Top 100 Golf Courses of Ireland 2016

29 October 2015 Respond to this article

Top 100 Golf Courses of the Republic of Ireland 2016

We present the latest edition of our updated Irish Top 100 rankings

Top 100 Golf Courses maintains a ranking chart for the twenty-six counties that comprise the Republic of Ireland and we revise the positions in that list every two years. It’s now time to publish our biennial update for the Emerald Isle so, without further ado, we present the latest edition of our Irish Top 100.

Carne Golf Links - BelmulletJust like two years ago, when we last updated our standings, there are no wild fluctuations in the upper reaches of the chart, with the top five positions remaining exactly the same as last time. Truth be told, those same five courses are the only ones to occupy the top five spots in our chart since we first began ranking courses for Ireland in 2006.

And so, we have the Old courses at Ballybunion and Lahinch at positions 1 and 2, followed by Portmarnock’s Championship 18-hole layout at number 3, Waterville at number 4 and the European Club at number 5. Such is the calibre of this handful of mighty links layouts, each of them also figures prominently in both our Great Britain & Ireland Top 100 and World Top 100 rankings.

County Louth Golf Club - BaltrayThere’s a little movement in the second half of the national Top 10 where the highly regarded County Louth course at Baltray rises two places to number 6, the Tom Craddock and Pat Ruddy co-designed Glashedy layout at Ballyliffin moves up one slot to number 8, the no-frills Island course at Donabate eases up one spot to number 9 and Eddie Hackett's original 18-hole Carne layout at Belmullet climbs three positions to number 10.

Further down the new chart, seven courses make big double-digit upward moves. On the east side of the country in County Wexford, Bunclody (up twelve to 46) is a modern Jeff Howes design that only opened in 2009 whilst 100 miles to the north, the course at Laytown & Bettystown in County Meath soars a sensational seventeen places to number 57.

Powerscourt Golf Club - East courseThree County Wicklow tracks take significant strides up the chart: Dun Laoghaire (up ten to 60), is a new millennium Martin Hawtree offering, the East course at Powerscourt (up twenty-nine to 63), is a mid-1990s Peter McAvoy layout that now jumps ahead of its younger sibling the West, and Macreddin (up fifteen to 75), which is Paul McGinley’s well-received first design.

On the west side of Ireland, in the province of Connacht, Christy O’Connor Jnr’s early 1990s layout at the Galway Bay golf resort moves up eleven slots to number 66 whilst Ballinrobe, one of Eddie Hackett’s final projects, leaps ten places to number 84.

Cruit Island, Moyvalley, Kilkenny, Bearna and Nenagh make way for five new entries. The first of these is Roganstown at number 94, which is actually a re-entry, having featured in editions 2 and 3 of our Irish chart in 2006 and 2008. Another County Dublin course, Balbriggan, makes its debut at number 96 and this striking layout is an Eddie Connaughton upgrade from just a few years ago.

Dunfanaghy Golf ClubDundalk is another re-entry at number 98 – having been included in three of our previous charts between 2008 and 2012 – with the final two newcomers coming from County Donegal: the links at North West (new at number 95) belongs to one of the original nine clubs that formed the Golf Union of Ireland in 1891 and the course at Dunfanaghy (new at number 99) is an old Harry Vardon design dating back over a hundred years to 1905.

We always welcome comments when we publish updated national rankings so please feel free to let us know what you think of our new Top 100 for the Republic of Ireland. Have we omitted a layout which really should be in our chart, or have we included a course that really doesn’t deserve to be there? Maybe there’s a particular track riding too high in the chart or there’s one lying too low in the standings? Please click the “Respond to this article” link at the bottom of the page if you’d like to share your opinion.

Rank

Course

Move

1

Ballybunion (Old)

No change

2

Lahinch (Old)

No change

3

Portmarnock (Old)

No change

4

Waterville

No change

5

European Club

No change

6

County Louth

Up 2

7

County Sligo (Championship)

No change

8

Ballyliffin (Glashedy)

Up 1

9

Island

Up 1

10

Carne

Up 3

11

Rosapenna (Sandy Hills)

No change

12

Tralee

Down 6

13

Enniscrone (Dunes)

Down 1

14

Old Head

Up 1

15

Doonbeg

Down 1

16

Druids Glen

Up 1

17

Donegal

Up 2

18

Ballyliffin (Old)

Up 2

19

Adare

Down 3

20

Mount Juliet

Down 2

21

K Club (Palmer)

No change

22

Carton House (Montgomerie)

No change

23

Portmarnock Hotel Links

No change

24

Killeen Castle

Up 3

25

Portsalon

Up 1

26

Headfort (New)

Down 1

27

Killarney (Killeen)

Down 3

28

Fota Island (Deerpark)

Up 3

29

Ballybunion (Cashen)

Up 3

30

Dooks

No change

31

Concra Wood

Up 2

32

Connemara

Down 3

33

Royal Dublin

Down 5

34

Heritage

Up 6

35

Narin & Portnoo

Down 1

36

Carton House (O'Meara)

Down 1

37

Carlow (Deerpark)

Down 1

38

Rosapenna (Old Tom Morris)

Up 1

39

Slieve Russell

Up 2

40

Palmerstown House

Down 3

41

K Club (Smurfit)

Down 3

42

Cork

No change

43

Tullamore

Up 1

44

Seapoint

Up 2

45

Westport

Up 2

46

Bunclody

Up 12

47

Portumna

Up 5

48

Rosslare (Championship)

Down 5

49

Mullingar

Up 5

50

Tramore

Down 2

51

Dingle - Ceann Sibeal

Down 2

52

Strandhill

Up 1

53

Dromoland Castle

Down 2

54

Royal Curragh

Up 1

55

Luttrellstown Castle

Up 2

56

Woodenbridge

Up 4

57

Laytown & Bettystown

Up 17

58

Castle

Up 4

59

Rathcore

Down 14

60

Dun Laoghaire

Up 10

61

Tulfarris

Down 5

62

Farnham Estate

Up 9

63

Hermitage

Up 2

64

Mount Wolseley

Down 5

65

Galway Bay

Up 12

66

Skellig Bay

No change

67

Powerscourt (East)

Up 25

68

Castletroy

No change

69

Powerscourt (West)

Down 6

70

Grange

Down 1

71

Arklow

Down 4

72

Rathsallagh

Down 22

73

Shannon

Down 9

74

Esker Hills

Down 1

75

Macreddin

Up 15

76

Birr

Up 7

77

Druids Heath

Down 16

78

New Forest

Up 2

79

Castlemartyr

Up 5

80

Coollattin

Up 7

81

Athlone

Down 9

82

Gowran Park

No change

83

Dundrum

Up 5

84

Ballinrobe

Up 10

85

Greenore

Up 4

86

Killarney (Mahoney's Point)

Down 11

87

Naas

Down 11

88

St Anne's

Down 2

89

Bantry Bay

Down 8

90

Glasson

Down 5

91

Knightsbrook

Up 2

92

Headfort (Old)

Up 6

93

Galway

Down 2

94

Roganstown

New entry

95

North West

New entry

96

Balbriggan

New entry

97

Portarlington

Up 3

98

Dundalk

New entry

99

Dunfanaghy

New entry

100

Rossmore

Down 1

To view the complete detailed list of the Top 100 Golf Courses in Ireland click the link. To see the revised Best In County rankings for each of Ireland’s twenty-six counties, click the following links: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses