Dance among the dunes at Donegal Golf Club in northwest Ireland

DONEGAL, County Donegal, Ireland -- Perhaps no other links course in the world can match the isolation of playing Donegal Golf Club .

The golf course, also called Murvagh by the locals, sits on the finger-like Murvagh Peninsula sticking out into Donegal Bay. The only way to reach this remote outpost is through a narrow, winding Irish road sheltered by a thick cover of trees.

"When you drive through the forest, you just share it with the birds. It's just peace and solitude," said Larry Walsh, a member for more than 30 years.

The club moved to its current location in 1974, hiring legendary Irish architect Eddie Hackett to design it for just 200 pounds. Work by Pat Ruddy, another Irish architect, to add and deepen bunkers and revamp greens and their surrounds gives more teeth to this "big hitter's course."

Donegal plays a whopping 6,760 meters, translating to 7,393 yards, from the tips. The more dramatic front nine features three par 5s, the best of which is No. 6 along the dunes.

Members especially fear the course in summer when the rough get gnarly long.

"In summer, you hit a lot of 3-woods and hybrids," said Leslie Robinson, the head professional at Donegal Golf Club.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Dance among the dunes at Donegal Golf Club in northwest Ireland
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