness equipment to both is connected to the mainland by a very narrow strip of land. Remnants members and residents. of castles, churches, and dwellings built by L O R E M I P S U M D O L O R S I T A M E T, All this luxury and the spectacular setting monks during medieval times are abundant of Old Deah is within striking distance of and add to the atmosphere. C O N S E C T E T U E R A D I P I S C I N G E L I T. many of the renowned golf courses of The course is the result of a project initiated South West Ireland. by wealthy Irish brothers, John and Patrick O’Connor. They purchased The 6,650 yard (championship length, 7,121 yards), par 72 OldHead the land over two decades ago for less than £1,000 an acre and began course is configured as two returning loops containing five par 3s, five construction of the course in the early 1990s. The terrain is so close to par 5s and eight par 4s, with nine holes that play alongside the cliff tops. the rocks and ocean, there is a rumour in circulation that the farmer Surrounded by the ocean on all sides and commanding the most sold the land because he was tired of losing sheep over the cliffs! spectacular views from virtually every part. The course, completed in 1997, was designed by Joe Carr, Paddy

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The Finest Golf – Volume 3 Issue 2

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Opposite page below: Watch your fade at the 16th hole!

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Above: Glorious views can be enjoyed from every angle

Merrigan, Ron Kirby, Liam Higgins. What they and the O’Connors have built needs to be seen and played to be believed. Nine of the holes play along the top of the 300-foot cliffs and from the second tee you can look down into a cove within which a German U-boat lurked before torpedoing the Lusitania, in 1915. Your score might sink without trace too if the wind is blowing. As with many links courses, though, if the wind is absent it’s a different matter - although the vistas alone can make your knees knock regardless of the conditions. There may be stiffer or technically finer tests of golf on your book, but is there a course that will stick more vividly in your memory? I doubt it. There have been complaints from certain purists about the manufactured quality of the course, the fact it caters to much to visiting

Americans, that it’s too expensive and it should never have been built on this historic piece of rock (there’s a 5,000-year-old Druid’s burial ground on the 10th hole). But as a golfer you cannot deny the sheer drama and beauty of the place and it’s hard not to agree with the sentiment expressed by Joe Carr, one of the designers and three times British Amateur Champion: “The Old Head of Kinsale, as a golf links, will in my estimation rate with the great golf courses in the world. Its location, its scenic reality and spectacular terrain remind me of Cypress Point and Pebble Beach, two of America’s most famous courses. To be associated with the design of this project is to me the thrill of a lifetime. I see The Old Head as a golfers paradise and it has the potential of being the eight wonder of the world, in golfing terms.” The Finest Golf – Volume 3 Issue 2

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TFG - Old Head example