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, with Patrick Merrigan modifying the layout 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.
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.