Old Head Golf Links - hole 4
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 4
The fourth hole at Old Head Golf Links climbs to the lighthouse. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Images
Old Head Golf Links - hole 2
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 2
A look back from the second green reveals the cliffs of Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 3
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 3
The par-3 third hole on the Old Head Golf Links clings to the cliffs. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 17
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 17
This view reveals the new fairway path leading to the 17th green at the Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - lighthouse ruins
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Old Head Golf Links - lighthouse ruins
Lighthouse ruins give the Old Head Golf Links another scenic element. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 5
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 5
A stone wall runs along the left side of the par-4 fifth hole of the Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 7
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 7
The par-3 seventh hole of Old Head Golf Links plays along the cliffs and gives a glimpse of the new 13th hole, too. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - scenery
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Old Head Golf Links - scenery
It's views like these that make the Old Head Golf Links so spectacular. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 10
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 10
This rock wall fends off many attempts to go for the par-5 10th green in two on the Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 11
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 11
The elevated 11th green at the Old Head Golf Links provides more views of the ocean. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 12
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 12
It's hard to notice the tiny flag in the distance with so much to distract you on the 12th tee at Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 13
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 13
A helicopter buzzes by the new 13th green on the Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 13 views
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 13 views
Climbing the dunes behind the 13th green can lead to this view on the Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 15
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 15
The 15th hole at the Old Head Golf Links can be driven with a 284-yard poke from the white tees. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 16
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 16
A golfer walks to the 16th green at the Old Head Golf Links. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - hole 18
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Old Head Golf Links - hole 18
The finishing hole at the Old Head Golf Links sits below the clubhouse and its luxury suites. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor
Old Head Golf Links - 18th green
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Old Head Golf Links - 18th green
Sitting on the patio at Old Head Golf Links and admiring the view of the 18th green never gets old. Jason Scott Deegan/GolfAdvisor

Old Head Golf Links in Kinsale, Ireland: The most scenic golf course in the world?

KINSALE, Ireland -- These words won't do justice to the the beauty of Old Head Golf Links, the remote natural wonder set upon a 220-acre, diamond-shaped promontory jutting into the Atlantic Ocean in southeast Ireland. Neither will these photos, as gorgeous as they are.

Old Head must be experienced in person to understand how the heart beats a little faster standing on the terrifying tees that clutch the 300-foot cliffs and how the views of the Atlantic Ocean and lighthouse keep your head on a swivel. There might not be a more scenic course in the world on a sunny day than Old Head.

Recent changes -- a new cliff-side par 3 at no. 13 and a reshaped fairway on the par-5 17th hole -- bring the last remaining sections of the cliff not used during the original routing into play. The layout, consisting of five par 5s and five par 3s, was dreamed up by multiple men, most noteworthy being Ron Kirby and Irishman Eddie Hackett, and opened in 1997.

Taking a caddie makes for a memorable walk. The tee shots on the par-4 fourth, the par-5 12th and the drivable, par-4 15th hole are unforgettable cliffhangers. The five-star experience at Old Head continues off the golf course with luxury suites, a patio overlooking the links and the Lusitania Bar and de Courcey Restaurant inside the classy stone clubhouse.

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.
Related Links
Jason Scott Deegan has had some great memories playing golf in Ireland. He's been there seven times and can't wait to go back. Maybe some of his favorite photos over the years will convince you to jump on the next overnight flight to Dublin or Shannon. After all, a golf trip to the Emerald Isle never disappoints.
American golfers know certain golf courses in Ireland by name even if they haven't played them. Take Ballybunion, Lahinch, Royal County Down and Royal Portrush, for example. But there are plenty of Irish links that aren't household names in the U.S. yet -- but they should be. Jason Scott Deegan offers up 10 of them, including Tralee, County Sligo, Enniscrone, Rosapenna and Portstewart.
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