Top 100 Courses Up Close
The European Club
Brittas Bay, County Wicklow, Ireland
7,100 yards, par 71; Greens fees: $103-$190;
Tiger Woods enjoys lengthy visits with golf writers the way most people relish a lengthy visit to the dentist, but Pat Ruddy is no ordinary golf writer. The genial Irish journalist has blossomed into one of his country's finest archi- tects and his most significant design is the European Club, a dra- matic, 15-year-old authentic links that Ruddy and his family fash- ioned with their own handsÃ¢â‚¬â€ including theclubhouse.
The course sits in massive sand dunes alongside the Irish Sea, about an hour south of downtown Dublin, and quickly achieved must-play statusÃ¢â‚¬â€even for Tiger, who stopped by in 2002 with pals Mark O'Meara, David Duval and Scott McCarron to test drive Ruddy's homemade layout. Typical for Tiger, he set the course record with 67.
Ranked No. 91 on our Top 100 Courses in the World, the European Club has slender fair- ways, few blind shots and a collec- tion of superb par 4s. And when was the last time you visited a Top 100 Course and were greeted warmly by the architect himself?