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Skellig Bay Golf Club,
Designer: Ron Kirby
Championship Length: 7,400 yards
SSS (Course Rating): 74
Situated on the beautiful Ring of Kerry, Waterville has long been a Mecca for discerning golfers. Skellig Bay Golf Club which opened for play in Spring 2006 ensures that Waterville is now a “must play” for Golf enthusiasts the world over. Waterville is well known for its fine hotels, top-class restaurants and local pubs where Irish music and song are always “on the menu”. The surrounding area is of outstanding beauty and is dotted with quiet sandy beaches with many other outdoor pursuits well catered for.
Situated overlooking the magistic Ballinskelligs Bay and set among natural magalithic stonework and indigenous bog deal, there can be few more visually stunning locations for a golf couse than Skellig Bay in Waterville. The course opened for play in Spring 2006 and has already been rated in Irelands “Top 50”.
Nestling in the shadows of the towering McGillicuddy Reeks, the golfer has to negotiate the river Fionnglass for the opening and closing holes but it is the stretch from six to sixteen that lives in memory long after the last putt has been sunk. Here the awesome beauty of the Bay hits you full in the face as you play through holes framed by over 8000 yards of ancient “famine” walls. Original standing stones from pre-christian times and a fairy fort all add to an unforgettable round as you experience an unbelievable feeling of another time and place.
“Skellig Bay is full of challenging golf holes” says Sunday Independent Golf Correspondent Dermot Gilleece. “...and is built in the traditional design that advocates visibilty, fairness and enjoyment”.
Skellig Bay was designed by American Golf Architect Ron Kirby. Over the years Kirby has worked with many of the worlds great designers: Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Snr and Gary Player. His works include Sun City in South Africa, Sotogrande in Spain and Mount Juliet and The Old Head in Ireland. Ron regards Skellig Bay as his own creation and is very proud of this addition to the other great courses in the South-West of Ireland.
Neither Links nor Parkland, Skellig Bay can only be described as a Heathland or Headland course, which follows the coastline of South West Kerry. As with all coastal courses there is little to protect the golfer from the sea breeze that is ever present, so mastering the knockdown shot and the bump and run will stand you in good stead here. Generous fairways with superb greens put an emphasis on club selection with the second shot, and if missed a good short game is required to save par.