Irish Open

The Irish Open is one of the best attended events on the European Tour schedule, with big galleries recorded during the week when this 72-hole stroke play professional contest takes place. It’s been held on a variety of dates, as early as mid-May and as late as September, but spectators flock to see the top players no matter when the championship is played during the season.

Starting in 2012 at Royal Portrush in County Antrim, the winner has been presented with a Waterford Crystal trophy which was commissioned by the European Tour, marking the first time the event had been held in Northern Ireland since it was played at Belvoir Park in Belfast nearly sixty years previously. The distinctive trophy features a unique design of flat and diamond cutting, incorporating a beautifully crafted crystal sphere.

Irish Open Championship Trophy

The competition began back in 1927 at Portmarnock, when George Duncan from Scotland edged out Henry Cotton by one stroke to claim the gold medal and the £150 first prize. The following eleven editions before the intervention of World War II were then dominated by English players, the only non-English winner being South African Bobbly Locke at Portmarnock in 1938.

Interestingly, four of those other ten tournaments were won by one of the Whitcombe brothers from Somerset: Ernest triumphed twice (by four shots in 1928 then after a play-off in 1935, both years at Royal County Down); Charles won by eight shots from Abe Mitchell at Royal Portrush in 1931; and Reginald held a two-stroke winning margin at Royal Dublin in 1936. All three played in the Ryder Cup at Ridgewood, New Jersey in 1935.

In the first event played after World War II, Fred Day became the first native winner in 194...

Irish Open host courses

Adare Manor

1st Limerick - Best in Area 14th Ireland Ranking 64th Britain & Ireland Ranking

Following J. P. McManus’s acquisition of Adare Manor in 2015, the old RTJ-designed parkland course has gone, replaced by a new Tom Fazio layout which opened in May 2018.

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Ballyliffin (Glashedy)

2nd Donegal - Best in Area 10th Ireland Ranking 54th Britain & 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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Belvoir Park

4th Down - Best in Area 10th Northern Ireland Ranking

With undulating, lush fairways and avenues of trees, Belvoir Park Golf Club is quite rightly regarded as one of the best inland courses in Northern Ireland.

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Cork

2nd Cork - Best in Area 30th Ireland Ranking

Cork Golf Club is one of the most attractive courses in Ireland. It's an Alister MacKenzie gem that's delightfully situated on a tiny peninsula called Little Island...

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County Louth

1st Louth - Best in Area 11th Ireland Ranking 57th Britain & 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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Druids Glen

2nd Wicklow - Best in Area 27th Ireland Ranking

Druids Glen is the kaleidoscope of golf courses, for there is more colour here than at any other course in Ireland.

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Fota Island (Deerpark)

3rd Cork - Best in Area 37th Ireland Ranking

The Deerpark course at Fota Island has played host to three Irish Open Amateur Championships and the Irish PGA Championship, impressive for a track which only opened for play in 1993.

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Galgorm Castle

4th Antrim - Best in Area 13th Northern Ireland Ranking

The course at Galgorm Castle Golf Club lies within a spacious 220-acre estate that was once the ancestral home of the McQuillan clan and the Castle that looms over the 10th green dates back to 1618...

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Irish Open Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Steven O' Sullivan Courses Played 18
= Shane Kelly Courses Played 18
3 Brian Ward Courses Played 17
4 Andy Newmarch Courses Played 16
= Shane Derby Courses Played 16
6 Fergal O'Leary Courses Played 14
= Pam Allen Courses Played 14
= Jorn Greve Courses Played 14
= Kevin O Hanlon Courses Played 14
= erik k Courses Played 14