Ireland

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

Top 100 Golf Courses - Ireland

Ballybunion (Old)

1st Ireland Ranking

As you drive from the historic town of Ballybunion, along the winding road to the golf club, your eyes feast upon the most spectacular links land imaginable.

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Lahinch (Old)

2nd Ireland Ranking

Lahinch Golf Club is an enchanting place to play golf. It’s rugged, distinctive, unusually varied and immensely entertaining.

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Portmarnock (Championship)

3rd Ireland Ranking

”I know of no greater finish in the world than that of the last five holes at Portmarnock Golf Club”, said Bernard Darwin

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Waterville

4th Ireland Ranking

Waterville Golf Links plays on a promontory surrounded by the sea. It’s a stunning, remote location...

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European Club

5th Ireland Ranking

The European Club is located in the garden of Ireland, between the coastal towns of Wicklow and Arklow, about 30 miles south of Dublin.

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County Louth

6th Ireland Ranking

The approach road to the links of County Louth Golf Club, or Baltray as it is better known, named after the local fishing village, is especially uplifting.

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County Sligo (Championship)

7th Ireland Ranking

County Sligo Golf Club – or Rosses Point, as it is better known – is an exhilarating west coast links, situated in the heart of Yeats country.

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Ballyliffin (Glashedy)

8th Ireland Ranking

Ballyliffin Golf Club is often described as “the Ballybunion of the North” or “the Dornoch of Ireland” and the reason is simple; all the aforementioned are set amidst towering natural sand dunes.

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The Island

9th Ireland Ranking

The Island Golf Club is a no-frills golf course. There is nothing manicured and it’s all very harmonious and in tune with its surroundings.

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Carne (Hackett)

10th Ireland Ranking

The Carne Golf Links at Belmullet is the late Eddie Hackett’s swan song and many reckon it’s his finest golf course design.

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