Ireland – South West – Waterville – 7225 yds – Par 72
The front nine holes, which were designed to contrast with the more rugged and exposed closing stretch, begin with the chillingly named “Last Easy”, a fairly ironic name given the fact that it’s not really that simple. Then again, given the quality of the remaining 17 holes, it probably deserves its title. Each hole at Waterville is a wonderful experience, with the 2nd and 3rd holes, both par fours, being particularly impressive. And while the par three, 17th is probably Waterville’s feature hole, most would agree with Gary Player when he described the 11th as “the most beautiful and satisfying par five of them all”. Running 500 yards through a narrow passage of huge dunes, this hole fully deserves its name “Tranquility”.
The late Henry Cotton, three times Open Champion, probably said it best when he commented: “Waterville has to be one of the greatest golf courses ever built. If it were located in Britain, it would undoubtedly be a venue for The Open. I have never seen a more consistent succession of really strong and beautiful golf holes than here.”