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Chris DeNigris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« on: October 20, 2011, 09:59:51 PM »
In match play- After 9 would Lahinch be dormie? Would she win 9 and 8?

I just played them back to back for the first time and I just can't get over how much better I like Lahinch. I know BB gets a lot of love here and everywhere else as well...but overall I don't think it's much of a contest. At least not for me.

I was ready not to be that thrilled with Lahinch's back nine..but what a great collection of par 4s...and all done without the benefit of the major dunes or ocean. I guess that's what largely separates the 2 for me- how much better Lahinch's inland holes are than BB's.

I know there's several Lahinch lovers out there but I think we may be outnumbered..and I'm not sure why.

Sean Leary

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2011, 11:17:55 PM »
I agree Chris. I prefer Lahinch overall as well, especially after the changes by Hawtree. I am sure the purists disagree but I like the new version better, even the new par 3 that replaced the MacKenzie 3.

In a strong wind Ballybunion almost becomes unplayable around the greens...

Shane Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 11:20:24 PM »
Chris, at first, I thought you were crazy.  But you aren’t that far off.  The front nine at Lahinch is really special.  Actually the entire course is.  Just shoot me if I can only have one round and can’t choose both.  I can say that after multiple rounds at Ballybunion, it plays drastically different depending on wind conditions.  Wind from the west or south makes BB more enjoyable in my opinion.  From the north makes 11 and 13 a little more benign, and they are two of the special holes at BB.  I can’t say that I would choose Lahinch over BB, but they are both just incredible.   The comparison below was difficult.  

1. Lahinch - 1 up Lahinch
2. Ballybunion - definitely a better hole than #2 at Lahinch - Even
3. Lahinch - 1 up Lahinch
4. Lahinch - 2 up Lahinch
5. Lahinch - 3 up Lahinch
6. Love #6 at BB, but #6 at Lahinch is really special - Lahinch - 4 up Lahinch
7. this is a tough one also, but Lahinch may get the nudge here too - Lahinch - 5 up Lahinch
8. another really tough one- Lahinch – 6 up Lahinch
9. Ballybunion, better par 4 with an awesome green complex – BB – 5 Up Lahinch
10. Lahinch – a stronger par 4 –  6 up Lahinch
11. BB – no questions asked – 5 up Lahinch
12. this is probably the hardest one to choose, great par 5 at Lahinch, wonderful par 3 and green setting at BB, I’m going with BB – 4 up Lahinch
13. this may have been my favorite hole at Lahinch – 5 up Lahinch
14. BB – what a great short par 3 – 4 up Lahinch
15. BB – I honestly am having a hard time remembering 15 at Lahinch and 15 at BB is another special par 3 – 3 up Lahinch
16. BB – no questions asked – 2 up Lahinch
17. BB –  1 up Lahinch
18 – I gotta go with BB – it was more memorable,  - EVEN


« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 11:23:12 PM by Shane Wright »

Tom_Doak

  • Karma: +1/-1
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2011, 12:05:52 AM »
I love Lahinch, but I just don't see how you can claim you're restoring a MacKenzie course by replacing one of the only two MacKenzie greens that were left.

Ally Mcintosh

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2011, 03:50:40 AM »
I love Lahinch, but I just don't see how you can claim you're restoring a MacKenzie course by replacing one of the only two MacKenzie greens that were left.

I think this decision was the only wrong one in an otherwise excellent renovation (not restoration)... Aside from 11, Hawtree actually did return the routing closer to that of MacKenzie's course though...

I find it a difficult one... I think Lahinch is my favourite place to play in Ireland... But Ballybunion has such a variety of shots to play in to the greens... and it's just unique...

I heard tell of possible works afoot to move the 13th green at Ballybunion right and back 50 yards (moving 14th tees in process)... On the surface this sounds like a dreadful plan... The 13th is one of three Tom Simpson green sites on the course and very possibly my favourite...

Andy Shulman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2011, 05:12:22 AM »
While I don't have anything especially intelligent to add to the discussion, I preferred Lahinch by a sizable margin and found it to be much more fun to play, with a level of quirk that's comparable to North Berwick.  Maybe Dells, Klondykes and fairways that cross one another lose their appeal upon multiple playings, but they sure were a blast the one time (so far) that I visited Lahinch.  And the course is no joke, as evidenced by the challenging par-4s on the back mentioned by Chris.

Speaking of Dell holes, wasn't there one in the original routing at Erin Hills?  I checked the course website and it seems to have disappeared.


Leo Barber

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2011, 07:21:07 AM »
Shane

Your hole by hole matchplay format confirmed my initial reaction to the post.  Ive played both - back to back and came to a similar conclusion.  Lahinchs front nine is spectacular in the same way Ballybunions back nine is.  I gave an edge to BB because the back 9s tend to stick with you as your round crescendos and eventually you savour the guiness and exit the carpark.  Lahinches 17 and 18 were a touch anti-climatic in comparison to BBs 15-18 but i would say Lahinchs turf overall played more linksy and that further complicated my assessment.

Leo

Chris DeNigris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2011, 07:45:25 AM »
Of course the whole match play thing is a bit tongue in cheek..but while acknowledging that BB's back 9 is far more dramatic, I'm not sure that architecturally they are that much better than Lahinch's homeward holes. Since I'm a relative novice at this it would be helpful for someone to point out the significant architectural advantage that BB has here.

Another way to look a it perhaps- If you take Lahinch's strongest 9 holes and match them against BB's top 9 I think they come out fairly even. The match of the bottom 9 is where Lahinch really shines, IMO.

Tom D- I get the sacriledge aspect regarding 11...but obviously they didn't destroy the orig hole. I guess you could argue that maybe by reducing play they are trying to preserve it  ;)  Although not in play last week I was tempted to tee one up anyway...we were the first ones out and no one was behind us.... I should have :(.

The new 11 is not exactly a bad hole..is it?

BTW- I think Lahinch 2 is a great par 5 and I would take it over BB 2. I can't remember BB 9 well enough but I  don't see it topping it's counterpart ether.

mike_malone

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 09:44:05 AM »
I try to find a word to express my feelings about a course. Lahinch was "awesome"; Ballybunion was "magical".
AKA Mayday

Steve Strasheim

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2011, 11:06:22 AM »
I found both courses to be awesome and magical.

Must say that I appreciated the additional value presented by Lahinch green fees. While the welcoming membership and 19th hole at Balybunion was superior.

Just some non-course observations.

Shane Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2011, 11:07:03 AM »
Shane

Your hole by hole matchplay format confirmed my initial reaction to the post.  Ive played both - back to back and came to a similar conclusion.  Lahinchs front nine is spectacular in the same way Ballybunions back nine is.  I gave an edge to BB because the back 9s tend to stick with you as your round crescendos and eventually you savour the guiness and exit the carpark.  Lahinches 17 and 18 were a touch anti-climatic in comparison to BBs 15-18 but i would say Lahinchs turf overall played more linksy and that further complicated my assessment.

Leo

Leo - spot on IMO

Shane Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2011, 11:14:38 AM »
Of course the whole match play thing is a bit tongue in cheek..but while acknowledging that BB's back 9 is far more dramatic, I'm not sure that architecturally they are that much better than Lahinch's homeward holes. Since I'm a relative novice at this it would be helpful for someone to point out the significant architectural advantage that BB has here.

Another way to look a it perhaps- If you take Lahinch's strongest 9 holes and match them against BB's top 9 I think they come out fairly even. The match of the bottom 9 is where Lahinch really shines, IMO.

Tom D- I get the sacriledge aspect regarding 11...but obviously they didn't destroy the orig hole. I guess you could argue that maybe by reducing play they are trying to preserve it  ;)  Although not in play last week I was tempted to tee one up anyway...we were the first ones out and no one was behind us.... I should have :(.

The new 11 is not exactly a bad hole..is it?

BTW- I think Lahinch 2 is a great par 5 and I would take it over BB 2. I can't remember BB 9 well enough but I  don't see it topping it's counterpart ether.



Chris - #2 at Ballybunion is world class, the use of the dunes, the open but slightly raised entrance to the green, the green location, and the green contours, it is a magical hole.  People use the trailer park as a reason to knock it but the park has nothing to do with the architecture of the hole, IMHO.
#9 is a tough pick, but #9 is a very unique driving hole at Ballybunion, much different than the others, calling for a left to right shot shape off the tee.  And the green complex calls for a very precise shot.  #9 at Lahinch is great also, just not quite as unique to the course as #9 at BB.
I agree with the tongue and cheek comment.  Matching them up match play doesn’t give a true tale.  Agree completely that Lahinch’s turf calls more links shots which make it really special.  But as Mayday stated, Ballybunion is “magical.”
Thanks for bringing up this topic, it is really fun to compare the two.

Jud_T

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2011, 11:38:38 AM »
Having played both in very strong winds, Lahinch is certainly more playable in those conditions than the seaside holes at BB.  Add in the town of Lahinch and the fact that it's the only place I've ever witnessed, or am likely to witness, an albatross and it's hard to beat.  But saying it's a better course than BB Old may be stretching things a fair bit...Everyone raves about the big bold holes at BB but don't take into account subtle holes like number 6, the short 4 out on the point that's simply wonderful.
Golf is a game. We play it. Somewhere along the way we took the fun out of it and charged a premium to be punished.- - Ron Sirak

Tony_Muldoon

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2011, 05:11:21 PM »
I've previously recommended "Only Golf Spoken Here" by Ivan Morris as perhaps the best book on Irish golf. An ex international when Amateur still meant something he had been a member of both clubs for about 15 years when he wrote a Chapter on this very subject.  He has it all square on 17 and then.... 
He says his verdict surprises many.
He's discussing the courses pre 2000, and interestingly though he talks of Hawtree's work and future plans, there's no mention of MacKenzie.



If someone would like to post the Chapter up on here I can email PDF's on Monday. N(My Photobucket account won’t work, sorry)

I've never been to Ballybunion but hopefully next June...

In the meantime here's Patrick Glynn's fabulous thread on Lahinch.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,35729.0.html
Let's make GCA grate again!

Chris DeNigris

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2011, 08:41:40 AM »
Tony,

Thanks for posting the link to Patrick's wonderful Lahinch photo essay. It's really a great discussion of the course.  I must have opened that thread a million times in the months leading up to my trip. Maybe a reason for my Lahinch bias  ;)

Has anyone seen a similar photo thread on Ballybunion? I searched  and couldn't find anything like it. Maybe we can get Patrick to take the ferry with his camera  :)

Bill Gayne

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2011, 09:26:58 PM »
I've played both multiple times and it's really splitting hairs between two great golf courses. So to answer the question, my preference is Ballybunion. For me it comes down to Klondyke and Dell holes and I'm not overly enthusiastic about either.

Wade Schueneman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2011, 11:12:52 PM »
They are clearly both great, but perhaps the point is that Lahinch is not as widely recognized as such.  My match up would go as follows:

1. L
2. B
3. L
4. L
5. L
6. L
7. undecided
8. undecided (although #8 at Ballybunion probably has greater playing merits, # 8 at Lahinch is set in an absolutely magical spot)
9. L
10. B
11. B
12. B
13. L
14. L
15. B
16. B
17. B
18. B
 
So that looks fairly even, but what tips the scales for me is the number of holes that Lahinch wins DECISIVELY (e.g. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 13). 

I completely agree that fashioning a new 11th hole at Lahinch was simply a mistake.

Jim Nugent

Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2011, 10:57:36 AM »
Wade, does BB win any holes decisively?  I was thinking maybe #11. 

J Cabarcos

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2011, 08:43:59 PM »
Had the chance to play one, choose Lahinch and had no regrets.  One of the best golfing experience of my life.  Period, end of story.  Want to go back ASAP, but it is not necessarily around the corner from the States.

Sean_A

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2011, 03:35:53 AM »
Ballybunion for me is one of the very best (if not the best) courses I have ever played.  Lahinch is just a smidgen below Ballybunion, but I haven't seen the new Lahinch.  However, I would rather play Lahinch considerably more than Ballybunion.  Lahinch seems to tick all the boxes when it comes to tourist golf and it is considerably cheaper.  I look forward to a return visit next year.

Ciao
New plays planned for 2024: Fraserburgh, Ashridge, Kennemer, de Pan, Eindhoven, Hilversumche, Royal Ostend, Alnmouth & Cruden Bay St Olaf

Sean Leary

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2011, 10:11:59 AM »
I wonder how much Tom Watson's comments 30 years ago about BB have on the perception/rankings of the two..

Michael Goldstein

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2011, 10:59:31 AM »
The 6th hole at BB is one of the absolute best holes on relatively flat land.

Overall, I'm definitely in the BB camp.

Lahinch definitely is no2 in Ireland (excl N.I.) (and no3 might be Carne)
@Pure_Golf

Shane Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2011, 11:46:13 AM »
I've previously recommended "Only Golf Spoken Here" by Ivan Morris as perhaps the best book on Irish golf. An ex international when Amateur still meant something he had been a member of both clubs for about 15 years when he wrote a Chapter on this very subject.  He has it all square on 17 and then.... 
He says his verdict surprises many.
He's discussing the courses pre 2000, and interestingly though he talks of Hawtree's work and future plans, there's no mention of MacKenzie.



If someone would like to post the Chapter up on here I can email PDF's on Monday. N(My Photobucket account won’t work, sorry)

I've never been to Ballybunion but hopefully next June...

In the meantime here's Patrick Glynn's fabulous thread on Lahinch.

http://www.golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,35729.0.html


Tony – I had not heard of this book, thank you for sharing.  I just ordered it.
And thank you for sharing the link to the Lahinch thread.  What an awesome review.
I’ll be anxious to hear your feedback on BB upon making your first visit

Shane Wright

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2011, 11:51:45 AM »
This topic kept me thinking about it quite a bit over the weekend.  While the comparison between the two doesn't even really matter because they are both incredible and shouldn't be missed, I keep coming back to Ballybunion with a slight edge.

My reason is simple, after my first round on both, every single hole at Ballybunion was engrained in my mind.  I didn't have the slightest struggle to remember any of them.  I found myself having to think quite a bit to remember a couple of the holes and their details on the back nine at Lahinch.

I plan to play both a zillion more times in the future, and I don't think a true assessment is possible without multiple plays in multiple conditions. 


Wade Schueneman

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Lahinch vs Ballybunion Old
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2011, 07:35:52 PM »
Wade, does BB win any holes decisively?  I was thinking maybe #11. 

Jim

Cetainly #11 and probably #15 (and many might say #17).

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