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Dooks Golf Club Celebrates 125th Anniversary


Dooks Golf Club in Ireland is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. One of the Emerald Isle's 10 oldest clubs, Dooks is home to an 18-hole links course alongside Dingle Bay in County Kerry.

Deriving its name from the Irish word for "dunes" and framed by Ireland's highest mountain range - the McGillycuddy Reeks, the player-friendly layout boasts Atlantic Ocean views from nearly every hole.

"Golfers worldwide are invited to celebrate with us and see why we're so proud of our 'Friendly Dooks' nickname," says Michelle McGreevy, the club's general manager. "There will be an extra-enthusiastic welcome in 2014, with a host of special events and promotions at the club."

A nine-holer for most of its first 80 years, the course was expanded to 18 in 1970. The most recent renovations were completed by golf course architect Martin Hawtree in 2006. Dooks is well-situated thanks to its neighbors courses at Ballybunion and Tralee.

Hawtree, who also renovated Lahinch and Royal Dublin, rebuilt all of Dooks' bunkers, relocated tees and fairways, and created 16 new greens - 10 of which were relocated. The par 71 test measures 6,586 yards from the back tees.

Despite the relatively modest yardage, the course record is 70. Ever-present southwesterly winds put a premium on the ground game and proper shot trajectory. Numerous greenside collection areas gather miss-hit approaches, and require imaginative bump shots, chips and pitches to get up-and-down.

Memorable holes include No. 4, a beachside par-3. The 489-yard par-4 seventh is statistically the toughest test, playing through a chute of dunes to an undulating green. And the 173-yard 11th features humps and hollows molded by sheep that still drift over from a nearby field as informal members of the grounds crew.

After a few holes that are more parkland than links-style, the 17th and 18th return to the dunes and head into the prevailing wind. Seventeen is a straight 400-yarder with an elevated tee and out-of-bounds down the entire left side. The finisher is 426 yards; the white chimneys of distant houses mark the ideal line.

"With our magical course, unparalleled hospitality, superb restaurant and quaint, traditional bar, Dooks is the quintessential Irish golf experience," adds McGreevy.

To commemorate the anniversary, guests are encouraged to inquire about the 50-percent-off replay rates and overseas memberships. For more information, visit www.dooks.com, or call 353 (0)66 9768205.