Dunfanaghy Golf Club, Kill, Dunfanaghy, Co. Donegal
Dunfanaghy Golf Club is an 18-hole true links course laid out in 1905 by six times winner of the British Open, Mr Harry Vardon. It is situated in County Donegal, 50 km (30 miles) west of Letterkenny on the N56, along the beautiful north-west coast of Ireland and offers year-round golfing.
Being one of only two hundred links courses world wide, Dunfanaghy is easily walked but also offers a superb golfing challenge. The course has spectacular views of Sheephaven Bay, nearby beaches, headlands, harbours and the dramatic Derryveagh Mountains. The greens are consistently rated among the best in Ireland and the course is sand-based and free-draining, making it playable all year round.
Here at Dunfanaghy we are proud to list two Irish close Champions and one North of Ireland Open Champion as our members over the last decade.
2006 saw the 100th year of Dunfanaghy Golf Club. Celebrations have taken place throughout the year and culminated on Friday 29th December 2006 with the launch of our Centenary book by Paul Mc Ginley and the Centenary Captains, Barbara Eakin and Keith Lapsley.
| Trustee Four
The 1st hole is a relatively straightforward opening hole, with out of bounds to the right of the fairway and a drain at 150 yards from the tee. The second shot demands an accurate approach as the green is well bunkered both left and righ. A drain guards the back of the green, so don’t be too bold with your second shot.
| The Burn
The 2nd hole is a par 3 of 165 yards. You have out of bounds to the right and a stream which meanders in front of the green. A single bunker guards the front left of the green.
The 3rd hole is a straight forward par 4 of 380 yards with out of bounds to the right of the tee to contend with as well as mounding on the left side. A bunker guards the front right corner of this long slender green.
The 4th hole, like the first six holes, has out of bounds on the right hand side of the fairway with mounding to contend with up the left hand side. The second shot is over water as there is a stream some 20 yards short of the green. Many people make the mistake of thinking they just have to clear the stream but will find dead ground between the green and stream. Make sure to take enough club to carry all the way into the green.
| Breenagh Lodge
The 5th hole, like so many at Dunfanaghy Golf Club, is not overly long at 340 yards. There is out of bounds on the right of the tee but that apart a good tee shot should leave a relatively short second shot. What makes this hole is the devilishly undulating green which has broken many a golfer's heart, regardless of how close to the pin they were in two shots.
| The Blagh
The 6th hole ia par four of some 410 yards. This hole has been lengthened in recent years and in the process has become stroke index one on the scorecard. Those who have played this hole will understand why. It’s a good hit into the breeze just to reach the fairway, and the out of bounds to the right of the fairway is much closer than you might think. Even after a good tee shot, most golfers will be left with another wood to have a chance to reach the green. If you make a four on this hole then you have every right to feel very pleased with yourself.
The 7th hole is not just a stunning hole, it also offers the most panoramic 360 degree views of Sheep Haven Bay and Portnablagh. Once you have taken in the stunning scenery you are then faced with a par 3 of some 230 yards from a very elevated tee. This hole generally plays into the breeze and is a driver for just about all golfers except for the very long hitters.
The 8th hole is relatively short at 330 yards. The tee shot here is blind and requires you to pick a spot on the hillside and commit to it. The second shot only allows you to see the top half of the flag and requires you to carry the ball all the way to the green as there are quite a number of humps and hollows at the front of the green.
| The Beat
The 9th hole is Dunfanaghy's signature hole. This is without doubt one of the most stunning short par 3’s you are ever likely to come across, with breath taking views of Horn Head and Sheep Haven Bay from the tee. The hole measures 132 yards and the tee shot is played over the beach below from an elevated tee box. A solitary bunker to the front left, protects the green.
The 10th hole is a par 4 of 310 yards. Again it is played from an elevated tee and requires a tee shot of some 180 yards to clear the beach that lies between the tee box and the fairway. The longer hitters may cut the corner and challenge the green, but they must be wary of the 3 deep bunkers on a direct line between the tee box and the green.
The 11th hole is relatively short at just over 300 yards. However, a straight tee shot is required as the out of bounds is tight to the right edge of the fairway and at driving distance on the left edge is mounding with two hidden bunkers. The shortness of this hole is more than made up for by the very tricky putting surface.
The 12th hole is a par 4 of 370 yards. It requires a tee shot up the right centre. Once again there is mounding with hidden bunkers to the left of the fairway at driving distance which need to be avoided. If you manage to find the fairway then you should have 120 – 165 yards left to a relatively flat green.
| Horn Head
The 13th hole is a par three of 165 yards played over a stream guarding the front of the green. Because of the stream in front, you must carry your tee shot all the way to the putting surface. The green is well protected by three bunkers short right, short left and also back left of the green.
The 14th hole is a par 4 of 350 yards played directly back towards the clubhouse. From the tee there are two bunkers and a clump of bushes on the right edge of the fairway to be avoided. This, combined with the heavy rough to the left of the fairway, makes a straight tee shot essential. The second shot is played over the top of a large mound, which protects the front of the green. The green is also protected by a single bunker to the right edge of the green.
The 15th Hole is a par 4 measuring 370 yards, played away from the clubhouse. The biggest obstacle for the majority of golfers on this hole is the stream, which runs right across the middle of the fairway at about 180 yards from the tee. Also to be avoided from the tee are two bunkers to the left, two bunkers and a clump of bushes to the right, all at driving distance. Having found the fairway most golfers are left with a medium to long iron for their second shot. The green is well protected with a bunker short right of the green and also a bunker on the left edge of the green.
| Catherines Isle The 16th Hole is the only par 5 on the course, measuring under 500 yards. As the second shot is played up hill and usually into the prevailing wind, only the longest hitters can contemplate going for the green in two; even then, only when weather conditions permit. For most golfers the biggest obstacle on this hole is the tee shot which requires a carry of 170 yards over a stream to reach the fairway. The second shot requires a good straight hit, as there are two very well placed bunkers left and right of the fairway. The third shot to this par five is usually blind to a green that slopes from left to right wards the sea.
| Carraig Rua
The 17th hole is a truly stunning par 3 of 187 yards from the back tee where you have views of Horn Head and the town of Dunfanaghy. The tee shot is all carry to a green which is well protected by out of bounds the whole way up the right edge of the fairway and also a large bunker on the left edge of the green.
| Vardon's First
The 18th Hole is a par 4 of just under 360 yard which has broken many a golfer's heart on their way to what they thought was going to be a good score. The reason being out of bounds runs tight along the right edge of the fairway for both the tee shot and also the second shot. The tee shot is blind, played over the crest of a hill, just left of the white marker or even left edge of the fairway is a very good, safe play from the tee. This is much easier said than done, especially if you have a good score going. From the fairway most golfers will be left with a shot of about 150 yards to a green that is protected by two bunkers on the left edge of the green and also one bunker on the front right edge of the green.
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