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Dublin – some of the best golf courses in Ireland

  • May 22, 2020 // The Consummate Pro

The greater Dublin region is often overlooked by visitors on a golf vacation to Ireland. Some of the best golf courses in Ireland are located within one hour of Dublin, and we will look closer at these below. In contrast to other parts of the island, the travel time to these world-famous links courses is as easy as you could hope for, with pretty much all of them within one hours drive. Golf in Dublin offers great variety. Alongside some of Irelands best links golf courses you also have Ryder Cup venues such as the K-Club in adjacent Co. Kildare, Carton House a multiple Irish Open venue and many other great value properties. We are going to take a brief look at a number of courses that are the most often requested by our clients when they are golfing in Dublin on their golf vacation to Ireland.


Portmarnock (Old) Golf Club


One of the most famous links courses in the world, Portmarnock has a golfing history that clubs around the globe would die for. This 27-hole course is one of the best golf courses in Ireland bar none. Located a mere 40-minute drive from central Dublin, and 20 minutes from Dublin airport, it is also one of the most accessible. Portmarnock Golf Club commands your attention from the 1st tee. It may not have the dramatic dune scape of other links golf courses in Ireland but it will severely test every aspect of your game. There is very little in the world of golf that this majestic links has not played host to down the years, with many of the greats winning here. Crenshaw, Ballesteros, Langer and Olazabal have all lifted the Irish Open here.


The Royal Dublin Golf Club


The closest links golf club to Dublin city, founded in 1885, the original wooden bridge that provides access to ‘Bull Island’, has been in situ for over 100 years. Another club with a rich history, the club is a firm favourite of those on a golf vacation to Ireland. The legendary Harry Colt redesigned the original (1889) links after the First World War and in the 2000’s, Martin Hawtree was employed to make some modern upgrades. Royal Dublin is a challenging links golf course, and not one that necessarily benefits the modern long-hitter. In typical Colt fashion, the greens are devilishly difficult. It is one of the most exposed links courses on the island, what with Bull Island being a sand spit, so the wind always plays a part in your round. Royal Dublin is a must-play while you are golfing in Dublin.


The Island Golf Club


Located just north of Malahide, The Island is one of the best golf courses in Ireland in our opinion, and certainly one of the most underrated. Towering dunes, beautiful rollercoaster fairways and hard, tight links turf year-round. Renowned architects Mackenzie & Ebert completed a redesign of the front nine that was due to open on 1st May 2020. This involved creating a new 8th and 9th hole as well as a redesign of the 4th. At the time of writing we haven’t yet seen the new layout but feel that the changes made will retain our belief of The Island being one of the best golf courses in Ireland. The Island remains a guest favourite on their golf vacation to Ireland and in particular when they are golfing in Dublin.


Co. Louth Golf Club


Although situated just under an hour north of Dublin in County Louth, Baltray, it falls well under the umbrella of consideration when golfing in Dublin. A former Irish Open host venue, (Shane Lowry was victorious here as an amateur), Baltray is as natural a links course as you will find on the east coast. The course is defined by the quality of its par three’s in our opinion. The 176 yard, 5th hole, ‘Haven’ is probably the pick of them. County Louth Golf Club is consistently ranked as one of the best golf courses in Ireland and is always highly praised by our guests on their golf vacations around Ireland. The club continues to improve the visitor experience. A new short-game area was recently added adjacent the clubhouse and bunker improvements are on-going.


The European Club


This Pat Ruddy masterpiece is located in Brittas Bay, approx. 1hour south of Dublin City centre. A 20-hole layout, the quirkiness doesn’t stop there. The railway sleeper faced bunkers, the longest green in the world (127 yards), and intricately woven golf holes await. The European Club is a real challenge and one of the best golf courses in Ireland. It is also without question one of the longest at 7,377 yards from the tips. The 13th & 14th holes at The European Club are widely regarded as two of the best golf holes on the island, the former being 597yards from start to finish. The European is a walking course, no caddies permitted, and we think there is something really nice about that experience. The European is a firm favourite of our guests while on their golf vacation in Ireland.