Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Golf major winners list Ireland's best 18 holes

Ireland's current generation of golfing major winners all weighed in with an opinion to help create a new book claiming to record the best 18 holes on the island.

Open champion Darren Clarke, US Open winners Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell were asked for their views while three-time major winner Padraig Harrington wrote the foreword for the exclusive limited edition hardback.

Launched ahead of the start of the Irish Open in Killarney, Co Kerry, the book - 18 Greatest Irish Golf Holes - was also compiled with the advice of club pros, high handicappers, course architects and green keepers in an exhaustive two year search.

As members of Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, Clarke and McDowell will be particularly pleased to see its devilish par three 14th Calamity on the list.

But it is only one of three holes north of the border on a scorecard dominated by courses in the Republic of Ireland.

Author Andrew Ross acknowledged the list would spark debate.

"It's not the best 1st, best 2nd, best 3rd, best 4th, it's just the 18 best holes," he said.

"The difficult thing was to get it down to 18, you were always going to have to leave some out.

"But we are happy with the 18 in there, they are great golf holes. This is the starting point for a debate, for a discussion."

The book is targeted primarily at golf fans in the United States... and rich ones at that. One copy costs £200.

"We went to a lot of golf pros, Padraig Harrington did the forward and we also worked with guys like Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke," said Mr Ross.

"Then we went beyond that speaking to golf architects, green keepers, club members, club captains and we amassed a lot of information ourselves playing the courses.

"So the end result was basically what we thought was a decent list and a pretty democratic choice."

The 18 featured holes are:

The European Club 7th Par 4

Lahinch Golf Club 6th Par 4

K Club, Palmer Course 16th Par 5

Tralee Golf Club 16th Par 3

Enniscrone Golf Club 16th Par 5

Lough Erne 10th Par 4

Druid's Glen 13th Par 4

Portmarnock Golf Club 15th Par 3

Royal County Down 9th Par 4

Adare Golf Club 13th Par 4

Old Head Golf Links 12th Par 5

Royal Portrush Golf Club 14th Par 3

Rosapenna, Sandy Hills 6th Par 4

Ballyliffin, Glashedy 13th Par 5

Doonbeg Golf Club 14th Par 3

Waterville Golf Links 11th Par 5

Ballybunion Golf Links 11th Par 4

Killarney, Mahony's Point 18th Par 3

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