Lahinch Golf Club Old Course Review

Wonderfully natural links showcasing the very best in design. It’s a must visit for golfing purists.

Lahinch Golf Club Old Course Review
(Image credit: Steve Carr)

Wonderfully natural links but also showcasing the very best in design. It’s a must visit for golfing purists and it’s quite simply, great fun to play.

Lahinch Golf Club Old Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 26

Previous Rankings

2019/20 - 32 2017/18 - 28 2015/16 - 26 2013/14 - 23 2011/12 - 16 2009/10 - 11

Summer Green Fees

Round – €240

Visitors: Welcome, but must take at least one caddie per group

Medal Tee: Par 72 – 6,613 Yards (opens in new tab)

Changes since previous ranking

New Championship Tees on Holes 13 & 18 extending course length to 7066 yards

Significant work was completed on grass surfaces, bunkers and all areas of the golf course ahead of the hosting of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in July 2019

Work completed on the rough as part of the club’s “Environmental & Ecological Policy/Plan.”

New halfway facility opened during 2020.

Extensive repair/maintenance programme of work on coastal defence structure (rock armour).

New practice facilities including driving range tee box complex and the construction of an indoor performance centre.

Lahinch Golf Club Old Course Review

Lahinch played host to a thrilling Irish Open in 2019, won in some style by Jon Rahm. The event showcased the quality of the design and test offered by the Old Course, which is one of the best golf courses in Ireland. That, combined with the extensive works described above, has seen Lahinch climb to six places to 26th on the 2020/21 ranking.

The 13th at Lahinch
(Image credit: Steve Carr)

Golf at Lahnich on the County Clare coast began in 1892 when two officials of Limerick Golf Club laid out 18 holes with the assistance of officers from the “Black Watch” regiment. Old Tom Morris made improvements in 1894 but it was Dr Alister MacKenzie who, in 1927, created the course largely still in play today.

Related: Dr Alister MacKenzie: Augusta's Designer

The Old Course is one of the finest examples of MacKenzie’s architectural prowess. His use of natural slopes and raised greens created a superb and rugged test of links golf.

Between 1999 and 2003 Martin Hawtree completed a renovation project to bring the striking links into line with the modern game in a way sympathetic to the MacKenzie design. It was a great success.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

(Image credit: Steve Carr)

A round at Lahinch is an exciting adventure and an exacting test. It’s a supremely natural course and one where every shot in the bag will be tested. The fairways run through huge grass-covered dunes to fast greens with devilish run-offs.

Combine all this with perfect bunker placement, you have a supremely strategic test.

There’s a great mix of holes, some asking for raw power, others for a more subtle approach. The natural contours of the land and the ever-present wind make for a superb natural test.

Assessor Feedback

I strongly feel this is an essential venue for all serious golf course enthusiasts to visit. The overall design is simply so natural but perfectly designed. It’s amazing that 100 years on Alister MacKenzie’s designs can seldom be bettered.

I love the short par-5 5th. Where else would you have a risk and reward in attempting a blind approach to a green over a monstrous dune known as Klondyke?

GM Verdict

Wonderfully natural links but also showcasing the very best in design. It’s a must visit for golfing purists and it’s quite simply, great fun to play.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?