Length; 6814 yds (Blue), 6498 yds (White), 6092yds (Yellow), 5288 yds (Red)
‘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.’
‘… 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.’
In the book, West Waterford is rated in ‘Top Ten ‘Must Play’ courses. (courses that are so different or unexpected that they deserve special mention).
There are certain courses which sum up the beauty and peacefulness of the Irish landscape, and few do it better than West Waterford. The River Brickey brushes along one side of the course, threatening a few of the back nine holes, while the Comeragh and Knockmealdown mountains form a bucolic backdrop, particularly on the front half of the course. West Waterford is gentle and easy on the eye, the rolling landscape inviting big drives towards generous fairways. It is not designed to be difficult, preferring instead to be accessible and fun, but at par 72, 6500yards from the white tees, it still demands smart golf.
Eddie Hackett (1910–1996) was arguably Ireland’s greatest golf course architect, and West Waterford golf club was his 100th creation. Some of the other great courses he worked on included Waterville, Carne, Connemara, Dooks, Murvagh links in Donegal and Enniscrone
His philosophy was probably best summed up when he said himself, “I find that nature is the best architect . . . I try to dress up what the Good Lord provides”..
He was a great advocate of option design, whereby the player is offered a difficult line off the tee, followed by a more gentle approach, or vice versa. Generally, he avoided the more penal elements of modern golf course architecture, such as long carries over water and cavernous bunkers.