Lahinch Golf Club

Dough, Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland

For a quintessential game of links golf, look no further than Lahinch Golf and Leisure Club. The two courses at Lahinch have all the links trappings one would expect: unpredictable winds, towering dunes, and of course, beautiful oceanfront views. They were designed by Old Tom Morris and Dr. Alister MacKenzie in 1894 and 1926, respectively.

A 1999 redevelopment of MacKenzie’s course by Dr. Martin Hawtree brought more attention to Lahinch’s panoramic views of the Atlantic. The redesigned course has been met with widespread acclaim, making regular appearances on lists of the top golf courses in the world.

There are also some things about Lahinch Golf Club one might not expect. For instance, one of the courses is home to a roaming family of goats; hence the goat in the Lahinch Golf Club logo. The presence of these unexpected spectators can be traced back to a goat-owning caddie who once lived near the course. If you can’t spot the goats near the clubhouse, the weather will likely be fine. If you do, there may be a storm coming!

Another aspect of Lahinch Golf Club that may catch unsuspecting players off guard is the infamous fifth hole. Dubbed the “Dell,” besting this blind par three designed by Old Tom Morris is no small feat. A large dune blocks players’ view of the putting surface, requiring them to rely entirely on a white aiming stone as their point of reference, which is moved to correspond with moving pin placements.