Hogs Head Golf Club Marks RTJ II Debut In Ireland

Hogs Head Golf Club Marks RTJ II Debut In Ireland

Stunning Coastal Links Characteristics Define New Headlands Design

Hogs Head

Palo Alto, California— The golf course architecture firm of Robert Trent Jones II (RTJ II) is nearing completion of Hogs Head Golf Club, an original design adjacent to the scenic shoreline cliffs south of Waterville, Ireland. The unique layout will be unveiled in August 2017.

RTJ II has created an enticing golf experience, featuring all the playing characteristics of fabled Irish links designs. A headlands course surrounded by farmland, Hogs Head Golf Club boasts views of both the Atlantic seascape and the tallest mountains in the country – called Macgillicuddy’s Reeks – while incorporating a salmon-nurturing stream that dominates strategy on the first nine holes.

“We have incorporated all the great elements of golf that people seek when they come to Ireland,” said RTJ II Chairman and Master Architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr. “Hogs Head is a golf course that will fascinate you and hold your interest every time you play it.”

Transforming the previous landscape, Jones moved soil and rock walls while resculpting the entire site, which includes a small segment of the Skellig Bay Golf Course (established 2006). Playing surfaces are sand-capped, planted with three types of specially selected fescue grasses indigenous to the Irish coast. The intent is for Hogs Head to pose firm, fast, links-like conditions that reward both an aerial or ground game, depending on the ever-changing coastal climate.

“We provided multiple choices of how to play many of the holes, given the weather of the day,” Jones said. “It will be different every day with that hidden dimension of variable winds.”

Hogs Head Golf Club is the first original golf course design in Ireland by RTJ II, which has created more than 270 courses in over 40 countries on six continents.

The new layout at Hogs Head Golf Club is a continuous 18-hole sequence that features dramatic holes routed along the edge of 100-foot coastal bluffs (holes No. 8 through No. 16), as well as an inland sequence that navigates the ever-present Finglas River – starting with holes No. 1 through No. 5 and returning to the 18th with an inviting downhill finishing par 5.

The heart and soul of Jones’ design are captured in the five par 3s, naturally spectacular and diverse as they defend par with the river, the cliffs, the wind and the sea. The balance of the golf course is a supporting cast of classic characters that includes a Biarritz green, as well as other nuances that rekindle the spirit of golf architecture’s grand masters.

“The owner’s vision is to create a championship caliber golf course equal to Ireland's unsurpassed passion for the game of golf, a passion we wholeheartedly share,” Jones said. “Our working motto has been, ‘built by friends for friends for fun.’ And we know this course will deliver the fun.”

RTJ II golf courses have hosted tournaments on every major golf tour in the world – most recently the 2015 U.S. Open Championship (Chambers Bay) and 2016 U.S. Women’s Open Championship (CordeValle). They have also hosted special events such as the World Cup of Golf, The Skins Game, The Grand Slam, and many others.

RTJ II’s 2014 renovation of the popular Poppy Hills Golf Course, in Pebble Beach, Calif., garnered a collection of “best” awards from GOLF Magazine, Golf Digest, Golfweek, and other entities. And four RTJ II courses are in the Top 10 of the “Top 100 Nordic Golf Courses” compiled by Golf Digest/Sweden magazine.