Dingle Golf Links Course Review

Dingle Golf Links is a beautifully remote course that more than rewards the effort made to get there

Dingle Golf Links - Feature
The opening hole at Dingle typifies the challenge and beauty to come
(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Dingle Golf Links Course Review

GF €105 mid season; €120 peak season
Par 72, 6,447 yards
Slope 134
GM Verdict A wild, remote and rippling Atlantic links
Favourite Hole The 16th demands a confident drive to open up an enticing approach shot over the burn

Perhaps only Connemara, and Waterville, one of the best courses in the Golf Monthly Top 100, can match Dingle for the beauty of the journey to reach the golf course. Sea and lakes and mountains slide by along the route. It adds to the occasion, no question. Set on the outer most tip of the Dingle Peninsula, this is the most westerly golf course in Europe. The Three Sisters, rising above the course, are cliff peaks that add an other-worldly feel to the occasion… which may explain why they were chosen as a Star Wars filming location.

Dingle Golf Links - Hole 4

The stream has to be crossed - again - at the fourth

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

The course was first designed by Eddie Hackett in 1971 - his 18 hole design was only completed in 1992 - and it is the epitome of deceptive links golf where almost every shot will cast doubt in your mind. The terrain sweeps down from the clubhouse and it’s all on show from the 1st tee, which promises a tempting downhill drive.

Dingle Golf Links - Hole 8

The approach to the eighth with the jagged cliffs beyond

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Dingle does not possess big dunes - indeed, it can be brutally exposed to the winds - but the sweetly crumpled landscape will prove far more illuminating than first appearances might suggest. Now add in a burn that winds low through the ground and influences proceedings on 11 holes, and you know your A-game needs to be dialled up to the max.

Dingle Golf Links - Hole 9

Hell - the ninth hole - returns to the clubhouse

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Dingle revels in its natural form. That was Hackett’s way, placing greens intuitively and finding a layout that always seems obvious. The routing ensures the winds will target you from every angle… and target you they will. This is perfectly emphasised by several par fours of similar length but facing in different directions: they play so differently in the wind.

Dingle Golf Links - Hole 11

The par-5 eleventh involves crossing the stream yet again

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

In recent years there has been a Masterplan to enhance the links further and the thinning of some dastardly deep rough does make things easier for all levels of golfer. Even with this generosity it is so important to find the correct side of the fairway if you want to attack greens. That is mainly down to the burn and the resulting lack of opportunities to play bump-and-run.

Dingle Golf Links - Hole 16

The approach to the par-4 sixteenth

(Image credit: Kevin Markham)

Dingle is a tricky customer that way and there are natural land forms to torment you, too. Never less than crafty this links can not be overcome with power alone. It requires precision course management and a sharp short game that will be used time and again.

Kevin Markham
Freelance writer and photographer

Kevin Markham stepped into a campervan in 2007, and spent the next 14 months playing every 18-hole golf course in Ireland… 360 of them. He wrote two books on the back of those travels and has been working in the golf industry ever since, both as a freelance writer and a photographer. His love of golf courses has seen him playing extensively in Scotland, as well as across Europe. In total, he has played over 550 courses including most of Scotland’s top 100, and over half of Portugal’s growing number. He writes for the Irish Examiner newspaper, Irish Golfer magazine, and Destination Golf, and is a regular contributor to Golf Monthly. He has his own photography website – kevinmarkhamphotography.com – and spends hours on golf courses waiting to capture the perfect sunrise or sunset.

Kevin can be contacted via Twitter - @kevinmarkham