Old Head On Young Shoulders

  When Danny Brassil first picked up a golf bag as a caddy some 13 years ago, little did he imagine that he would climb all the way up the ...

 DSC_0003 When Danny Brassil first picked up a golf bag as a caddy some 13 years ago, little did he imagine that he would climb all the way up the ladder to the rung entitled “Director of Golf” at one of the most prestigious and just a little bit controversial clubs, The Old Head of Kinsale. Under Danny’s direction, the Old Head has been reinvented, revitalized and reintroduced to the Irish golfing public.

Pic: Danny with Luke Donald at Old Head prior to the 2010 British Open

The Old Head is essentially a private club, a function of the fact that the vast majority of the membership are American high rollers who pay a hefty dowry to play on average twice a year. The business model is based on the member and visitor having a wonderful experience both on and off the course. In order to provide this in general the club only permit golfers in the gates. That policy may not be to everyone’s taste, but it does make sense when you actually see the product. It’s a true hideaway where the likes Arnold Palmer and his missus can pop in for a week and go under the radar. And hey, if Sergio Garcia and his Dad want to shoot down from their room nestled beneath the clubhouse and out on the course at eight o’ clock on a Summer’s evening with three irons and a bucket of balls, then off they go. In peace!

Headland The course over which Danny Brassil presides is laid out in a headland setting the equal of which I have never seen. No words in my limited vocabulary could describe the terrain but I think my initial cry of “Holy Sh*t!” whilst standing on a cliff-top tee summed it up quite nicely. The ferocious cliffs are used at every opportunity as fairways and greens teeter on the brink of vast chasms. Of course not every hole can be a cliff-top white knuckle ride and the course does take the odd inland detour but even then there’s absolutely nothing straightforward. This is the real deal, a roller coaster of a golf course and let me tell you, it’s tough. Vinny Jones tough. I normally walk off a golf course saying “If I played it again, I would not make the same mistakes”, but that’s hardly applicable in this case. Firstly I’ll be lucky to play it again and even then I’ll probably make a whole bunch of new errors. The course record around Old Head is 68 and with the likes of Luke Donald and Sergio (when he was good) Garcia unable to better it, you know it’s a test.

Hole 4My excuse was that I found it so hard to concentrate on my golf with all that was going on around. More than just a golf course, this place is also a geography and history lesson combined; and with Danny doing a passable impression of a leaving cert teacher I learned about everything from blow-holes formed by millions of years of battering waves to incredible sea stacks to the French smuggler’s steps of the 18th century and even a little about lighthouses. There’s even bird sanctuary where hundreds of species flourish in the cliffs whilst birdies of a golfing kind prove elusive on the green carpet up above.

Danny Brassil and The Old Head welcome green fees and societies and if you get the chance to tee it up there, jump at it. And if the man himself offers to play you for money, politely decline. There’s more than one shark basking beneath the lighthouse!

Log on to www.oldhead.com for more info.

 

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GolfCentralDaily | Golf Parody Fun Gossip Jokes Betting Tips: Old Head On Young Shoulders
Old Head On Young Shoulders
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