Eddie Hackett's original 1973 design has been re-mastered by the esteemed Tom Fazio, whose numerous projects have included involvement at Winged Foot, Augusta National, and the world's best course, Pine Valley. The small promontory that plays host to Waterville is as natural a setting for a golf course as you can find. Almost totally surrounded by the sea, the course challenges visitors with its raw links character, owing to the natural undulations and firm, fast turf.
The indigenous gorse and whins have been strategically placed, and like the devilish pot bunkers, represent a formidable challenge throughout. Traditional seaside tactics are the ones that work best around Waterville; the merciless coastal winds and the firm greens demand that golfers can work the ball, while keeping it low is definitely advisable.
Considered by many to be one of the finest expanses of links golf land, the course is protected by stunning sand hills, especially those found on the back-nine, that are the match for any in the UK and Ireland. The 18th hole at Waterville provides one of golf's great views. With a tee box perched just metres from the sea and a hole that runs parallel along the beach, anyone favouring the right will find their round coming to a watery end.
||Eddie Hackett / Claude Harmon / Tom Fazio
|Opened for play
||1889 with revisions 1973 and 1987
Shortly before his, tragic death, the colourful Payne Stewart was named honorary Captain, such was his affinity with Waterville, and a bronze statue now commemorates the relationship. The warm welcome that all will receive in the comfortable clubhouse merely emphasises the quality of Waterville as a stop on any tour of Ireland's South West.
The quality of the links turf is such that many of the top professionals choose to hone their seaside skills at Waterville in preparation for the Open Championship. Past visitors include Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara, Stuart Appleby, Ernie Els, and Jim Furyk.
Waterville Golf Links is ranked as one of the best courses in Ireland