Irish and Scottish golf courses in “Where Golf is Great”

1 of 7 Lawrence Lambrecht
Images from Where Golf is Great Winner of the 2006 United States Golf Association's Herbert Warren Wind Book Award, this 512-page book by James Finegan brings to life over 150 Irish and Scottish courses with rich text and amazing photographs. Here is a small sample of the photos in the book taken by Lawrence Lambrecht.
2 of 7 Lawrence Lambrecht
St. Andrews, Scotland "The most useful tip I can provide about playing the Old Course is one that you won't get from a caddie (for obvious reasons); roughly 80 percent of the putts are straight, whether from 40 feet or 4 feet. So unless you are faced with a putt that unequivocally proclaims a break, don't borrow anything. Just stroke the ball directly at the cup. Few people believe this, but those who do — and possess a sound stroke — will run the table."
3 of 7 Lawrence Lambrecht
Portmarnock, Ireland "Portmarnock is a slender peninsula on the Irish Sea, some eight miles from the center of Dublin. Water frames this linksland — sand-based, low dunes, overall elevation change of perhaps 12 feet — on three sides. A very narrow paved road gets us there, but we have the feeling, once we've arrived, of being a sea. Here a player is alone with the terrain, the sea, the sky, and the oft-ruinous wind. Members, instictively checking the anemometer on a clubhouse wall before heading to the first tee, are relieved to find it reading only 20 miles per hour."
4 of 7 Lawrence Lambrecht
Royal County Down, Northern Ireland "The championship course, laid out along the curve of Dundrum Bay, is one of the glories of world golf. For many discerning and widely traveled golfers, it is their single favorite course. We are struck at the outset by the sublime views, the massive nature of the sand hills, the profusion of the gorse (a blaze of gold in spring, impenetrable at all times), the multitude of bunkers (130) and their ferocity. These deep pits are generally fringed with long marram grass; in some instances they are heather bewhiskered. The mandate is simple: If you get in, get out."
5 of 7 Lawrence Lambrecht
Royal Dornoch, Scotland "The course measures 6,732 yards from the championship tees, 6,514 from the medal tees, and 6,229 from the regular markers; par is 70. Since neither of the par 5s (496 and 506 yards) nor the one-shotters (177, 163, 147, and 166 yards) call for strong hitting, that requirement must be left to the par 4s. In fact, from the regular tees, eight of the 12 extend beyond 400 yards. And in a number of instances the long approach called for is to a plateau green, occasionally crowned and with sharp and shaven falloffs on the sides. Deft little pitches and chips or scuttles with the putter from somewhere off the green are at the heart of good scoring here. No hole is without challenge or charm; many holes possess both."
6 of 7 Lawrence Lambrecht
Carnoustie, Scotland "Carnoustie puts more pressure on the swing than any course in the British Isles. No hole is a breather. In truth, no shot is a breather. This is the most confrontational golf course we will ever play. Each time we take a club in hand, from our drive on the 1st (gorse and boundary left; sand, mounds and rough right) to our shot to the green on the 18th (the broad Barry Burn is just short of it, sand right and left of it) there is a threat of danger, tangible, looming."
7 of 7 Lawrence Lambrecht
Ballybunion, Ireland "From the regular tees the Old Course measures 6,200 yards; from the forward markers, 5,320. Standing on the elevated 1st tee, we are struck by the formidable nature of the landscape: the colossal grass-covered sand hills that, 70-feet high, disclose only an occasional patch of playable turf. Instead of paralleling the shoreline, these dunes often run at right angles to it. The result is a variety of dogleg holes carved through the sharply contoured land, as well as a number of straightaway holes where sand hills right and left patrol access to the greens in sentinel style." For more information on Where Golf is Great, go to