A project that started with the intention of adding a further nine holes to the Ballyliffin Golf Club complex to reduce pressure on the Old Links, developed into a new eighteen hole course once Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock, the course designers saw just how special the piece of land earmarked was. In many people’s minds, the Glashedy has long surpassed all expectations and is an arguably better test than its older neighbor. This, in many ways, has been proven when the Glashedy hosted the Dubai Duty-Free Irish Open in the summer of 2018. However, it has also been described by some, perhaps unfairly, as “brutishly difficult,” but at 7,217 yards, is not hard to understand. Heavily slopped and often two-tiered greens are the norm, with revetted bunkers devilishly placed around the links to catch anything of an errant nature.
Ruddy and Craddock began their work in May of 1993 and completed the job by the August of 1995, a surprisingly quick development timeframe for such an undertaking. Their efforts, however, have produced a magnificent links golf course, which more than stood the test of the worlds leading golfers from the European Tour.
It is difficult to find a weak hole on Glashedy, each one seemingly running in a different direction to the next, impacted by different wind conditions and varying degrees of challenging terrain. The Par four sixth and Par three seventh holes are a superb back-to-back combination. The former is an excellent dog-leg hole that requires superb accuracy both off the tee and with the approach. The latter is one of the most photographed holes in Irish golf, played from an elevated tee box to a green 171 yards in the distance and approximately 80yards below your feet. It is one of the best holes of its kind anywhere in the UK & Ireland.
Holes twelve through to fourteen present the greatest challenge of the course, combining everything that’s best about links golf in a microcosm. The Par 5 13th hole, ‘Bun a’Chnoic’ translated as ‘Hitting into the bottom of the Hill’ gives you a strong indication that this is going to be a three-shot hole! Possessing one of the narrowest fairways on the entire 36-hole complex, once your drive has been successfully dispatched, two, arrow straight shots are required to find the putting surface. Like many of the professionals discovered during the Irish Open in 2018, if you get yourself out of position on the Glashedy, you are going to struggle, but golfers of all abilities will undoubtedly find it a fabulous test of skill and a delightful round of golf.
Glashedy is undoubtedly one not to be missed.