The European Club
Owned and designed by the legendary course designer Pat Ruddy The European club is a gem of a course in Co. Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. I've had the pleasure of playing this course myself and I have to say it's one I will never forget. It's a distinctive course with some quirky twists and turns throughout. Each time you visit the course it could well be significantly different from the last visit as Mr. Ruddy is constantly improving the course as he sees fit, just one of the many benefits of running and owning your own golf course. Located on Brittas Bay the course invariably is played with high winds throughout making it a great test of links golf. I'm not sure there is a sterner test of links golf available but one thing is for sure, the European Club will be a test. If a course designer as legendary as Pat Ruddy chose this as the place to build his own course you know it's something special.
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There is no question that there were shots at The Open that I was better at because I had played links golf at The European Club the week before. I would specifically pick my 7-iron into the first hole of the playoff. The weather had turned, the temperature had dropped, and I had learned the week before to allow for this as I hit a 7-iron 162-yards as against my normal 180-yards. It must have won me The Open. The European Club is a great links that you have to think your way around.
This is probably the best links course I have ever played and I include Royal St. George's, Royal Portush and Royal County Down in that. It's just the definition of it with the sleepers in the bunkers. It is totally unbelievable. I love courses where you really have to think your way around. It gets me focussed much more.
What wonderful optical illusions. I thought some of those par-4s were par-5s. A great links.