Dubai Duty Free Irish Open 2018, Ballyliffin.

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brendy

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Just how good does the whole complex look? I've played there quite a few times and try to get up a few times a year to play with Ballyliffin member, Smange, the fortunate git!.

Quite a few of us from the forum have played here on events we have arranged each year as far back as 2011 (to give it its correct name, "The Irish Craic Classic", there is a few threads here for anyone interested), anyone tempted, really should make the effort to get over and play. The choice of other courses to make up a long weekend are exhausting.

Scoring in about as benign weather as you can get up there seems actually very reasonable. There are birdie holes but plenty of others waiting to bite, the 18th for example, the pros are finding it a struggle, every hole though, has its nuances which need to be learned.
It will be interesting to see the hole averages for the end of the day. It certainly seems that slowing the greens from their usual speeds has helped scoring a little as well as receptive greens, come Saturday or Sunday they could well be a little faster given the footfall.

Any predictions yet? My virtual fiver is split between Kjeldsen and Gmac, I reckon Kjeldsen given he has won an Irish Open before and Gmac having something to prove after AirFrance-gate.

 

Liverpoolphil

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Looks a beautiful course , some very clever bunkering , got to be clever from the tee and really liking the raised tees on some of the par 3’s

I thought Rahm would do well but struggling but Lowry , Westwood and McIlroy look strong
 

smange

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Have to say TV is actually almost doing the place justice!

Anyone who has played the courses will tell you it's a superb set up with two genuinely world class links courses as well as fantastic practice facilities and a big modern clubhouse to match.

I consider myself very lucky to be a member and delighted that we got a great spell of weather to show off the place to the watching millions.

I was down at the pro-am yesterday and there is a great buzz about the courses and indeed the whole area of Inishowen and even further afield.

As Brendy alludes to you have to pick your holes to attack carefully as there are some that will really bite you on the ass if you get sloppy and others that if your sensible you will have birdie chances, no surprise that most of the scoring is on the front 9 then you hold on for the ride on the back 9 and get through with whatever you can.

Will be down there Friday, Saturday & Sunday so hopefully get to see some more great golf over the next 3 days and we get a great tournament with a worthy winner.
 

Tongo

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County Donegal is a stunning part of Ireland and doesnt attract the same number of tourists that west coast counties further south do. I watched the first day highlights on the European Tour website and the views are majestic.
 

Scoobiesnax

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Smange, I went to a Donegal Society golf event in London a few weeks back and we had Paul McGinley there as a quick guest speaker (absolute lovely guy by the way). You could see his love for Donegal was immense and he was so looking forward to the Irish Open and hoping the weather would do the place justice which it seems to be doing. I'm a Co. Antrim man myself but was lucky to get an invite through my company where one of the MDs is a Donegal man.

Ballyliffin looks absolutely gorgeous and I really wish I had taken golf up at a younger age when I was back home in Ballymena, but unfortunately cricket got in the way! So many beautiful courses on the Island and I never got to experience any of them - as of yet!!
 

garyinderry

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Great finish there in the play off.


Been a great course to watch on TV. was surprised the pros didn't rip the place up on thur and Fri with little to no wind. Place stood up well.


Was a pleasure being there on wed and Fri. cracking week :cool:
 

Lord Tyrion

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Two ridiculous putts by Knox to first off force the play off and then to win. I felt for Fox, particularly the way his putts shaved and then rimmed the hole.
 

Liverbirdie

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Great finish there in the play off.


Been a great course to watch on TV. was surprised the pros didn't rip the place up on thur and Fri with little to no wind. Place stood up well.


Was a pleasure being there on wed and Fri. cracking week :cool:
Gaz was it the main course only, or a composite of the two?
 

garyinderry

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Glashedy only.


I only realised how tight the fairways are when i was walking about.

I wonder if they were pinched in for the open. The rough wasnt bad but you couldnt control the ball if not on the short stuff.
 

smange

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Not long back home after 3 days down there and have to say it was a fantastic experience having a big tour event on at your home club, yes we had to make a few sacrifices in the build up but we will be back to normal come Tuesday and have some great memories of watching some of the best players in the world try to negotiate what we already knew was a great test of golf and it's kinda pleasing that even in perfect conditions these guys still couldn't batter it into submission and that the winning score was only -14.

As good as it was watching these guys I have to say that I was surprised at just how few putts they actually hole! When watching on TV you tend only to see them knocking putts in all over the place but actually being there and sitting at a green for a length of time it was amazing to see how many they actually don't make that you would feel fairly confident over and it seemed to be the general consensus of most other guys I spoke to around the club over the weekend.

A great advert for the club and the whole county of Donegal and all credit to the guys who organised it, as anyone who knows the area will tell you it isn't blessed with the best road network in the world but everything ran smoothly with very little traffic disruption.

All credit to everyone at the club and to the head greenkeeper and his team who presented the course in immaculate condition (it always is anyway). And I'm really looking forward to playing the course on Tuesday when it re-opens for us to play.

We already get lots of visitors and now the world has seen the courses and area and whole set up of the place I'm sure the club will reap the benefits for years to come.
 

Garush34

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Didn't see much of this over the weekend but saw a few hours on Thursday/Friday. Course looked lovely and was good to see the pros tackle a different kind of course. Working the ball of slopes in the rough around the greens ect was a joy to see.

Impressed with Rahm's performance, over par the first day battled back and then a triple at the second to shoot 66. Seems like he might be turning the corner with his attitude when things don't go his way.
 

Lord Tyrion

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As good as it was watching these guys I have to say that I was surprised at just how few putts they actually hole! When watching on TV you tend only to see them knocking putts in all over the place but actually being there and sitting at a green for a length of time it was amazing to see how many they actually don't make that you would feel fairly confident over and it seemed to be the general consensus of most other guys I spoke to around the club over the weekend.
That is a common comment, certainly one I made as well first tournament I went to. What I did notice though was that they did leave the putts stone dead so although they didn't make as many putts they rarely turned into 3 putts. I think it is the tv coverage flitting from group to group that tricks us into thinking that all putts go in.

Great advert for your course by the way, but that must have been obvious to you all.
 

Dan2501

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As good as it was watching these guys I have to say that I was surprised at just how few putts they actually hole! When watching on TV you tend only to see them knocking putts in all over the place but actually being there and sitting at a green for a length of time it was amazing to see how many they actually don't make that you would feel fairly confident over and it seemed to be the general consensus of most other guys I spoke to around the club over the weekend.
This is a common misconception - especially among people who mainly watch the PGA Tour whose coverage is basically a putting highlights package at times. No Laying Up did a podcast with the guy who designed the Strokes-Gained approach to statistics in golf and he shared a remarkable stat. PGA Tour players make 1.4 20ft+ putts on average per tournament, winners make 2.4 on average. These guys aren't dropping bombs from all over the place on the greens as it seems on TV. Makes Knox's two putts on the 18th even more remarkable though, to make those two putts back to back given the situation is incredible.
 

pauldj42

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Not long back home after 3 days down there and have to say it was a fantastic experience having a big tour event on at your home club, yes we had to make a few sacrifices in the build up but we will be back to normal come Tuesday and have some great memories of watching some of the best players in the world try to negotiate what we already knew was a great test of golf and it's kinda pleasing that even in perfect conditions these guys still couldn't batter it into submission and that the winning score was only -14.

As good as it was watching these guys I have to say that I was surprised at just how few putts they actually hole! When watching on TV you tend only to see them knocking putts in all over the place but actually being there and sitting at a green for a length of time it was amazing to see how many they actually don't make that you would feel fairly confident over and it seemed to be the general consensus of most other guys I spoke to around the club over the weekend.

A great advert for the club and the whole county of Donegal and all credit to the guys who organised it, as anyone who knows the area will tell you it isn't blessed with the best road network in the world but everything ran smoothly with very little traffic disruption.

All credit to everyone at the club and to the head greenkeeper and his team who presented the course in immaculate condition (it always is anyway). And I'm really looking forward to playing the course on Tuesday when it re-opens for us to play.

We already get lots of visitors and now the world has seen the courses and area and whole set up of the place I'm sure the club will reap the benefits for years to come.
Course did look special, how many, if any changes did they make to how it normally presents? ie, width of fairways, length of rough, green speed etc
 

Andy

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Course looked awesome and playable for us amateurs. Definitely gonna get over for a game.
 

smange

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Course did look special, how many, if any changes did they make to how it normally presents? ie, width of fairways, length of rough, green speed etc
Some of the fairways were a bit narrower than normal but nothing too dramatic to what we are used to and the rough was as we would play it, it's a very fair golf course and unless you get very unlucky or are very wild you will nearly always find your ball and have a shot but like it should be, it will be a punishment and unless you are close to the green you will struggle to advance it very far, which in my mind is how rough should be. I don't get these links courses that think rough has to be knee deep and balls being lost all over the place.

Greens definitely looked a bit slower during the tournament than I think we would normally have them in those conditions but that's the tours call and not the clubs.

New tee boxes were built on the 2nd, 4th & 9th which added a total of 252 yards to the course length most notably on the 4th where they added 120 yards or so to it to make it a proper par 5 length but it wasn't used on first two days which I presume was from a pace of play point of view as it is a long walk from the normal tee box up to the new one, wasn't used yesterday either so we had 3 days of a par 5 playing as a par 4 really which yielded a lot of birdies and a good amount of eagles.

Its a fantastic golf course which is always in excellent condition as is our other course, The Old Course, and when you add in the practice facilities of 2 putting greens, a chipping green with bunkers around it, 5 par 3 practice hole Academy Links and a 300 yard grass driving range we really do have a complex to rival anywhere in the world.

Add in the other top class golf courses all within an hours car journey and you have a fantastic area for a golf trip, then you have the Guinness which is worth travelling for on its own!
 
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I’m a massive links course fan in general and the course looked spot on FairPlay would love to play that .watching that makes me want to return to my previous club membership which was on a championship links .
 

pauldj42

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Some of the fairways were a bit narrower than normal but nothing too dramatic to what we are used to and the rough was as we would play it, it's a very fair golf course and unless you get very unlucky or are very wild you will nearly always find your ball and have a shot but like it should be, it will be a punishment and unless you are close to the green you will struggle to advance it very far, which in my mind is how rough should be. I don't get these links courses that think rough has to be knee deep and balls being lost all over the place.

Greens definitely looked a bit slower during the tournament than I think we would normally have them in those conditions but that's the tours call and not the clubs.

New tee boxes were built on the 2nd, 4th & 9th which added a total of 252 yards to the course length most notably on the 4th where they added 120 yards or so to it to make it a proper par 5 length but it wasn't used on first two days which I presume was from a pace of play point of view as it is a long walk from the normal tee box up to the new one, wasn't used yesterday either so we had 3 days of a par 5 playing as a par 4 really which yielded a lot of birdies and a good amount of eagles.

Its a fantastic golf course which is always in excellent condition as is our other course, The Old Course, and when you add in the practice facilities of 2 putting greens, a chipping green with bunkers around it, 5 par 3 practice hole Academy Links and a 300 yard grass driving range we really do have a complex to rival anywhere in the world.

Add in the other top class golf courses all within an hours car journey and you have a fantastic area for a golf trip, then you have the Guinness which is worth travelling for on its own!
Cheers for that, whole place sounds superb.
 
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