Cork - Cork - Ireland

Cork Golf Club,
Little Island,
Cork,
Ireland


  • +353 21 4353 451

  • Matt Sands

  • Alister MacKenzie

  • Peter Hickey


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Cork

Cork is certainly one of the most attractive courses in Ireland. It's delightfully situated on Little Island, a tiny peninsula, which juts out into the lovely Lough Mahon, in the estuary of the River Lee. The views across Cork Harbour are quite stunning.

Cork Golf Club was originally established in 1888 and the club had several homes before it finally came to rest on the free-draining limestone of Little Island. Nine holes were originally laid out by the club's inaugural Scottish professional, David Brown, and the famous English architect Tom Dunn. In 1927, the original nine holes were revised and a further nine holes were added by Dr Alister MacKenzie, who, at the time, was busily reconstructing Lahinch. In 1975, Frank Pennink performed a few minor changes.

MacKenzie had a great talent for putting nature to the best possible use and he was certainly on top form at Cork. He combined an old quarry and the undulating links-like ground to marvellous effect, but it is the greens that bear MacKenzie's hallmark... large, undulating and, during the height of summer, frighteningly fast. This championship parkland course measures 6,731 yards from the back tees and over the years it's certainly tested the world's very best golfers. In the 1932 Irish Open, Alf Padgham narrowly beat the challenging Henry Cotton.

The opening three holes are fairly gentle and offer up a birdie opportunity or two, but Cork really begins to show its mettle when you reach the river at the 4th, a demanding 455-yard par four. It's a classic risk and reward hole, where your tee shot must carry across rough, dead ground to a distant undulating fairway. The more you cut off, the easier the approach shot to one of Cork's smallest and most challenging greens. In a similar vein, the par five 5th also runs parallel with the river and also requires a long carry off the tee. You need a precise approach shot, because the green is seemingly cut into the side of the river. It's a cracker.

A portrait of Cork's most famous golfing son hangs in clubhouse – 1946 British Amateur Champion, Jimmy Bruen. Bruen's swing was reminiscent of that of today's Jim Furyk. “He had not a very graceful or orthodox swing,” wrote Bernard Darwin in Golf Between Two Wars, “appearing to take the club very much inwards and bring it down with a loop at the top; he was rather a forcing player, but what force there was behind his shots! how consistently he played them and with what a masterful confidence!”

The beautiful clubhouse has been recently renovated (2002) and in the 2005 won the AIB clubhouse of the year award – very well deserved we think.

There's some amazing golf to be had in Cork, Ireland's largest county, and no trip to this area would be complete without playing the excellent and historic Cork Golf Club.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Cork

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: 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... Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 5

We played Cork Golf Club in the Cyder Cup 4 years ago over 5 hours in Monsoon-like weather and loved it. There were puddles on the practice green and we still went out and played a full round in those conditions. The clubhouse guys were very friendly and were amazed we were going out to play in it. I found the course brilliantly varied and interesting. One of the holes had a big carry over the water from the tee and as we played into the prevailing strong wind, we all struggled to carry it even though we are moderately big hitters. If we were to come back to Cork, I would love to play it in better conditions as I thought it was a superb track!

5 / 6
Cork
January 30, 2018


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review

This is not a links course and strictly not even a seaside course and yet it feels every bit like one. It is located on a peninsula near Cork on the banks of Lough Mahon, which is a widening of the River Lee, shortly before it discharges into the Celtic Sea. But what's more important than that: it's an Alister MacKenzie design and features stunning holes along the river and through a quarry, as well as some very competent inland holes that play every bit as firm and fast. I have been told that two weeks prior to my arrival the course was actually brown, which is a rarity in Ireland. Click the link to read more… Ireland – any decent golf on the West Coast?

6 / 6
Cork
October 12, 2016


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
Fantastic course in great condidtion, friendly staff and members. Agree with the above reviewer that most incldunding me would single out Fota and Old Head as the courses to play in Cork. However after playing this opinion has changed. Superbly designed with only 2 or 3 ordinary holes-most of the holes here would easily get into the majority of other courses top 10. Standout hole for me would be no.6 where the differecne between a good tee shot and a great one can be as much as 40 yards-a classic piece of course design. If you are looking for history, tradition and a course where you can see the beaty of a McKenzie design then look no further than Cork GC
5 / 6
Cork
July 29, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 1 did not
Respond to above review
Decent parkland course with plenty of history – certainly one of Ireland’s oldest courses. Brilliant holes along the shoreline (4th and 5th) and watch out for the 17th, it may ruin many decent scorecards. Lovely clubhouse welcome and Cork is worth playing when in the area.
4 / 6
Cork
August 03, 2006


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review
Most overseas visiting golfers head to this neck of the woods with Old Head and Fota Island firmly in their sights and few people know how good Cork really is. In my view it’s a fantastic course that tests you mentally and physically (it's also less painful on your wallet). Expect to use every club in the bag and enjoy some stunning golf holes. Open your shoulders on the 11th and try and knock it past Seve's Spanish Chestnut tree which marks the spot where his drive finished... I don't think so! If you are a fan of Mackenzie courses and specifically his large fiendish greens then this one that you should definatley tick off your list. It’s unpretentious, friendly and great fun. Wonderful course.
5 / 6
Cork
March 24, 2006


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful and 2 did not
Respond to above review