The course at Castle Golf Club is located in what was the estate of Rathfarnham Castle. A building firm purchased the castle and associated land in 1912 with the intention of developing houses and a golf club. The castle was sold off the following year to the Jesuit Order – and subsequently declared a National Monument by the Irish government in 1987 – but the housing never materialised so the land was made available to the members in 1918.
The celebrated golf architect, Harry S. Colt, updated the design of the six-year old course once it was under the control of the membership and this remained largely unchanged for over 80 years until the Jeff Howes Golf Design team conducted a renovation in 2001/2 to reconstruct all the greens, introduce new fairway bunkers and rebuild a number of tees. In addition, water works were carried out to realign a river and build a lake.
The 6,270-yard, par 70 parkland course is laid out in two loops of nine holes with a sting in the tail – two of the three par fives on the course are played back to back near the end of the round. The demanding finish starts with the 16th, a 529-yard par five continuing the three-shot theme with the 500-yard 17th before concluding with the closing hole, a 411-yard par four. Quite a testing way to end a round of golf.
The Castle is a wonderful golf club in the inner suburbs of Dublin. The club has historically been home to a lot of great golfers that have won many events around the country.
The course sits on a small parcel of land and is very well routed to get the absolute most out of it. The routing does a very good job at making the course not feel short even though it only measures out to about 6300 yards. The property is full of very mature trees, and due to club being on the wealthier side, the course is always in great shape with particularly fast and sloping greens.
I believe the strength of the Castle is the par 3s. There is great variety across them and they all provide different and interesting challenges across them. They require a lot of accuracy and you are asked to hit different clubs with each one measuring a much different yardage between 100-200 yards.
The Castle is a great place to play golf, and if you are in anyway inclined you should look into their annual father and son competition which is always a lot of fun.