Tralee Golf Links - Barrow, Ireland - County Kerry
Out of our six rounds of golf, Tralee (Trá Lí = Strand of the River) was our favorite! Partly because it was a dry day – yeah! But not just that – Tralee is a magnificent golf course – and quoting the scorecard “Created by God, Designed by Arnold Palmer”. This was the first European golf course Arnold Palmer planned.
There is a modest golf shop led by John, a very nice, soft-spoken gent who was very welcoming. The restaurant was not open until 10am, so no pre-golf breakfast this time. Check-in is at a small desk in the lobby, rather than in the Golf Shop – which is what we are used too.
Similar to Old Head, Tralee is surrounded by water and pretty much every hole has the ocean in sight and the holes are on the edge of the cliffs –magnificent! And then there was Gerry, our very experienced caddie. His joyful attitude was infectious and his knowledge of the course and the land was fantastic. Thank you Gerry for helping to make our round a delight!
Oh – and I guess this was also one of our favorite rounds because Jeff was 2 inches from his first hole-in-one on the Par 3 Hole 7 and then on the Par 3 Hole 13 Jeff was less than 2 feet from a hole-in-one – oh so close!!! Speaking of Par 3s… they were all in reasonable length from the forward Tees giving Liz has plenty of chances for her first hole-in-one, but alas – Liz is still waiting too. Although, beware of the Par 3 Hole 16, called Shipwreck, as the Tee-shot carry is over a 100 foot chasm.
The most challenging hole was the Par 5 Hole 11, called Palmer’s Peak, which was uphill all the way with a blind shot to the green.This is the highest part of the course with, again, a panoramic view of rock pinnacles, pounding surf and stretches of beach to tempt the photo hunter.
We were told that the land is as it was, less the cut down hills to add the Tee Boxes, Fairway, Greens and Bunkers. The course highlights include a grand beach, rock-lined ocean sites and a lookout “castle” dating back 800 years (be sure to take a moment to climb inside!). There are also several little “hills” to climb while the others are hitting off the Tee-box to soak in the views – don’t miss the photo ops!
Beautiful mountain ranges in the distance surround Tralee and act like a magnet for the rain, keeping the Tralee Golf course thankfully dryer than most! Stephen Goodwin of the Washington Post called Tralee a “Gaelic Pebble Beach”.