A golfer-friendly clifftop links


Bundoran Golf Club

Bundoran Golf Club

Date Reviewed
September 12, 2022
Reviewed by Ed Battye
Bundoran is not your typical Irish Links. It is played along the clifftops and has more of a holiday-golf feel to it. The big-wheel that you can see from the first tee gives you an idea of the surrounding area.

That’s not to say there isn’t merit here though because the quality of the greens and their surrounds are particularly pleasing. In many ways it is a golf course that plays better than it looks.

Bundoran, established in 1894 but credited to Harry Vardon for his redesign in the 1920’s, is fairly tame off the tee with minimal fairway bunkering and you can open your shoulders on most of the longer holes but you will need good approach play and a sharp recovery game to score well thanks to the excellent green complexes.

As with most cliff-top links the turf is not quite of the same tightness and as sandy as you would hope for and the course was a bit too ‘green’ for me.

The course, laid out in two loops, is situated right next door to the Great Northern Hotel and the huge building almost comes in to play at the ninth where the green is very close to the hotel towards the back and side of the putting surface.

The standout hole on the course is the 11th “Tullan” which plays right along the cliffs at the far end of the headland above Donegal Bay and in the shadow of the Dartry Mountains. From an elevated tee we drive down to a plunging fairway before climbing back up to a glorious green site.

The 12th runs in the opposite direct and is also very good.

Bundoran, par 70 and 5,754 metres, is not a course that will live long in the memory for most but it will for me because I managed an ace at the 115 metre 3rd hole! A lovely little knock down pitching wedge which had one bounce and fizzed into the cup.

It is a venue that I suspect knows its clientele and caters very well for them. It is good value and golfer-friendly.

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