Donegal

Ancestral home to the once powerful O’Donnell Clan, County Donegal is the most northerly county in Ireland – sharing a border with Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and Leitrim in the Republic – and its topography is the most rugged in Ulster, lying as it does between the Derryveagh Mountains in the north and the Bluestack mountains in the south.

Organised golf has been played in Donegal for well over a hundred years and two of the county clubs, Portsalon and Buncrana, were part of the nine-club committee that founded the Golfing Union of Ireland in 1891. More recently, the North West club won its first ever Senior Cup at Rosslare in 2005, the year after two of its members, Brian McElhinney and Michael McGeedy, faced each other in the Final of the Irish Close Amateur at Murvagh.

The 36-hole facilities at Ballyliffin and Rosapenna are amongst the very best in Great Britain & Ireland and they are ably supported by fine 18-hole links layouts at Donegal, Portsalon and Narin & Portnoo. Throw into the mix the grand old courses at North West and Bundoran, plus the charming little 9-holer at Cruit Island, and you have a week’s worth of reasonably priced, top class golf that will be hard to match anywhere else in Ireland.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Donegal

Ballyliffin (Glashedy)

1st Donegal - Best in Area

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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Rosapenna (Sandy Hills)

2nd Donegal - Best in Area

Rosapenna's fabulous new Sandy Hills golf course was designed by Pat Ruddy and opened for play in July 2003.

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Donegal

3rd Donegal - Best in Area

The Murvagh peninsula jutting out into Donegal Bay is the home of Donegal Golf Club. It’s an enchanting and isolated setting for a big links course.

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Ballyliffin (Old)

4th Donegal - Best in Area

The Old course at Ballyliffin Golf Club is a classic links, with fairways that pitch and roll through wild dunes.

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Portsalon

5th Donegal - Best in Area

Portsalon Golf Club is an exhilarating golf course, situated in a stunning location with most of the holes weaving their way between sand dunes.

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Narin & Portnoo

6th Donegal - Best in Area

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Donegal, Narin and Portnoo Golf Club is a links that deserves to be bracketed with many other natural, unspoilt courses that should be given greater recognition.

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North West

8th Donegal - Best in Area

North West Golf Club was one of nine founder members of the Golf Union of Ireland in 1891 (under the name of Buncrana) when it became the first club association in the world.

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Dunfanaghy

9th Donegal - Best in Area

Harry Vardon designed the “True Links” layout at Dunfanaghy Golf Club in 1905 close to the western shoreline of Sheephaven Bay on Ireland’s stunning northwest coast.

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Letterkenny

10th Donegal - Best in Area

According to GUI records, Letterkenny Golf Club was founded in 1913, but today’s parkland course at Barnhill was laid out by the late Eddie Hackett in 1967 and then redesigned by Declan Branigan in 2007.