DUBLIN

Europe, Ireland

DUBLIN

The Irish capital is situated in County Dublin on the east coast of Ireland and it’s home to around one and a quarter million residents, making it the most populous county in Ireland. The county shares boundaries with Meath, Kildare and Wicklow around the periphery of an area that extends to over 350 square miles.

A third of Leinster’s 168 golf clubs are located in County Dublin with Portmarnock and Royal Dublin standing head and shoulders above all the others in seniority, as both have been hosting national and international competitions for over a hundred years.

The Irish Amateur Open, Irish Amateur Close, Irish Open and Irish PGA have all been held at Portmarnock and Dollymount since 1894. In addition, Portmarnock was also the venue for the Canada Cup (now the World Cup) in 1960 and the Walker Cup in 1991.

Ardglass Golf Course is an 18 hole links course on the North-Eastern coast of Ireland with many stunning views and excellent unique golf holes. The course is just 50 minutes by car from Belfast and only 30 minutes from the world renowned Royal County Down Golf links in Newcastle.

The course is a true test of golf, particularly on a windy day. The course hugs the coastline, with no fewer than 8 holes where the Irish Sea coastline comes into play. The Irish Sea is visible from all 18 tees and greens and on a clear day it is possible to see across the Irish Sea to the Isle of Man.

Ardglass is really a course to savor with some outstanding holes. The 1st from the Medal Tee, the daunting 2nd, the unforgiving 11th and the picturesque Par 3 12th each of which requires a carry across the coastline or cliff tops of the Irish Sea.

These rank among the best, the most photographed and talked about golf holes in Ireland.

“The view from the elevated 12th tee, with the backdrop of the Irish Sea and Mourne Mountains is to die for.”

Architect
DAVID JONES
Distance
6268 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Castle Place, Ardglass, Northern Ireland, BT30 7TP
Normale
70
Opening year
1998

Inspired by the greatest links lands of the world, The Montgomerie Golf Course pays tribute to the traditions of the game and sets a challenge like no other.

This is golf at its purest. This is adrenaline and shot-making at its best. Designed by Colin Montgomerie, it’s a journey across sweeping fairways, cavernous bunkers and impeccable greens. It’s an adventure from first to last and is proud to have hosted the worlds finest golfers at the 2005 and 2006 Irish Opens.

“In my design, I attempted to go back to a more traditional golf course. I looked at the great courses around the world – Royal Melbourne, Troon, Turnberry – and worked out what is so good about them. One thing that springs to mind – bunkering. They are hazards and they work with the prevailing wind. Few holes are straight up and down the wind but tend to be across, which brings the bunkering into play. This is the kind of course where the best players would always come out on top”.

Architect
COLIN MONTGOMERIE
Distance
7301 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Maynooth Road, Maynooth, Ireland
Normale
72
Opening year
2002

Designed by 1998 Open Champion and US Masters Champion Mark O’Meara, this classic parkland course might lull you with its beauty but is still full of challenge.

You’ll find yourself skirting the banks of the river Rye then sending the ball soaring over its golden waters. And, when you cross the greens, it is as if your feet float on a thousand velvet kisses from beneath.

Architect
MARK O'MEARA
Distance
7006 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Maynooth Road, Maynooth, Ireland
Normale
72
Opening year
1998

This 18 hole links course, par 73, golf links course offers the greatest challenges, unsurpassed beauty and tranquility that is almost impossible to find in the modern world. This outstanding links course offers a genuine challenge to the accomplished golfer and is an all round true test of golf. Often described as the Muirfield of Ireland, it is similar in terrain with two loops of nine holes, yet it is on a peninsula, like the great Saint Andrews. The reputation of Donegal Golf Club, designed by the legendary course architect Eddie Hackett, has been further enhanced by the new design of Pat Ruddy. Continually featured in Golf World’s Top 100 Courses in Ireland and Great Britain, this is a real challenge not to be missed.

Architect
EDDIE HACKETT & PAT RUDDY
Distance
7385 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Murvagh, Donegal, Ireland
Normale
73
Opening year
1973

Enjoy the tranquillity of the mystical Druids Glen, with manicured tree-lined fairways, historical landmarks, spectacular water features and vibrant floral displays.

Known as “The Augusta of Europe” this famous course designed by Pat Ruddy & Tom Craddock, opened in 1995. Just a year after opening, Druids Glen hosted the Irish Open for four years in a row. Colin Montgomerie won two years running, followed by David Carter and Sergio Garcia, shooting a 64 in the final round. Druids Glen has hosted the prestigious Seve Trophy, a bi-annual event between the leading Tour Players of Britain & Ireland and Continental Europe.

When you come to play at Druids Glen, you’re playing one of the finest, most challenging, and most enjoyable golf courses in Europe – a course good enough to host the most prominent event in Irish golf.

Architect
TOM CRADDOCK & PAT RUDDY
Distance
7046 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Newtown Mount Kennedy, County Wicklow, Ireland
Normale
71
Opening year
1995

There are few places in the world that encapsulate the true spirit of the game of golf like Druids Heath. The Mountains, Sea and rolling Irish Countryside provide stunning vistas throughout your round. The sea breeze calls for shot-making skills and imagination from the golfer.

In the words of Pat Ruddy “Druids Heath affords the player the opportunity to stride-out in a place which is invigorating to both body and soul with the ever present sea breezes adding greatly to a sporting challenge, which is quite difficult to concentrate on as the eye wanders eagerly fifty miles out to sea, twenty miles southwards over an unspoiled, rolling pastoral scene to Wicklow Head and inland to the Wicklow Mountains. Dull would he be of soul who would allow a few stray shots spoil a day in such a blessed spot”.

Venue for the 2006 Irish PGA Championship, Druids Heath has played host to many leading Tour Players including double US Open Champion Retief Goosen, Sergio Garcia, Darren Clarke and Ian Poulter.

Architect
PAT RUDDY
Distance
7434 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Newtown Mount Kennedy, County Wicklow, Ireland
Normale
71
Opening year
2003

Lough Erne Resort ‘Golf Resort of The Year’ (Irish Golf Tour Operators Association, 2010) is home to two Championship Northern Ireland Golf Courses – The Faldo Course and Castle Hume Golf Course.

The Faldo Championship Course (7,167 yards Par 72) is an exciting challenge for golfers of all abilities, featuring 18 spectacular golf holes. Situated between Castle Hume Lough and Lower Lough Erne, 14 of the holes have water in play, highlighted by the iconic 10th Hole, ‘Emerald Isle’ where the green is surrounded on three sides by water.

The routing of The Faldo Championship Course takes full advantage of the natural topography and provides golfers with superb all year round playing conditions.

Architect
NICK FALDO
Distance
7167 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Belleek Road, Enniskillen, Fermanagh , BT93 7ED, United Kingdom
Normale
72
Opening year
2009

Portstewart Golf Club was founded in 1894 and is one of the most renowned in all of Ireland. The Old Course is the oldest of the club’s three 18-hole layouts and is surely the most famous.

Portstewart has played host to many major amateur and professional championships over the years, including most recently the British Girls Championship in 2006. Situated at the eastern end of Portstewart, the Old Course offers rounds of golf with an abundance of heritage, as golf was first played there as far back as 1889.

The course has a classic links design that plays through the blue Donegal hills, rolling sand dunes, and the tranquil estuary of the River Bann. In addition to the 54 holes of golf, the club has a wide range of practicing facilities, including a practice bunker, a driving range, and putting and chipping greens.

What started as a humble nine holes over a century ago is now one of the world’s great championship links, providing the sort of challenge and golfing experience that most players can only dream about. Located right on Ireland’s gorgeous Causeway Coast, the Old Course is a desirable golf spot for any visitor.

Architect
WILLIE PARK
Distance
4822 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
117 Strand Road, Portstewart, Northern Ireland, BT55 7PG
Normale
64
Opening year
1894

The Riverside Course at Portstewart Golf Club is a more relaxing proposition than its neighbours, but it’s no less enjoyable.

Not overly long at 5,725 yards and with a par of 68, it offers the change to enjoy a classic course without too much exertion and is well worth the visit.

One of Ireland’s most storied clubs, the Riverside is a more recent edition to the original club which was founded in 1894. The Riverside Course runs alongside the River Bann with extensive bunkers and water features, not to mention the stunning natural beauty of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

A classic links layout, the Riverside plays through the tranquil estuary, but also snakes through rolling sand dunes and hills, offering up stunning views and an unforgettable round of golf.

Architect
DES GIFFIN
Distance
5725 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
117 Strand Road, Portstewart, Northern Ireland, BT55 7PG
Normale
72
Opening year
2002

Like it’s famous neighbour, the Old Course, the Strand Course is a proud part of Portstewart Golf Club, one of Ireland’s grand old clubs having been founded back in 1894. Having opened in 1992, the Strand is a more modern addition to the club, but it’s every bit as impressive as that beside it.

Panoramic, seemingly endless views of the Atlantic, Lough Foyle and the Inishowen peninsula abound here, taking your breath away on every hole.

Golfers will be enticed and challenged from the very beginning, as the first hole starts with a vastly intimidating downhill 425-yard par four. The third hole is also a tough shot, measuring 207 yards, while the sixth measures only 140 yards to keep the course’s variety and excitement.

The Strand blends the old and the new and boasts a plethora of great, varied holes to test every sort of golfer while winding through the huge sand hills on the ocean’s edge, with the Donegal Hills always as a backdrop.

Playing golf alongside the untouched stretches of pristine sand that hug the edges of Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, there’s nowhere better for a truly great round of golf.

A golf break in Ireland would not be complete without a trip to the difficult yet thrilling Strand Course at Portstewart Golf Club.

Architect
WILLIE PARK
Distance
6895 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
117 Strand Road, Portstewart, Northern Ireland, BT55 7PG
Normale
72
Opening year
1908

Home to the 2012 Irish Open and the only venue outside of mainland Britain ever to host the Open Championship, the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club ranks amongst the world’s greatest courses.

Regularly at the top of magazine rankings around the globe, it is a masterpiece of golf course architecture. Unimaginable rough and testing greens, combined with the unpredictable weather of the roaring North Atlantic make this course an admirable test for even the most seasoned golf aficionado.

Harry Colt, universally acknowledged as one of golf’s greatest course architects, used the natural contours and dunes of the links land at Portrush to create a legacy which attracts golfers from all across the globe. His 7,143 yards Par 72 masterpiece is routed through rugged links land, and constantly changes in both direction and elevation, whilst all the time providing some of the most awe-inspiring scenery to be found in Ireland.

Royal Portrush Golf Club boasts some of the best golf professionals as its members, including Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, and Graeme McDowell, with Rory McIlroy holding the club record.

The club hosted the Irish Open in 2012, where Jamie Donaldson was declared champion in front of a sold out crowd.

Architect
HARRY COLT
Distance
7143 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Dunluce Rd, Portrush, Antrim BT56 8JQ, United Kingdom
Normale
72
Opening year
1888

The Valley Course at Royal Portrush lays between the East Strand and the Dunluce Course. As its name suggests, the course is situated between the huge sand hills immediately along the Atlantic shore and the higher ground on which the championship course is laid out.

That is not to say the holes of the course are routed over anything like plain, level lying land, far from it, as the Valley has more than its fair share of the humps, hollows and undulations to be found on any links worthy of the name.

Another of the great Harry Colt’s designs, this is a very fine test of links golf. The 6,304-yard par 70 course boasts excellent greens, which are always every bit as well tended as the famous Dunluce.

The Valley’s varied hole types, back-to-back style and elevated tees – which offer some awe-inspiring views – epitomise all that is good about links golf, and great about Royal Portrush.

The Causeway Coast Amateur Golf Tournament, which attracts over one thousand golfers to the Antrim coast each year, is played over the Mussenden at Castlerock, The Strand at Portstewart, Ballycastle, and of course, the Valley Course.

Architect
HARRY COLT
Distance
6304 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Dunluce Rd, Portrush, Antrim BT56 8JQ, United Kingdom
Normale
70
Opening year
1888

The Palmer Ryder Cup Course is quite simply, one of Europe’s most spectacular courses.

It charms, it entices and invariably, brings out the very best in your game. It is unlikely that you will be asked to tackle the course from the championship tees, but this should in no way diminish the excitement of pitting your wits against Arnold Palmer, for, in a sense, this is precisely what you are about to do.

Ranked regularly in the top 3 parkland golf courses in Ireland, this Palmer designed golf haven is a must play ‘badge of honour’ that has hosted the top golf players in the world. The Ryder Cup in 2006 and 11 European Opens testify the importance of The Palmer Ryder Cup Course to European Golf.

Architect
ARNOLD PALMER
Distance
7350 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Normale
72
Opening year
1991

The philosophy in developing the Smurfit course was to ensure that a comparison with the existing Palmer Ryder Cup Course would be difficult and that the golfers experience would be completely different.

When this brief was given to the Palmer Course Design Company, they came up with a concept, which was radical with regards to golf course developments throughout the World.

The best way to describe The Smurfit Course at The K Club is that of an inland links. However, its true attributes do not stop there. The course has many dramatic landscapes with dune type mounding throughout. This assists in making the course into a true Championship Golf Course with many vantage points for spectators to view golf professionals at work.

In essence the course is entirely different from The Palmer Ryder Cup Course located just across the River Liffey. From feedback to date golfers state that it is almost impossible to make a comparison such is the difference in experience.

Even with regard to the landscaping there is a significant difference, whereby on The Palmer Ryder Cup Course there are specifically planted areas using cultivated plants presented in a formal fashion are the norm. On The Smurfit Course wild species of plants have been used such as gorse, bracken etc. and have been planted in a highly random fashion, more or less as nature would have intended.

Architect
ARNOLD PALMER
Distance
7277 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
Straffan, County Kildare, Ireland
Normale
72
Opening year
2003

Royal County Down is located in one of the world’s most naturally beautiful links settings in the Murlough Nature Reserve. Against the magnificent backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne, the links stretches along the shores of Dundrum Bay, zigzagging back and forth to provide a different vista from virtually every hole.

The narrowest ribbons of fairways thread their way through as impressive a set of sand dunes as could be imagined. The fairways are surrounded by purple heather and golden gorse, so beautiful to look at but so punishing for any who may stray from the prescribed path.

The ‘bearded’ bunkers are world famous and feature overhanging lips of marram, red fescue and heather. The greens are fast and many are domed, rejecting any shot lacking conviction. This is a true test of any player’s command of the traditional bump and run, the preferred way to play any links.

The ninth hole is one of the most photographed holes in world golf. A 486 yard par 4, it is played from one side of a huge mound down to a fairway some 60 ft below and 260 yards from the tee. From the bottom of the slope the second shot is played over two bunkers to a raised green.

The finest of all links courses, it offers a stern challenge from the championship tees. The record is 66 set by Ireland’s first golfing superstar, Jimmy Bruen, in 1939.

From the stableford tees it offers golfers of all standards the opportunity of playing a truly great course with dramatic panorama of the surrounding mountains and coastline.

Architect
OLD TOM MORRIS
Distance
7186 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
36 Golf Links Road, Newcastle, Northern Ireland, BT33 0AN, Ireland
Normale
71
Opening year
1889

The Annesley Links at Royal County Down shares the same magnificent setting as the Championship Links and is full of character. Although much shorter than the Championship Links, it is still a very testing course, with magnificent views of sea, mountains and duneland.

Architect
OLD TOM MORRIS
Distance
4617 yards
Holes
18 holes
Location
36 Golf Links Road, Newcastle, Northern Ireland, BT33 0AN, Ireland
Normale
66
Opening year
1889

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