Royal Curragh - Kildare - Ireland

Royal Curragh Golf Club,
Curragh Camp,
Co Kildare,

  • +353 45 441714

  • Golf Club Website

  • Off the N7 between Newbridge and Kildare

  • Welcome except for Tuesdays

  • Ann Culleton

  • Tom Travers, Patrick Merrigan

  • Gerry Burke

The Royal Curragh Golf Club dates back to 1858 but it was reported six years earlier that the Earl of Eglington, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and founder Captain of Prestwick Golf Club, played golf with a Colonel Campbell of the Queens Bays so the club claims to play on the oldest course in Ireland.

The camp was evacuated by the British Army in 1922 and handed over to the Irish Defence Forces. Since then, the club has maintained a tradition of military and civilian involvement in its management. The Dun Laoghaire professional Tom Travers redesigned the course in 1934 then Patrick Merrigan added five new holes (8th and 10th-13th) in 2007.

The 6,586-yard, par 72 course is routed over rolling terrain which is naturally well drained, allowing play during wet periods when others are closed. There's evidence around the course of trenches and foxholes from old army training days but the most incongruous site to behold is the huge number of sheep which once grazed the fairways freely but are now confined to the rough.

The “Royal” prefix was granted to the Curragh Golf Club in 1910 but when the Irish Free State came into being the title was repudiated. This remained the position until November 2013, when club members voted to revive its royal status.

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Description: Royal Curragh Golf Club claims to play over the oldest course in all of Ireland. In 2013, the club chose to revive its Royal title, an honour conferred on it by the British monarchy over a century before. Rating: 7.3 out of 10 Reviews: 3
Jack Dermody

Played last year, the welcome was outstanding from the moment we arrived to after we left after a round and few scoops with our playing partners. Loved the course, the commonage rule is quirky and you soon discover it is not a place to be. Thanks you and wish you all the best.

February 03, 2021
8 / 10
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Nick Mullen
The Curragh, a club with a long proud history within Irish Golf is situated on the vast plains of Co Kildare. This is the oldest golf course in Ireland, having being laid out by members of military stationed at the nearby Curragh Camp and to this day still maintains a very strong link to the Army. Every second year a member of the armed forces is made Captain of the club, a novel idea which helps foster the relationship. When I first started playing the Curragh it was a vastly different design to the one we see today. Back then the layout was largely unchanged from the original.However in recent times, a public road running through the course became busier and required that shots could now not be played across the road, something which would turn out to be, in my opinion, detrimental. The course lost a huge amount of its character, with the re-design being carried out by Paddy Merrigan, which I feel is the worst example of his work that I have ever seen (I struggle to believe that this is the same man who designed Tulfarris).

In his renovations he designed 3 new holes and altered two existing holes and in doing so he laid created something which I feel a Construction foreman could have done a better job of. The three new holes(two long par 5's and a brain dead uphill par 3) are a complete mis-fit for the topography and were in my opinion designed completely aside from the overall thought behind the remaining holes. They stand out like white elephants, the original course was designed with St Andrews and Musselburgh (the 2 clubs have a link) in mind and was intended to play like a links, with the hard running terrain being a great substitute for seaside turf. I was a lover of the original Curragh and I must say that many of the holes are still the same, however it is these new "excuses" for golf holes which deter me from playing a track I one loved so much. Great efforts have been made by this years captain to return the course to its former glory (tree removal etc) that being I feel he has made one fatal error, removing the Sheep from the course. These animals were an integral part of the course and how it played, allowing for a wide open track with emphasis on shot making and also how one would deal with the many different lies encountered.

This once great course, which a young golfer growing up at would learn to play a large variety of shots has been ruined by modern day requirements.
November 16, 2010
4 / 10
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brian Molloy
October 26, 2011
If the re-design of The Curragh is as bad as this "reviewer" suggests why then is the Clubs Membership and visiting Green Fee income up on pervious years? Perhaps he (?) preferred the previous layout because it was no challenge? Members and Visitors are very happy with the layout, and especially with the condition, of the course since the sheep have been removed. Playing Golf on the Curragh is now a greater pleasure than ever and I would recommend that anyone wishing to play the Oldest Golf Course in Ireland come to The Curragh and experience the course for themselves. You won't be disappointed.
Morton Rennick
This course has changed a lot in the last few years. Firstly the layout; five holes have either been removed or changed to take the public road out of play, also five new greens were laid and some of the tee boxes have been moved further back to toughen up the par 5's. The second big change has been the removal of the grazing sheep, although they are not too far away from the fairway! This has allowed the course to play more like a parkland course, although the landscape is a mix of heathland / parkland. The course is truly magnificent and probably unique in it's mix of terrain. One of the strengths of the course are the greens, when we played last, they were very fast, but very true. Depending on the pin placements and your approach shot, it can be very easy to three putt on some of the sloping greens.Probably the toughest stretch is on the turn, with a long par 3 (11), followed by two tough dog leg par 5's (12,13). But the signature hole has to be the long par 17th measuring 443 yards off the back tees, with a double dog leg and blind tee shot, a par is truly a great achievement on this hole. If you are putting together a hit list of Irish courses, don’t miss this gem, you will also get a very warm welcome.
June 08, 2010
10 / 10
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July 12, 2011
There is no way possible that this course deserves a 6 ball rating. How can the above author stand over such an opinion of a golf course that is above average at best, especially given how much it has changed in recent years. The old greens are outstanding, some of the truest around but as for the new ones, the less said the better. Holes 1-7 and 16-18 are unchanged and remain of equal quality however the excuses for golf holes that have been newly created leave alot to be desired. Two terrible par 3's, olne semi blind to a very unfairly contoured gree, the second a cheap creation to the old 14th played from up on high to an angle which the green is completely unsuitable to receive shots from. The two par 5's are non descript, the 12th marginally better than the slog of the 13th. I will commend the architect for his efforts to maintain the dogleg to the left on the 15th, but this hole will never be as good as its predecessor. A sad situatuon for a former great heathland course to find itself in.