Donegal

Map of Donegal

About

Ancestral home to the once powerful O’Donnell Clan, County Donegal is the most northerly county in Ireland – sharing a border with Londonderry, Tyrone and Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and Leitrim in the Republic – and its topography is the most rugged in Ulster, lying as it does between the Derryveagh Mountains in the north and the Bluestack mountains in the south.

Organised golf has been played in Donegal for well over a hundred years and two of the county clubs, Portsalon and Buncrana, were part of the nine-club committee that founded the Golfing Union of Ireland in 1891. More recently, the North West club won its first ever Senior Cup at Rosslare in 2005, the year after two of its members, Brian McElhinney and Michael McGeedy, faced each other in the Final of the Irish Close Amateur at Murvagh.

The 36-hole facilities at Ballyliffin and Rosapenna are amongst the very best in Great Britain & Ireland and they are ably supported by fine 18-hole links layouts at Donegal, Portsalon and Narin & Portnoo. Throw into the mix the grand old courses at North West and Bundoran, plus the charming little 9-holer at Cruit Island, and you have a week’s worth of reasonably priced, top class golf that will be hard to match anywhere else in Ireland.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Donegal

Rosapenna (St Patrick's)

1st Donegal - Best in Area

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

Ballyliffin (Glashedy)

3rd Donegal - Best in Area

Ballyliffin Golf Club is often described as “the Ballybunion of the North” or “the Dornoch of Ireland” and the reason is simple; all the aforementioned are set amidst towering natural sand dunes.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Narin & Portnoo

4th Donegal - Best in Area

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Donegal, Narin and Portnoo Golf Club is a links that deserves to be bracketed with many other natural, unspoilt courses that should be given greater recognition.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Ballyliffin (Old)

5th Donegal - Best in Area

The Old course at Ballyliffin Golf Club is a classic links, with fairways that pitch and roll through wild dunes. This is links golf at its most traditional, where the perfect drive will often find an awkward lie.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Donegal

6th Donegal - Best in Area

The Murvagh peninsula jutting out into Donegal Bay is the home of Donegal Golf Club. It’s an enchanting and isolated setting for a big links course.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Portsalon

7th Donegal - Best in Area

Portsalon Golf Club is an exhilarating golf course, situated in a stunning location with most of the holes weaving their way between sand dunes.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Rosapenna (Old Tom Morris)

8th Donegal - Best in Area

In September of 2009, Rosapenna's Old Tom Morris golf course reopened after a major facelift where design from the late 19th century spans more than a hundred years to meet the brave new modern golf world.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Cruit Island

9th Donegal - Best in Area

Cruit Island Golf Club is considered by some to be one of the best 9-hole golf courses in the world. It is certainly one of the most scenic courses in Ireland.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Dunfanaghy

10th Donegal - Best in Area

Harry Vardon designed the “True Links” layout at Dunfanaghy Golf Club in 1905 close to the western shoreline of Sheephaven Bay on Ireland’s stunning northwest coast.

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Average Reviewers Score:
TaylorMade

Donegal Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Jim McCann Courses Played 12
= Douglas Carnes Courses Played 12
= Brian Ward Courses Played 12
4 Johan Marvig Courses Played 11
= Kirk Baert Courses Played 11
6 Cathal Devlin Courses Played 10
= Richard Quinn Courses Played 10
= Pam Allen Courses Played 10
9 Don Ward Courses Played 9
= Conor McCaughey Courses Played 9