During the nineteenth century the Republic of Ireland, or Éire, was part of the United Kingdom and records state that British troops brought golf to the Emerald Isle in the 1850s. The oldest golf course in the Republic of Ireland is set on the heathland of the Curragh in County Kildare and there are records of a match being played there in 1852.
The Curragh Golf Club however, was not founded until 1883, two years after the formation of Royal Belfast (1881) and two years prior to the formation of Royal Dublin (1885). In 2013, the Curragh's historian established that the club was founded in 1858 and so, when substantiated, will formalise the Curragh as Ireland's oldest club.
Undoubtedly golf in Ireland dates back way beyond the nineteenth century but records are scant. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that Ireland possesses many of the finest golf courses in the world and is quite rightly one of the world’s premier golf destinations thanks to household names such as Ballybunion, Lahinch and Portmarnock.
We created an inaugural Ireland Top 100 in 2006 and so far no other publication has assembled a Top 100 for Éire, although a number of golf magazines have produced Top 100 lists for the Republic and Northern Ireland combined.
We updated the Republic of Ireland's Top 100 in October 2015. Full details are here: Top 100 Golf Courses of the Republic of Ireland