Dooks Golf Club can rightly be called one of Ireland’s ‘hidden gems.’ It is located in Glenbeigh, just a 45minute drive from Killarney in Co. Kerry, Dooks is a terrific links course nestled on the shores of Dingle Bay. Founded in 1889, it is one of the oldest courses in Ireland and has its origins, like many others at that time in the military (Scots in particular) as the area of Rossbeigh nearby was an accessible location for army exercises. By 1900, the original nine-hole layout was expanded to eighteen, though due to spiraling costs, they were abandoned soon after. In 1963 the club almost became extinct as the lease on the land expired, but the members purchased the club in 1965 with the help of a tourist board grant, and this sparked the reinstallation of the lost 9-holes which miraculously was undertaken by the members themselves, and completed in 1970.
In 2003 the renowned architect Martin Hawtree began a complete overhaul of Dooks Golf Club that was completed in full in 2006, and he has produced a classic links test. With the Atlantic Ocean visible from almost every hole and the imposing Macgillycuddy Reeks, Ireland’s highest mountains, ever present as the backdrop, a round a Dooks is always a memorable one.
The opening hole at Dooks gives little away as to the spectacular vista that lies ahead just around the corner. As golfers walk through the narrow lane that leads from the 1st tee to the 2nd tee box, the splendor of the ocean, the Reeks and the golf course are laid bare right in front of you, and it is spectacular. The challenge of each hole is visible from every tee box for the golfer, and Hawtree has made some subtle changes to the former layout, using all of the contours of the land to create a beautiful links. While it will always remain the shadows of its more illustrious neighbours in Lahinch, Ballybunion and Waterville, the links at Dooks may offer many golfers some rest bite and a slightly less stressful, but no less enjoyable challenge. If you would like to see how Dooks Golf Club might fit into your golf vacation to Ireland, please take a look at our “Southern Charms Golf Tour”.