Scotland may very well be the traditional home of golf, but Ireland certainly challenges closely for this title. Records show that golf has been played in Ireland for over 150 years. Golf now forms an integral part of Irish culture.
So what are Ireland’s oldest Golf Courses? We’ve compiled a list of some of the oldest courses in Ireland
- The Royal Curragh Golf Club, is Ireland’s oldest golf course. The course has been completely revamped and is now a challenging heathland course of 6,585 yards. Detailed research has proven that golf was first played on the plains of the Curragh in County Kildare (located approximately 30 miles from Dublin) in 1852.
- Royal Belfast Golf Club was founded in 1881. This stunning parkland course was designed by Harry Colt. Visitors are assured of a very warm welcome, a wonderful golfing experience and first class service in the splendid Victorian clubhouse.
- The Royal Dublin Golf Club was founded in 1885 and is Ireland’s third oldest golf club. The Royal Dublin is an 18-hole links course on Bull Island, Dublin, Ireland, and was originally designed by Harry Colt. This magnificent links was later extended under the guidance of golf architect Martin Hawtree. The Royal Dublin has hosted The Irish Open Professional Championship on a number of occasions with the great Seve Ballesteros winning this event at The Royal Dublin in 1983 and 1985.
- Dooks is one of the oldest Golf Clubs in Ireland and is located in exquisite surroundings. Dooks is located in County Kerry and golf was first played at this magnificent course in 1886. This stunning course recently undertook a makeover by R&A architect, Martin Hawtree. Dooks has become a challenging, exciting and enjoyable test that stands comparison with nearby Waterville and Ballybunion.
- Royal Portrush Golf Club is home to one of the best and most challenging links golf courses in the world, the Dunluce Links, and the hidden gem, the Valley Links. Royal Portrush is only club in Ireland to have hosted The Open Championship and is scheduled to host golf’s most famous event again in 2019. Golf was first played at Royal Portrush in 1888.
- The Royal County Down Golf Club, located in Newcastle, County Down opened on 23rd March 1889 and is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland. The championship course was designed by Old Tom Morris, and has hosted many of golf’s leading Amateur and Professional Tournaments. Royal County Down was recently named as the World’s best golf course by Golf Digest.
- Waterville Golf Links is one of Ireland’s top ranked golf courses, and is amongst the Top 100 Golf Courses in the world.The earliest structured golf at Waterville has been traced back to 1889, when it came under the umbrella of the extremely active Waterville Athletic Club. It was a formalised part of the life of the village by 1900, when becoming one of the first clubs to be affiliated with the Golfing Union of Ireland.
- Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare, first opened in 1892. Designed by the world renowned Alister MacKenzie, Lahinch Golf Club is a world-renowned links golf course in the village of Lahinch on the northwest coast of County Clare, in northern Munster, Ireland. This magnificent links course has played host to all of golf’s famous names, with Phil Mickelson describing this gem as one of his favourite golf courses in the world.
- County Louth Golf Club or Baltray as it is more affectionately known, is rated in Golf Digest’s top 100 courses in the world as a hidden gem. It is one of the top links courses in Europe. Golf was first played at this magnificent facility on the East coast of Ireland in 1892.
- Ballybunion Golf Club, in County Kerry was founded in 1893 and is considered as one of the finest links courses in the world. Ballybunion’s reputation continues to grow and this majestic links course has hosted several international tournaments. Ballybunion was ranked by Golf Digest in 2005 as the seventh best course in the world outside the United States.
With over 400 golf courses on our small little Island – Ireland is the perfect place for your next golf vacation. Whether you like old courses or new courses, great links courses or incredible parkland courses – Ireland has it all!
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