Book "18 Greatest Irish Golf Holes" a perfect primer for upcoming trip to Ireland
I’ve already packed my rain gear and umbrella (check the raging debate here). I even boiled myself a fine brisket of corned beef just to get in the mood.
But the best way to get psyched for a golf trip to the Emerald Isle – or to daydream of a past visit – is to peruse the pages of the new book, “18 Greatest Irish Golf Holes.” The photos are soul-stirring. The brown hues of the dunes, beach sand and fescue grasses make the Emerald Isle’s green palette that much more colorful. The words set the mind aflame with visions of the Irish Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
This beautiful hardcover book, by Craig Morrison and Andrew Ross with photography by John Kernick, is a luxurious coffee table piece. It comes with a hardcase slide-off cover. Each limited-edition copy is individually numbered. Considering there are only 5,000 copies, the $300 price tag seems fair.
Kernick’s photos explore not just each hole but the whole scene surrounding each club. Personal portraits and simple shots of ducks, flowers, medals and hanging berries all intermingle to give the reader a true picture of the place. The text explores the genius of each hole, along with the fabric of the club. Quotes from Irish legends, like 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, add credibility to the whole project.
Obviously, there’s plenty to debate when choosing a “best of” list. The trickiest part is choosing only one hole from places like Lahinch, Royal County Down and Ballybunion. Purists would argue that these hallowed grounds don’t have “signature holes” but a tapestry of wonderful holes woven together, all great in their own right.
I’ve been lucky enough to play 13 of the holes profiled (see the list below marked with an *). I’m scheduled to see two more, Druid’s Glen and Portmarnock (marked **), on this upcoming trip. I haven’t seen three – European Club, Lough Erne and Mahony’s Point at Killarney Golf & Fishing Club – so I’ve got a great excuse to return again.
The book is available for purchase in a handful of pro shops, but it’s best to purchase it directly from www.18greatestgolf.com. I soon hope to review the Scottish version of the series, which debuted in 2009. A U.S. version is expected to publish in 2012. Now that will be an interesting read … 18 holes chosen from 16,000 golf courses … but these authors have already proven they know their stuff.
18 GREATEST IRISH GOLF HOLES:
***The European Club par-4 7
* Lahinch Golf Club, Old Course, par-4 6
* The K Club, Palmer Ryder Cup Course, par-5 16
* Tralee Golf Club par-3 16
* Enniscrone Golf Club, The Dunes par-5 16
***Lough Erne, The Faldo Course, par-4 10
** Druid’s Glen par-4 13
** Portmarnock Golf Club par-3 15
* Royal County Down Golf Club par-4 9
* Adare Golf Club par-4 13
* Old Head Golf Links par-5 12
* Royal Portrush Golf Club par-3 14
* Rosapenna, Sandy Hills Links par-4 6
* Ballyliffin Golf Club, Glashedy Links par-5 13
* Doonbeg Golf Club par-3 14
* Waterville Golf Links par-5 11
* Ballybunion Golf Club par-4 11
***Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, Mahony’s Point par 3 18
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