BY TOM MULVOY
WATERVILLE, Ireland – “The wind is coming from the north and east, and that’s pretty unusual for us at this time of year,” said the fellow next to me on the putting green at the Waterville Golf Links at the southwest edge of the Ring of Kerry in the southwest of Ireland. “It usually comes the other way,” he added as we both stood firm against winds steady at about 25 miles an hour with gusts reaching into the 40-mph range.
Whatever direction the wind is blowing from, the 124-year-old links course at Waterville – par 72, 7,200 yards from the back, 6,600 from the middle tees – is a test of a golfer’s mettle. A perennial high-up resident on the listings of the world’s great courses, the links is located about a mile out toward Ballinskelligs Bay from its namesake town of some 600 residents. Its sand dunes, gorse, clutching grasses, cement-hard fairways, bunkers featuring sod faces, and quick, unforgiving greens make a run at par at every hole a sturdy challenge. Read more