The Island 1890
Donabate, Dublin, Ireland
Hole by hole (with comments from Philip Walton, International Golfer, Walker Cup, Ryder Cup and World Cup player).
An extemely tough opening hole, almost due East in direction. It is best to play down the left half as missing the fairway on either side considerably increases the difficulty of the approach shot to a raised green which slopes from back to front.
Named after our celebrated late head greenkeeper and international golfer whose work and direction played a major part in the implementation of the architectural changes to our links. A slight dog-leg left, which requires driving to the right side of the fairway, particularly if against the prevailing wind. A mid-iron shot at least is required to a severly sloping green which tends to throw the ball to the right.
Whatever your standard this hole is a challenge. Perhaps the toughest of the par fours this straightforward hole requires the utmost accuracy. Best drive is centre of the fairway allowing for approach shot with wood or long iron to two-tier green. Accuracy is vital on second shot because approach and green throws the ball to the right. One hidden greenside bunker on the left.
Dogleg left. Aim down the right hand side of the fairway for good look at the green. For safe play aim to front of the green.
The only blind driving hole on the course to undulating fairway. Drive over chequered pole or right side of fairway for best approach to well protected green.
Played from the highest tee on the links, there are three bunkers to negotiate. Two pot bunkers on the right and one fairway bunker under the sand dune on the left which deters the longer hitters from attempting to drive the green. The wise golfer will hit the tee shot short of the bunkers allowing for a full shot to the green which tends to be difficult to hold.
This slight dog-leg left is one of the best holes on the links requiring two excellent shots. for the best line to the green play down the right side of fairway. Sea buckthorn surrounds the right side and back of green. Shots coming up short will run away to the right while missing on the left leaves you well below the green.
A short par four. The best approach is to drive short of the bank on the fairway, allowing for a full shot to the green. The undulating green's location is typical of the traditional links design.
A straightforward one-shotter but by far the most guarded green by bunkers, having two fairway bunkers.
Dog-leg right off the tee to fairway which throws the ball right as you approach the green. Many brave golfers drive as close to the out of bounds as possible. Tempting two-shotter for long hitters but beware of the valley on the right.
Favour left hand side of fairway for easier approach to green.
A challenging dog-leg left played over a valley to an elevated green. Play your tee shot as close as possible to the hill on the left. Any tee shot played too far right usually runs off the fairway and into the right rough leaving a difficult approach shot.
A classic short hole. If you clear the large grass bunker which guards the front of the green you may be rewarded with a birdie. Out of bounds on the right. The alternative is to play safe down the left side and chip on.
A very intimidating hole because of the narrow fairway with a lateral water hazard on the right. It's best to aim for the edge of the left rough off the tee which will throw the ball into the centre of the fairway. Missing the fairway on the right forces the ball into the water hazard.
A great links hole which is best played down the left side of fairway except on approach to green where a green side bunker awaits the wayward shot.
Par 3 - Long iron up the hill to the elevated green.
This difficult penultimate driving hole to a narrow back fairway tends to throw the ball to the right throughout it's length. Beware of the large grass bunker on the left off the tee.
One of the finest finishing holes on any links. Played almost to the limit of par fours, it demands a straight drive into or through the valley, depending on conditions. from the valley the hole opens up to a vista with the green on rising ground. Pin position is a major factor as the green is the deepest on the links.