Playing The Irish Open Venue Ballyliffin Glashedy

The County Donegal links is the Republic of Ireland's most northerly golf club and hosts the Irish Open this week

Irish Open Venue Ballyliffin Glashedy
The signature 7th hole

The County Donegal links is the Republic of Ireland's most northerly golf club and hosts the Irish Open this week

Playing The Irish Open Venue Ballyliffin Glashedy

On a recent trip to Donegal, Ireland, I was lucky enough to get the chance to play this week’s Irish Open venue – Ballyliffin’s Glashedy Course.

Europe and the world’s best tackle the Glashedy links this week as part of the pre-Open schedule and having played the links myself, I think that this year’s tournament is going to be special.

The Irish Open was made a Rolex Series event in 2017 and attracted the European Tour’s elite including Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and eventual winner Jon Rahm. Hideki Matsuyama was also in the field at Portstewart.

The course, which gets its name from the Glashedy Rock seen out in sea, is a classic links and the main attraction at the Republic of Ireland’s most northerly golf club. There’s also the Old Links which is also highly regarded and an easier walk.

The Glashedy boasts 96 bunkers, with more added in for this year’s tournament, and to score well you need to stay out of them.

Pick the wrong club, get too aggressive, make a bad swing or a mental error and a birdie opportunity can turn into a double bogey before you know it.

It is a par 72 with just three short holes and they’re all are stunners.

The par-4 1st, which is short in length but is flanked by pot bunkers that must be avoided off the tee

The first par-3 comes at the fifth, just after a dogleg-right, downhill par-5 which has just been lengthened a whopping 120 yards for the European Tour boys.

The fifth is no more than a six iron in calm conditions but, just like the rest of the course, bunkers are prominent.

It plays slightly downhill and out to the Atlantic, with dunes lining either side.

The sixth is a superb dogleg-right, where I made a blob after finding two bunkers. The hole, as I found out, requires a sound strategy – the Glashedy is a real thinker's course.

The 6th hole

Following the sixth comes the signature hole at the par-3 7th which plays from the course’s highest point right down to near-sea level with water to the right.

The views from the tee box are breathtaking and it’s got to be one of the UK and Ireland’s finest par-3’s.

Another favourite of mine is the par-5 13th hole which plays gently uphill and is lined by dunes each side the whole way. It’s a brute of a par-5 but memorable and will go down as one of my favourite holes, not just on the course but anywhere.

Following that is the final par-3 and it’s another fantastic downhiller.

The par-3 14th with the Glashedy Rock seen

Playing directly towards the ocean, the 14th has a massive green but a massive bunker as well. Anything short-right will find it and even the world’s best would probably accept a bogey if their ball comes to rest in it.

The final par-5 at 17 offers a late birdie chance. It measures over 560 yards and could well decide the tournament.

The closing hole is a dogleg-right par-4 18th and is short but must be respected. For most players it will be a long iron to the corner and a wedge to the green.

The final two holes both offer birdie chances and will surely make for a great finish to this week's tournament.

Expand Ballyliffin Golf Club Glashedy Course Review

Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort Sandy Hills Course Review

Ballyliffin Golf Club Glashedy Course Review

A superb modern links that is capable of…

Expand The Best Golf Courses In Ireland

Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort Sandy Hills Course Review

The Best Golf Courses In Ireland

Ireland's coast is blessed with some amazing links…

Expand Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort Sandy Hills Course Review

Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort Sandy Hills Course Review

Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort Sandy Hills Course Review

A tremendous modern links carved through impressive dunes.

Overall, the Glashedy is just a whirlwind ride where a score can be made if your ball is kept in the right place yet destroyed if you don’t have it under control.

It’s links golf at its best, I can’t wait for the tournament.

Where to stay:

Ballyliffin Lodge - ballyliffinlodge.com (opens in new tab)

Where else to play:

Rosapenna Sandy Hills Course - rosapenna.ie (opens in new tab)

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x