Ireland

Map of Ireland

About

During the nineteenth century the Republic of Ireland, or Éire, was part of the United Kingdom and records state that British troops brought golf to the Emerald Isle in the 1850s. The oldest golf course in the Republic of Ireland is set on the heathland of the Curragh in County Kildare and there are records of a match being played there in 1852.

The Curragh Golf Club (now Royal Curragh Golf Club after the club finally decided in 2013 to use the royal title that was granted in 1910) was founded in 1858, twenty-three years before the formation of Royal Belfast (1881) and twenty-seven years before the formation of Royal Dublin (1885).

Golf in Ireland possibly dates back beyond the nineteenth century but records are scant. However, there is no doubt whatsoever that Ireland possesses many of the finest golf courses in the world and is quite rightly one of the premier golf destinations thanks to household names such as Ballybunion, Lahinch and Portmarnock.

According to the R&A's Golf Around the World 2019 report, there are 494 golf courses across the entire island of Ireland. We believe there are approximately 100 courses in Northern Ireland, therefore the Republic of Ireland may lay claim to around 400 courses (give or take) which are scatted far and wide across the Emerald Isle.

We created an inaugural Ireland Top 100 in 2006 and so far no other publication has assembled a Top 100 for Éire, although a number of golf magazines have produced Top 100 lists for the Republic and Northern Ireland combined.

We updated the Republic of Ireland's Top 100 in May 2022. Full details are here: Top 100 Golf Courses of Ireland

Top 100 Golf Courses - Ireland

Ballybunion (Old)

1st Ireland Ranking

As you drive from the historic town of Ballybunion, along the winding road to the golf club, your eyes feast upon the most spectacular links land imaginable.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Lahinch (Old)

2nd Ireland Ranking

Lahinch Golf Club is situated next to the lovely beach of Liscannor Bay. It's an enchanting place to play golf... rugged, distinctive, unusually varied and immensely entertaining.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Rosapenna (St Patrick's)

3rd Ireland Ranking

Construction of the new St Patrick’s links at Rosapenna Hotel & Golf Resort began in April 2018, with Tom Doak’s lead associate Eric Everson working alongside Clyde Johnson and Angela Moser to complete the build during 2020.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Portmarnock (Championship)

4th Ireland Ranking

”I know of no greater finish in the world than that of the last five holes at Portmarnock Golf Club”, said Bernard Darwin

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

European Club

5th Ireland Ranking

The European Club is located in the garden of Ireland, between the coastal towns of Wicklow and Arklow, about 30 miles south of Dublin.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Waterville

6th Ireland Ranking

Waterville Golf Links plays on a promontory surrounded by the sea. It’s a stunning, remote location...

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

The Island

7th Ireland Ranking

The Island Golf Club is a no-frills golf course. There is nothing manicured and it’s all very harmonious and in tune with its surroundings.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

County Sligo (Championship)

8th Ireland Ranking

County Sligo Golf Club – or Rosses Point, as it is better known – is an exhilarating west coast links, situated in the heart of Yeats country.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Trump International Golf Links - Ireland

9th Ireland Ranking

Doonbeg is the course that Greg Norman built, but it was redesigned by Martin Hawtree over a two-year period after the property was acquired in 2014 by Donald Trump and renamed Trump International Golf Links.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

County Louth

10th 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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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Ireland Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Donal O’Gorman Courses Played 82
= Mark Barry Courses Played 82
3 Paul Monnelly Courses Played 78
4 Joe Courses Played 77
5 erik k Courses Played 76
6 Ray Martin Courses Played 72
7 Colum O Carroll Courses Played 71
= Michael Keating Courses Played 71
9 Shane Kelly Courses Played 68
10 Brian Foran Courses Played 66