Hardly visible is part of a deep ditch – the oldest preserved feature of the course – which once encircled a promontory fort in the Bronze Age, long before the castle was built.
The show-piece of the course – a slender finger of green rising from the crashing waves – requires no more than an eight or nine iron, but the rocks and hungry sea at the right have claimed many a ball. It is hard not to be distracted by the 14th century castle/tower, with the backdrop of Fenit Island and the sweeping panorama of mountains and Tralee Bay.
The 6th is a sharp right dog-leg par 4, the second part over undulating hillocks as you go towards the green, this is the beginning of the Loop, comprising the 6th, 7th and 8th, and noted as Arnold Palmer’s favourite part of the course. The second shot must allow for a slopping green right to left with a deep bunker over the back left.
At this short par 3 the tee-boxes overlook the Randy Quay. This hole has a narrow, three-tiered green with pot bunkers for protection. Clubbing is crucial here as a ball on the wrong level will leave a devilish putt.
The “Creek of Barrow” is the channel that runs in from the ocean to Barrow Harbour (one of the most important places in Europe for bird-watching and officially designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area in 1995).
You might see one or two of the 6 Grey Herons who come back each year to the tall trees near Barrow House.
This is a classic par 4. You might be tempted to go with a driver, then hopefully leaving no more than a pitch to the green. But the rocks and the Atlantic lie in wait to the left for the even-slightly pulled shot. The approach should be played slightly to the right as the ball will kick left onto the green. Putting here is an experience.
You might find yourself trying to outdo a hare or two, whose haunts are hereabouts.
You are now ready for some sustenance at the Clubhouse pit-stop, before the next 9-hole adventure - the “best you’ll ever find” according to Chris Falkenhagen of the Maryland Independent.
After the tussle with the Loop, this slightly uphill par 5 should be a clear run and can be reached in two. There is plenty of fairway with only the bunkers on the right to hinder progress.
History doesn’t tell who or what “Brock” was although, it is a local name for Badger.
A short iron should do it here. But it’s hard not to look down and wonder how you can recover an errant ball from this Irish Grand Canyon. The caddie of course. Enough to know that this is a “dinky” par 3. Just don’t look down.
An intimidating Par 3 from the tee, as the ball must carry all the way. The shot is also slightly uphill, so take the right club. A shot slightly overhit into the sand dune behind can sometimes come back down onto the green, but if it catches up the back it can leave a very awkward chip.
Mighty Crosty is facing you here, but this rocky outcrop is on another patch of land in the distance. It overlooks a place called Sandy Lane one side and Carrahane Strand on the other.
The latter is the stretch of beach and sandhills near Banna Strand where Sir Roger Casement came ashore from a German submarine in 1916. It was a prelude to the unsuccessful Easter Rising.
From this elevated tee the fairway beckons. Hit straight and you’re laughing. A good drive down either of the two parallel fairways will be rewarded with a short iron approach to the green. Avoid the deep bunkers tucked into the mounds
The ‘Blue Hole’ where the Atlantic comes in and stays.
The tee-box looks down on this deceptively tranquil inlet, where a little further on is “Poul Paddy” where three Paddy’s lost their lives.
The course’s shortest par 4. Your short tee-shot should take you to the main fairway plateau. The marram grass after that is bountiful, but a short left through the gap should put you on the green.
An exciting par 3, this glorious one-shotter is described as the best of the par threes. The target is small but help is at hand – a shot hitting the bank on the left will generally feed down onto this green. The elevated tee overlooks part of a coast described as “the graveyard of the Spanish Armada”.