Login

Top100 2014

Ireland's Top 100 Courses 2015

 

Courses 1 to 10

Royal County Down has deservedly regained the top spot in this year’s rankings and the wonderful Newcastle links will be showcased to a global audience when the Irish Open is staged there in May 2015. World number one and tournament host Rory McIlroy and co will be presented with a wonderful test of traditional links golf in immaculate condition. The several blinds shots on this Old Tom Morris layout, dating back to 1889, is always a topic of conversation, but one thing is certain there are few better settings for golf – anywhere in the world. Standout holes include the stunning par-3 fourth and two par fours, the ninth and 13th.Visit the Website
1. Royal County Down/ Position: Up 1 / Where: Co. Down


Royal County Down has deservedly regained the top spot in this year’s rankings and the wonderful Newcastle links will be showcased to a global audience when the Irish Open is staged there in May 2015. World number one and tournament host Rory McIlroy and co will be presented with a wonderful test of traditional links golf in immaculate condition. The several blinds shots on this Old Tom Morris layout, dating back to 1889, is always a topic of conversation, but one thing is certain there are few better settings for golf – anywhere in the world. Standout holes include the stunning par-3 fourth and two par fours, the ninth and 13th.

Visit the Website
It is becoming a perennial battle between Portmarnock and Royal County Down for the top spot with the venue for the 2015 Irish Open just edging its Dublin rival. Ireland’s premier championship venue has been busy in recent years upgrading the famous old layout to remain in keeping with modern day demands. The redesigned first hole has now bedded in with the estuary brought in to the line of sight and play; an already iconic par-4 improved immeasurably. A programme of rough management and vegetation clearance where gorse and trees have been thinned and short-grass run-offs extended to enhance a number of holes. Pormarnock tests all elements of the game but remains enjoyable for all levels of golfer. This traditional links may not have the same instant appeal as some of the dune courses of Ireland’s west coast but the routing – which changes direction on every hole – and the subtle ripples and undulations combine to create a supreme test from start to finish. Put simply, Portmarnock is one of the finest tests of links golf anywhere in the world. This north Dublin venue is a must play course for links enthusiasts interested in the history and origins of Irish golf. Portmarnock remains one of the standard bearers of Irish golf.Visit the Website
2. Portmarnock/ Position: Down 1 / Where: Dublin


It is becoming a perennial battle between Portmarnock and Royal County Down for the top spot with the venue for the 2015 Irish Open just edging its Dublin rival. Ireland’s premier championship venue has been busy in recent years upgrading the famous old layout to remain in keeping with modern day demands. The redesigned first hole has now bedded in with the estuary brought in to the line of sight and play; an already iconic par-4 improved immeasurably. A programme of rough management and vegetation clearance where gorse and trees have been thinned and short-grass run-offs extended to enhance a number of holes. Pormarnock tests all elements of the game but remains enjoyable for all levels of golfer. This traditional links may not have the same instant appeal as some of the dune courses of Ireland’s west coast but the routing – which changes direction on every hole – and the subtle ripples and undulations combine to create a supreme test from start to finish. Put simply, Portmarnock is one of the finest tests of links golf anywhere in the world. This north Dublin venue is a must play course for links enthusiasts interested in the history and origins of Irish golf. Portmarnock remains one of the standard bearers of Irish golf.

Visit the Website
Royal Portrush has the distinction of being the only Irish course to ever host the British Open. Sweeping along Ireland’s northern coast, the course is seamlessly integrated into the natural landscape, providing golfers with a vast range of shots that will test skill and patience. Renowned course architect Harry Colt once remarked that Royal Portrush was his best layout ever.Visit the Website
3. Royal Portrush (Dunluce) / Position: same/ Where: Antrim


Royal Portrush has the distinction of being the only Irish course to ever host the British Open. Sweeping along Ireland’s northern coast, the course is seamlessly integrated into the natural landscape, providing golfers with a vast range of shots that will test skill and patience. Renowned course architect Harry Colt once remarked that Royal Portrush was his best layout ever.

Visit the Website
Golf at Lahinch dates back to 1982 and it’s hard not to marvel at how well the early pioneers carved out so many great holes from the natural terrain. If nature provided the blank canvas then course designers like Old Tom Morris and Dr Alister MacKenzie certainly made their lasting mark. Perennial home to the South of Ireland, Lahinch is one of the spiritual homes of Irish amateur golf. With its naturally rugged linksland, overlooking Liscannor Bay, Lahinch is worthy of its place within the Top 5.Visit the Website
4 Lahinch (Old) / Position: Up 1 / Where: Clare


Golf at Lahinch dates back to 1982 and it’s hard not to marvel at how well the early pioneers carved out so many great holes from the natural terrain. If nature provided the blank canvas then course designers like Old Tom Morris and Dr Alister MacKenzie certainly made their lasting mark. Perennial home to the South of Ireland, Lahinch is one of the spiritual homes of Irish amateur golf. With its naturally rugged linksland, overlooking Liscannor Bay, Lahinch is worthy of its place within the Top 5.

Visit the Website
Following a Tom Fazio facelift in recent years, Waterville has blossomed into a perennial Top 5 course and is likely to remain there for quite some time. Situated on the shores of Ballinskelligs Bay in beautiful Co Kerry, the course provides a challenging yet enjoyable true links golf experience, complete with rolling dunes, firm fairways, sod-faced bunkers and unpredictable weather.Visit the Website
5. Waterville / Position: Down 1 / Where: Kerry


Following a Tom Fazio facelift in recent years, Waterville has blossomed into a perennial Top 5 course and is likely to remain there for quite some time. Situated on the shores of Ballinskelligs Bay in beautiful Co Kerry, the course provides a challenging yet enjoyable true links golf experience, complete with rolling dunes, firm fairways, sod-faced bunkers and unpredictable weather.

Visit the Website
Natural golf, that’s what one will find at Ballybunion’s Old Course. With very few man-made elements, it’s the natural surroundings that provide a challenging yet exciting round of golf. One of golf legend Tom Watson’s favourite courses, it boasts an unique layout featuring back to back par 3s and par 5s. An unparalleled back nine and countless interesting and testy approach shots are what bring this club to such a high ranking.Visit the Website
6 Ballybunion (Old)/ Position: same / Where: Kerry


Natural golf, that’s what one will find at Ballybunion’s Old Course. With very few man-made elements, it’s the natural surroundings that provide a challenging yet exciting round of golf. One of golf legend Tom Watson’s favourite courses, it boasts an unique layout featuring back to back par 3s and par 5s. An unparalleled back nine and countless interesting and testy approach shots are what bring this club to such a high ranking.

Visit the Website
The spectacular Arnold Palmer designed course is arguably one of the most majestic courses you will ever encounter. The front nine features some spine tingling holes that navigate the rocky Atlantic coast, but it’s the back nine’s massive dunes and challenging tee-placements that will leave a lasting impression.Visit the Website
7 Tralee / Position: same / Where: Kerry


The spectacular Arnold Palmer designed course is arguably one of the most majestic courses you will ever encounter. The front nine features some spine tingling holes that navigate the rocky Atlantic coast, but it’s the back nine’s massive dunes and challenging tee-placements that will leave a lasting impression.

Visit the Website
Wicklow’s European Club is home to a difficult golf course; too difficult for a few of our panel but we won’t mention any names! There’s no doubt that Pat Ruddy’s masterpiece is an exacting challenge but that’s the way the owner and designer prefers it and there’s no questioning its world class qualities and large number of outstanding holes. A supreme routing builds up to the seaside stretch in the middle of the back nine with the idiosyncratic greens at the 12th and 13th. However, it is the downhill par-5 3rd, the much photographed 8th and the dune enclosed par- 3 14th that are perhaps the best holes on a golf course that has no comparison anywhere else in the world. The European Club is a unique test that must be experienced firsthand.Visit the Website
8 The European Club / Position: Up 1 / Where: Wicklow


Wicklow’s European Club is home to a difficult golf course; too difficult for a few of our panel but we won’t mention any names! There’s no doubt that Pat Ruddy’s masterpiece is an exacting challenge but that’s the way the owner and designer prefers it and there’s no questioning its world class qualities and large number of outstanding holes. A supreme routing builds up to the seaside stretch in the middle of the back nine with the idiosyncratic greens at the 12th and 13th. However, it is the downhill par-5 3rd, the much photographed 8th and the dune enclosed par- 3 14th that are perhaps the best holes on a golf course that has no comparison anywhere else in the world. The European Club is a unique test that must be experienced firsthand.

Visit the Website
Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Snr, this parkland course offers a nice change of pace from the traditional links of Ireland. This course features a number of hazards and staggering distances that will test golfers of all skill levels.Visit the Website
9 Adare Manor / Position: Up 1 / Where: Limerick


Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Snr, this parkland course offers a nice change of pace from the traditional links of Ireland. This course features a number of hazards and staggering distances that will test golfers of all skill levels.

Visit the Website
This peaceful links course located on Ireland’s east coast is a snapshot of the way golf should be. The serene atmosphere gives way to towering dunes, treacherous rough and long holes that will make use of every club in the bag.Visit the Website
10 Baltray / Position: Down 2 / Where: Louth


This peaceful links course located on Ireland’s east coast is a snapshot of the way golf should be. The serene atmosphere gives way to towering dunes, treacherous rough and long holes that will make use of every club in the bag.

Visit the Website

 

Click on image to open Slideshow