By Kevin Markham
West Waterford – Established 1993
Not A Foot Wrong
Even the weaker holes (the 6th to the 9th) work really well here. They are separated from the course by a gentle hill and they go back and forth. As you walk down the long and dark path to the 6th tee box these holes look similar – but they’re not. They are of different lengths and offer different tests. The 9th green, by the clubhouse, offers the best views of the Comeragh Mountains.
It is the holes on the other side that are so wonderful where the creativity focuses on simplicity. West Waterford has used the hills and trees perfectly, nowhere more effectively than holes 2 and 3, two reverse dog legs. The 2nd hits down and demands a draw; the 3rd goes up and needs a fade. Both are tight, need exact shots, and are enticing: they are beautiful holes.
Like Tramore, this is a driver’s paradise. The variety of holes, both in terms of beauty and difficulty, will keep you excited all day and standing up on the next tee box never disappoints. The 12th, 14th and 15th run alongside the River Brickey, which is as natural and peaceful as the course itself. It warms the heart. The 17th and the 18th are two long and tough holes that will rattle the best golfers. When you climb that final slope, remind yourself that this course opened only in 1993. It is maturing spectacularly.
I was sitting in the restaurant when the President’s prizes were being handed out. The winning visitor remarked how warm the welcome was at West Waterford and I couldn’t agree more.
Par 5 12th. 464 yards. The first hole beside the river. It may look flat but the fairway has good undulations and there are two ditches, which challenge your drive and your second. The bridges add nicely and it offers a good birdie chance.
par 4 18th. 455 yards. The fairway dog-legs gently against the slope of the hill, so finding the fairway is tough. Your long second is then well below your feet, with a bunker in exactly the wrong place in front of the green.
– Par 72
– Length: 6,476 yards