ASGCA Past President Robert Jones, Jr., (Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects) is nearing completion of Hogs Head Golf Club, adjacent to the shoreline cliffs south of Waterville, Ireland. The layout will be unveiled in August 2017.
A headlands course surrounded by farmland, Hogs Head Golf Club boasts views of both the Atlantic seascape and the tallest mountains in the country – called Macgillicuddy’s Reeks – while incorporating a salmon-nurturing stream that dominates strategy on the first nine holes.
“We have incorporated all the great elements of golf that people seek when they come to Ireland,” Jones said. “Hogs Head is a golf course that will fascinate you and hold your interest every time you play it.”
Jones moved soil and rock walls while re-sculpting the entire site, which includes a small segment of the Skellig Bay Golf Course (established 2006). Playing surfaces are sand-capped, planted with three types of fescue grasses indigenous to the Irish coast. The intent is for Hogs Head to pose firm, fast, links-like conditions that reward both an aerial or ground game, depending on the ever-changing coastal climate.
“We provided multiple choices of how to play many of the holes, given the weather of the day,” Jones said. “It will be different every day with that hidden dimension of variable winds.”
Hogs Head Golf Club is the first original golf course design in Ireland by RTJ II, which has created more than 270 courses in more than 40 countries on six continents.
The new layout at Hogs Head Golf Club is a continuous 18-hole sequence that features holes routed along the edge of 100-foot coastal bluffs, as well as an inland sequence that navigates the ever-present Finglas River.
“The owner’s vision is to create a championship caliber golf course equal to Ireland’s unsurpassed passion for the game of golf, a passion we wholeheartedly share,” Jones said. “Our working motto has been, ‘built by friends for friends for fun.’ And we know this course will deliver the fun.”