The course at the Doonbeg is the only one so far designed by Australian Greg Norman in Ireland or the UK, and it benefits from his extensive experience on the world's best courses. As far as the setting goes, Norman is quoted as saying that "when I first looked at this site, I thought I was the luckiest designer in the world," and he wasn't exaggerating in describing the mile and a half of curving shoreline with its mature sand dunes. The designer thus allowed the lay of the land to determine the flow of the course, for which reason the holes include five par 3s and 5s each. Norman also took the care to shelter some of the greens from the sea breezes. The opening day event at Doonbeg in the summer of 2002 was an exhibition tournament in which the designer took on top Irish pro Padraig Harrington.