Founded in 1906 and accredited to Harry Vardon the course gets off to a slow start with out-of-bounds down the right hand side of the first few holes adding the only real interest as we play over fairly flat land away from the coast. There is a lot going on at the short second (trees, bridges, ditches and bunkers) but ultimately it is all a bit messy.
Things start to get more dynamic from the 5th as we begin to see more movement in the land and more interesting green complexes. The green at the 6th is very good as it fits snugly into the side of a dune, has a decent amount of slope and is very long and narrow.
This improvement in the holes all builds to a crescendo between the 8th and 10th where we play a dramatic loop of three holes by the rocky clifftops where we must hit over a sandy cove at the short ninth “The Beat” and have the option to do so at the heroic 10th.
The course which is a par 68, 5,308 metre layout continues to tick over for the next few holes with some solid, if unspectacular holes.
However, the finish is very good at Dunfanaghy with the 16th and 17th easily the best two holes on the property. Again, it is because we some the terrain doing something and this allows for two wonderfully sited greens. The first is a par-five which slings to the right before we play up and over to the green whilst the 17th is a par-three measuring 171 metres and is played along the waters edge to a sloping and angled green which asks you to feed the ball in from the left.
The routing of the course, on a narrow strip of linksland, allows for many different options in terms of the number of holes you can play but one thing is for sure you do not want to miss the 8-10 loop in the middle nor the final few holes.
Dunfanaghy will never pull up any trees in the golf course rankings but it is a very enjoyable members golf club in a lovely location on the western shores of Sheephaven Bay with Muckish Mountain watching on and the blue flag beach of Killahoey always just a stones throw away.