Golf Course Architecture - Issue 75, January 2024

59 JAMESON GOLF LINKS four playing south, parallel to the sea. It hasn’t been changed that much, but given the new ninth, the walk to the tee is along a path through the seawall dunes with excellent views of the water – a pleasant place on a nice day, though in a gale it will be wild! The tough and excellent par three eleventh is unchanged, but the twelfth hole has had its green pushed back 100 yards to create a par five; the most dramatic feature is the green site, which is a classic volcano, set atop a high dune. The green itself has a hint of a Biarritz style swale in it, but any golfer finding any part of the putting surface should be happy, as missing the green will result in a very difficult recovery shot, especially if you find the brutally deep bunker set to the right. The thirteenth, in turn, was a par five, but the tees have been moved forward to create a long and very challenging four, in stroke index terms judged the hardest hole on the course. The fourteenth is now another five played to a new green that is much wider than it is deep, and has some dramatic rolling contours. The fifteenth we have already covered, while the stunning par-four sixteenth has a new tee position high on the seawall dune, with great views and a challenging angle to the fairway. The final change, both in terms of hole position and also chronology, is on the seventeenth hole, now a difficult par three. Lynch has used a patch of dramatic but previously unused ground behind the existing green to build a new one that will turn the hole into an exciting and fun short par four. The green is expected to be brought into play in early 2024. Phase two of the works may include a multifunction practice area in the southwest of the property, incorporating a practice range large enough to accommodate a major tournament, and also a nine hole short course. The newly-named Jameson course has always had something of a PR problem, because it shared its name with the adjacent club, unarguably one of the best courses in Ireland, and, put simply, it wasn’t as good. To be confused with another, better, course is a difficult position to be in, and will inevitably lead to some disappointed customers. But now, the course has a much clearer identity of its own and, thanks to Jeff Lynch’s excellent work, is also a stronger golfing experience. That puts the resort in a very good position. Owner Mitch Gagliardi tells me that he plans to launch stay and play packages incorporating the other high profile links in the area, and I imagine these will be very well received, given the excellence of the hotel. It would be an exaggeration to say that Jameson Golf Links is now on the same level as its illustrious neighbour. But it is fair to say that it is in the same ballpark. Photo: Momentum Golf Photography The ninth green, one of the largest on the course, has bold contours